A problem with usb networking

Joe Pfeiffer joseph at pfeifferfamily.net
Wed Dec 5 20:08:04 CET 2007

geniere90 at interfree.it writes:
>I have a neo1973 and I wish I could connect it to my Laptop in order
>to access the internet ( I use Ubuntu 7.10 ).
>I followed this page on the wiki
>http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/USB_Networking but nothing... my neo
>won't connect to the internet! Everything seems ok but the internet

(what follows is for Debian Linux.  If you've got another Linux,
mapping this to your environment should be straightforward.  If you're
running Windows... oh, well).

There are a bunch of things that could be happening -- in a nutshell,
you need to make sure that your laptop will route appropriate packets
to your NEO, and that it will forward packets.

My first problem when I tried setting up networking was that my home
network is 192.168.0.x, and of course the NEO wants  So
the first thing I did was to edit the NEO's /etc/network/interfaces to
use IP, with gateway  I also set the
DNS server to

On my laptop, I edited /etc/network/interfaces to include

allow-hotplug usb0
iface usb0 inet static

So now, when a usb0 net interface is created by plugging in the NEO,
the NEO and the laptop can talk to each other.

I set the NEO's DNS server to be my laptop because I'm already running
dnsmasq on the laptop for other reasons, and this way I don't need to
reconfigure the NEO depending on whether I'm at home or at work.

Next, I needed to turn on packet forwarding on the laptop.  This
required editing my /etc/sysctl.conf to uncomment the line


Finally, turning on NAT in my laptop's firewall finished the job.

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