USBnet networking setup

From WebOS Internals
Revision as of 22:31, 6 October 2009 by Hopspitfire (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

USBnet allows you to create an IP network over the USB cable. This will allow you to talk to your Pre without WiFi or Bluetooth, and it keeps the battery charged.

This page is a duplicate of USBnet Setup

On Your Linux-Accessed Pre


usbnet enable

as root and then restart the device as instructed. When it comes back up, run 'ifconfig' and verify you now have a usb0 interface. Mine had the IP of The IP can be changed in /etc/network/interfaces. After a change, bounce the usb0 interface: ifdown usb0; ifup usb0

Optional Setup to enable DHCP (so you don't have to set the IP address below)

  1. Edit /etc/dnsmasq.palm.conf
  2. Add interface=usb0 below the existing interface line
  3. Add dhcp-range=,,12h below the existing dhcp-range
  4. Restart the dnsmasq process: stop dnsmasq; start dnsmasq

On Windows XP

  1. Download the driver here: usbnet-pre windows driver(32 bit) or usbnet-pre windows driver(64 bit) and save the file to disk as usbnet-pre.inf
  2. Plug the Pre into your computer. The Add New Hardware Wizard should come up, asking to install an ethernet gadget.
  3. Follow detailed instructions (screenshots and all) here if you are unfamiliar with installing drivers: Windows XP USBnet install
  4. When you finish, you should have a network setup. Goto "Network Connections" via Network Places or the Control Panel
  5. If you have previously installed Novacom on this machine, bring up Windows Task Manager before proceeding. You may discover a conflict between USBnet and novacomd where the novacomd process will consume lots of CPU and your machine will become very unresponsive. Since you have Task Manager up already, you can easily use it to kill novacomd if this occurs.
  6. Right-click on the new network, which probably be named Local Area Connection 2
  7. Select Properties
  8. Double click on Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
  9. Click Advanced
  10. UNCheck Automatic metric, put 100 in its place. This will keep Windows from attempting to route traffic over the Pre (it won't work anyway)
  11. Click OK
  12. If you did not enable DHCP, you will need to set an IP address manually:
# Set your IP address as ( could be anything except, assuming this is the Pre's address)
# Subnet mask:
# Default Gateway: (your Pre's address for the usb0 interface)
# Set DNS to your preferred servers. Addresses are not currently resolving for me, regardless of the server I use
  1. Hit OK

The network should now be setup. To verify, ssh to, and you should be prompted for a login.


  • This has only been tested on Windows XP 32 bit. For Windows 2000, you will need an additional download from Microsoft. The link is in the header of the INF file.

- From zinge: I have several confirmations via the precentral forums that this only works on XP sp3. Sp2 gives "error code 10, the device cannot start". Has anyone followed this process and had it work on XP sp2? Update: Upgraded to SP3 on my laptop, and it immediately started working.

  • The 64 bit driver is unverified at this point, but I think it works.
  • wayne47: I was having all kinds of issues with this on my WinXP notebook. Clicking on the //safely remove hardware// icon in the tray indicated two devices associated with the Pre: Novacom and a USB drive. Stopping the Novacom service resolved the issues. Note that I need to do this each time that I attach the Pre via USB.

On Mac OS X

mdklein notes that as of 1.0.4 the g_composite driver appears to only operate usbnet in rndis mode which is not the method OS-X includes. He has made a version that implements CDC-ECM, but it breaks a few other things. Working on this.

Allegedly, Mac OS X 10.4 should create a usb0 interface after you plug in a usbnet enabled pre. 10.5 needs a modified driver, which is not working for me (and carazy) yet. See for more details.

Windows Vista (64-bit)

  • If driver/device fails to come online in network sharing center, simply click start->right click computer-> properties ... Click Device manager and look for the device "Linux USB Ethernet/RNDIS Gadget" you can then right click disable/enable the device. That's all.
  • This device/driver can also be cycled with MS Windows own DevCon application.

Windows 7 RC Build 7100 (64-bit)

  • User lars47 confirms this is working on Windows 7 x64. Wrestled with the driver installation at first, it would not install, Windows complained of a file in use. I rebooted, and the next time I plugged in the Pre via USB, it "just worked". Unsure if I caused the problem, or if a reboot is required/recommended.

Linux Support

Once usbnet was enabled on the Pre, my Ubuntu 9.04 (64 bit) immediately identified the Pre in the NetworkManager and worked without modification to the OS. It seems to already have a driver that works.

Return to the next steps page: Next Steps .