Recommendation for WWAN-Module

Hey there,

I would like to do some testing with WWAN on the IPFire (Mini Appliance = APU4D4).

Due to the security policy of IPFire I know that it is not that easy to include custom drivers other than the once which are already included in the Linux kernel.

As far as my undertanding goes, there already are two types of WWAN-drivers in the current kernel (please correct me if I’m wrong).

Based on that, are there any recommendations for internal WWAN-Cards, which will definitely work with the included driver? I would prefer a card over an external USB-modem.

Thanks in advance


Regarding your question, the APU4D4 doesn’t have an M.2 interface. Instead, it features two mini PCI Express slots which you can use: J14, which supports mSATA and a modem with a SIM card, and J15, which supports only a modem with a SIM card according to the documentation. Therefore, your available options are limited to modems supported by the ‘t7xx driver for MTK PCIe-based T700 5G modem’.


Hey cfusco,

sorry, I always get confused with mSATA, MiniPCIE, M.2, NVME, etc. :smiley:

Thank you for the clarification, I will have a look into devices with the MediaTek-Chips then.

Have a nice day! :slight_smile:

PCIe is not supported in J14!

J14 miniPCI express - This slot can be used for 3G/LTE modems (USB based). No PCI express
= no wifi. Connects to SIM J1.

You need an USB Based mPCIe LTE Module.


Hey there,

first of all, thanks @arne_f for the addition with USB-based modul.

I managed to get my hands on an “Fibocom L830-EB-00” from an old Thinkpad L580. It is an M.2-Module but it’s USB-based and it uses Intel-driver (due to it’s an Intel-chip). My luck! :slight_smile:

I bought a Delock-Converter “Mini-PCIe-to-M.2 Key B” and put it in the ipfire. The module is correctly recognized as USB-interface (lsusb) and WWAN0 (ip link).

Now I wanted to give it a try but stumbled upon a very simple, yet weird problem.

I am using a vodafone-sim-card and the instructions for configuring the APN-settings are to leave the “Username”- and “Password”-fields blank.

However, I cannot leave those blank because when I do IPFire tells me that the Profile “has errors” and hides the connect button.

I could not find any other information than “leave the username and password blank”… any ideas how to realize it in the IPFire?



Maybe the following post/thread will be helpful


Hey @tphz ,

thanks four your reply.

I already read this thread and adapted some of the configurations. My problem is, that there are no “connection” buttons when the “profile has errors”, so even if it would function without entering username and passwords, I cannot “dial” to check out if it works.

Unfortunately I’m not that skilled to do the configuration over console or at least change the profile, because I don’t know where they are. Maybe it would work this way.

Good morning community,

I’m writing to share some of my experiences because although I’m not completely finished yet, I had several “breakthroughs” over the weekend. :slight_smile: Maybe some of you could help me with the final issues to wrap it up. :nerd_face:

First of all, the Delock-Adapter I bought is pretty cool because it has a built-in Sim-Card-Slot.

With this thing it could be possible to put a M.2-WWAN-module in the J15-Slot of the Apu-Boards, which is originally “full miniPCI express, but no SIM, intended for wifi”. Obviously you would have to do without the WiFi-Module then but for someone who has a WWAN-module which is not USB-based, it could work. But that’s just speculation. :upside_down_face:

Back to my case:

After a lot of reading about WWAN-modules, Linux-librarys and even AT-Commands, I realized that the Fibocom-L830 I use does not “talk” qmi but mbim instead. So I build IPFire from source (took me a couple of compilations to figure out the best way :crazy_face:) and smuggled the libmbim into it.

At last, the implementation is pretty easy because “libmbim” works almost exactly like “libqmi” which already is in IPFire. Even the compiling works the same way and so I completely “orientated” at the libqmi: I took the libqmi-LFS Template and did just little adjusting (name, version, b2-checksum) and even copied the libmbim-“rootfile” directly in the “common”-folder where the one for libqmi is located. I did a back-up of all the modified files, so now I can implement it with the first compiling, which saves a lot of time. :hugs:

But maybe, just maybe, if the developers are super super super cool, they could put this libary in the standard branch of IPFire and make an addition to the “dial-up”-screen, so that “mbim” is included in the drop-down-menu. Heck, I would do it myself but unfortunately I’m just a network technician and no software engineer. :slight_smile:

But back to my case:

So now I have my “own” IPFire-build with libmbim implemented and the module itself works like a charm. Connection to the provider, IP-adress acclaimed, everything worked out fine but I stumbled across some new problems and maybe you could help me with that.

  1. WWAN-modules only have a “dynamically generated” MAC-adress (at least that’s what I read on the web). Because of this it changes the MAC-adress at every reboot and IPFire loses the interface for the RED zone. It’s not a big issue but after every reboot you have to connect to IPFire per SSH and do a “setup” to allocate the “new” WWAN-interface to RED.

My question here is: What is the command to do this directly (without the way through the setup-menu) because I would like to write a “script” to automate this.

  1. When mbim connects the WWAN-module and gets an IP-adress, obviously this is not the IP-adress of the red-interface yet and you have to assign it manually.

Could someone please “show me” which commands or script is triggered when you do a dial-up-connection via QMI? I would like to copy this and adjust it for a connection via libmbim. It would make things so much easier.

  1. Last but not least I had to assign not only an IP-adress to the red interface, but also a gateway and a DNS-server so that the IPFire could find it’s way outside. Unfortunately that was not enough. The firewall itself could ping IPs and Domains but none of the connected PCs could. It also did not connect the DNS-servers in the WUI because it would not find any (not even the ones from the ISP).

What am I missing here?

So much from me, I hope I did not bore you too much.

Greetings and have a nice day