*** Please note this is not required for Ubuntu 10.04 onwards - extra software is only needed for versions of Ubuntu before this ***
Recently a good friend of mine, Georgina Parsons, was lucky enough to win a brand new mobile internet dongle courtesy of 3 UK. Like myself she is an Ubuntu user but sadly found that the unit she won, a ZTE MF627, isn't currently supported out of the box on Ubuntu, unlike the Huawei models. She did find a method to make it work though on the Ubuntu Forums at: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=6509188. The problem the unit had was similar to the Huawei E169G, when first plugged in it functions as a USB memory stick containing the driver software (for Windows) and has to be told to switch mode to being a modem. Using the workaround she got her modem working perfectly, but challenged me to make a package to install the files needed automatically.
So I had a go, and managed to get it to work! I don't own one of these devices, so was unable to test, but Georgina has tested it and has advised that it worked successfully on Ubuntu (Easy Peasy is based on Ubuntu so it will work in that too). I don't know if this will work on a Xandros powered EEE PC, so if you try it leave a comment to let me know how you get on. The package is similar to the one I developed for the Huawei E169G (which is now no longer needed under Ubuntu). There is one difference though, it does not contain a copy of usb_modeswitch, the actual program that causes the modem to change mode, it just contains the configuration files described in the above forum post, and a configuration file for usb_modeswitch. You'll need to install a package containing usb_modeswitch before installing this package,
there are various ways of getting this, but one way you could use is to install the e169g-switch package from my earlier blog post Huawei E169G – the easy way . [UPDATE: If you install from my personal package archive you will also get usb-modeswitch, see the note below dated 10th May 2009]. To install the zte-mf627-switch package just click on the name of the file attachment at the end of this post and this should start the GDebi package installer. [UPDATE: The package is now only available from my personal package archive, see the note below dated 10th May 2009] After the two packages are installed, plug in your unit, wait a few seconds, and you should then be able to use the Network Manager applet to make your internet connection via your MF627. Hopefully this will simplify getting your modem working with Ubuntu until bug no. 310025 is solved and it is officially supported in Ubuntu.
*** UPDATE 10th May 2009 ***
I've set up a personal package archive and have made the zte-mf627-switch package in it, along with a version of usb-modeswitch. This version of the package should be the same, but hasn't been tested, so if it works for you please let me know.
To add the ppa follow the instructions at:
To install the zte-mf627-switch package use a package manger like Synaptic or type:
sudo apt-get install zte-mf627-switch
*** UPDATE 29th October 2009 ***
I've updated the package to version 0.2. It now supports Ubuntu 8.10, Easy Peasy 1.0 and Ubuntu 9.10. To grab a copy go to my PPA.