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Using USB for Outside Line Connection

Posted: 01 Jul 2013, 18:18
by jesuslovesyou101
Hello everyone. I'm brand new here. :-)

I would like to learn if its possible to run a script on the B3 WiFi version (i.e. "sudo ./" ) That is written so that it will connect to a USB device and the script would supply the Internet connection? The script works perfectly on all my Linux machines, and I was under the assumption that the B3 ran some form of Linux distro.

If you would like to take a look at the script,
it can be downloaded from a link to the dev's site, but the forums system will not let me post it, as it says I am a new user.

The script doesn't seem to be picky about what USB port the device is plugged into. It must search for it first, regardless of what USB port it has been plugged in the past. So as long as the USB ports of the B3 are shown in the File System very similar if not the same as a standard Linux OS system, then the Script should work just fine as long as I can run it as root.

Now, if that is determined to be possible. Would it be safe to assume that the B3 WiFi version would be able to take that connection, and link it with the Wireless network it would broadcast?

Thank you for any info you all can lend, and God Bless!!

Re: Using USB for Outside Line Connection

Posted: 02 Jul 2013, 02:02
by Binkem

Your B3 is just another Linux computer, so provided you know your wat around Linux well enough you should be able to use the setup outlined by you. As far as I know there are some posts on the forum outlining how to use a USB-3g modem with B3 or B2. CHeck these out, try getting it to work and if you don't succeed return to the forum because there are some here who may be able to help you then.


Re: Using USB for Outside Line Connection

Posted: 02 Jul 2013, 04:00
by jesuslovesyou101
Sorry @Binkem / Martijn, I should have specified before hand, I do not currently own a B3, as this kind of functionality (using an external USB modem / mobile device ) is a big deciding factor as to whether we will purchase it, so I need to learn as much as possible before making the 200 plus dollar jump.

I love all the capabilities of the B3 and want one any ways for those features. But right now our internet provider Comcast, is giving us lots of trouble. So I need to find a way to use something mobile based. And money is extremely tight, so this decision is a big one. But if works, will save us 60 dollars a month.

Currently I am "grandfathered" into having unlimited data with my Android phone on Verizon's network. And I am currently using an App called Clockworkmod Tether, which allows me to tether to a machine using a USB cable, and running a shell script on my Lubuntu laptop. The problem is, idk if being Atom based, if the B3 will be able to run this script. There is alot of python involved, which is good for cross architecture. But also, before it can be used, the script requires the "./configure " and "make" commands. Does this mean that it would be configured for the Atom processor when these commands are run on the B3? Or does this hint to greater problems?

Last thing, there are probably tutorials on here about how to do this. But this script needs to be able to be both started and stopped easily, what would be the best way to do this? On my laptop I just close the terminal, but being a server I assume this would be much more tricky. This would be my first every experience with server hardware, so wanna learn all I can to make it a smooth experience if we jump on it.

**Edit** I only have found one article on using 3g devices over USB. Its last post was in March 2012, which is more than a year ago. Could you point me to one with more recent activity? Also, that thread was also very technical in the sense that it involved lots of editing of config files and seemed like it assumed the reader was quite experienced already, a more simplified walk through would help alot. Thank you again

Re: Using USB for Outside Line Connection

Posted: 02 Jul 2013, 05:07
by Binkem

I'm nog sure if anyone has tried connecting his Android Phone to a B3. What software did you use to connect it to the laptop? If this software is only available compiled for Intel processors, you might have to compile it for B3 yourself. Other than that running Python scripts should not be a problem. My experience with the B3 is, that if there is a reasonably good how-to somewhere you can get anything done, and i'm not at all good with Linux.

Re: Using USB for Outside Line Connection

Posted: 02 Jul 2013, 05:51
by jesuslovesyou101
True, and the compiling thing is what I'm primarily not sure about, as idk if it has been recompiled, or if the commands " ./configure " and " make " are actually compiling it for the individual system. As that does make the largest difference. I'll see if I can actually contact the developers of this USB tether app and see what they say about compiling. Just sometimes devs are either too swamped to reply, or have forgotten about the project and moved on. We'll see and I'll report back on that.

Side note, how do we go about starting and stopping processes on the B3? like if I start a Minetest or a Minecraft server, how do I stop it? Especially if there are more than one server type program running at once. Like Mediatomb and Minetest game running at the same time.

Re: Using USB for Outside Line Connection

Posted: 05 Jul 2013, 04:25
by pa
Many of the build in services can be started and stopped from the web interface.
Others can be started and stopped from the command line, ssh to your B3, become root and run

Code: Select all

#service yourservicename stop

Re: Using USB for Outside Line Connection

Posted: 05 Jul 2013, 04:59
by jesuslovesyou101
pa wrote:Many of the build in services can be started and stopped from the web interface.
Others can be started and stopped from the command line, ssh to your B3, become root and run

Code: Select all

#service yourservicename stop
Thank you, I do not currently own a B3, and have never worked with any server before, so I am very unfamiliar with the various commands. But its being a full Linux machine is what has caught my attention so much. I have been trying to find videos demonstrating how to do these kinds of things, but haven't found anything. Has excito ever thought, or currently plan to make videos showing how to fully utilize all the B3's capabilities? Both using web interfaces, and using ssh and command line tools? This would help so much for beginners such as myself.

Re: Using USB for Outside Line Connection

Posted: 05 Jul 2013, 07:37
by Gordon
The B3 being a full Linux machine may depend somewhat on one's vision. What you have to realize is that it is not a graphical system. In fact it does not even allow a screen to be attached to it. Text mode is all that it will offer you outside of the web interface that is provided to perform the functions supported by the maintainers of the B3 software.

The B3 is not your typical machine as its hardware is driven by an ARM processor rather than an Intel class processor. Code is not inter-exchangeable, i.e. you cannot run a program that is compiled for Intel x86 on ARM and vice versa. This includes drivers for hardware, which extends to hardware that you plug in to a USB port. So your first challenge should be to find out if your USB device has a driver for ARM (armv5tel) that can be installed on Debian Squeeze.

Re: Using USB for Outside Line Connection

Posted: 06 Jul 2013, 21:12
by Cheeseboy
Sorry, I obviously didn't read the entire chain of previous posts.
I missed it was a tethered USB connection from an Android phone.
But: I just plugged in my Android device via USB, and enabled USB tether mode on it, and the same thing goes:
It shows up as a proper network interface (usb0) on the B3, so I guess the rest of what I wrote is still true...

You will probably find it is recognized as an ethernet card if that is how the USB device identifies itself.
If your USB device is in fact not a USB ethernet card, you can stop reading now.

I just tried it with something I bought for 15 EUR a year ago for another machine.
From syslog:

Code: Select all

Jul  7 02:29:17 b3 kernel: [ 5618.224605] asix 1-1.2.2:1.0: eth2: register 'asix' at usb-orion-ehci.0-1.2.2, ASIX AX88772 USB 2.0 Ethernet, 00:00:00:04:02:32
Jul  7 02:29:17 b3 kernel: [ 5618.236204] usbcore: registered new interface driver asix
From sudo ifconfig -a:

Code: Select all

eth2      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:00:00:04:02:32  
          BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)
Now, to get it integrated and working in an environment as complicated as mine would take me many hours.
ifconfig -a shows I have 8 network units on my system with the new USB one I just plugged in.
This is because it is a B3 WiFi that is already set up with some complex network configuration (2 ethernet cards, 1 WiFi, 1 OpenVPN tunnel interface, localhost, bridge, etc.). ifconfig without the "-a" does not show "eth2", so obviously some configuring is required, which I'm not going to do.

It did come up with "sudo ifconfig eth2 up" though, but I did not let it stay in that state for many seconds.

Whether your script will work without modifications is anyone's guess, but mine would be: no.
You can probably get it to work, but expect to spend some time on it.

Best regards,


Re: Using USB for Outside Line Connection

Posted: 10 Jul 2013, 15:04
by Cheeseboy
Hi all,

I'd like to add a warning to my previous post:
After plugging in an USB/ethernet adapter just to test something, my B3 no longer booted.
I got messages similar to "IF: Wrong eth0!" (sorry, might not be exact as the logs are gone now).

It has taken me several days to get it back to working order, and I still don't know what happened.
I suspected some udev rule might have changed something, but could not find anything apparent.
Luckily I had a copy of "Back up system settings" from April, and after that it worked again :-)

So -be careful. Always have backups :-)