I have mobile internet dongle ZTE MF833R with unlocked SIM card and it is working without any configuration if I plug it into Mac or Linux.

If I plug it into Raspi I have

# cat /etc/os-release
PRETTY_NAME="Raspbian GNU/Linux 8 (jessie)"
# cat /proc/cpuinfo
Hardware        : BCM2835
Revision        : a22082

# lsusb
Bus 001 Device 020: ID 19d2:1405 ZTE WCDMA Technologies MSM

Unfortunately, ifconfig doesn't show any new devices. This Raspi is highly tuned. Where sould I check to ensure mobile USB dongle is connecting to internet?

I see device is appearing in

# ip link
4: eth1: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST> mtu 1500 qdisc noop state DOWN mode DEFAULT group default qlen 1000
    link/ether 34:4b:50:00:00:00 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff

why isn't it usb0 or something? Does this mean I need to specify this iface in /etc/network/interfaces?

If I specify there

auto eth1
allow-hotplug eth1

iface eth1 inet dhcp
metric 1

I can up interface with ifup. Is it convenient way?

  • 1
    Is Jessie even supported any more? Have you tried a more modern version?
    – joan
    Dec 27, 2021 at 16:34

2 Answers 2


Start by finding out what driver your device gets (look into dmesg logs for a start). Those dongles often present themselves as flash disks containing windows drivers, and special trickery is required to get them recognized as modem devices.

If your dongle is recognized as a modem, look for a wvdial configuration for your specific model and see if sudo wvdial gets you connected.


You don't need to use wvdial.

Most USB 4G dongles contain multiple logical devices. You need usb_modeswitch to make Linux recognize the modem and NetworkManager to manage the connection.

The guide is here: https://whiteboxcellphone.com/psd/usb4g-linux.html

  • Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Dec 28, 2021 at 21:37
  • Thanks for the comment, but I'm not sure what additional supporting information you would like. Everything is in the provided link. Dec 29, 2021 at 7:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.