USB Networking

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Openmoko Networking Setup

In order to communicate via TCP/IP to your FreeRunner, a basic understanding of the networking expectations is required. Each end of the USB connection forms a LAN (local area network) segment, with the FreeRunner's USB networking device at one end (default and your laptop or desktop at the other end ( in this guide).

NOTE: IP adresses are changed in new SHR-CORE images after 110822, phone host:

Normally, your desktop machine will know how to reach the Internet, having had its gateway (the IP address of the machine or device which knows how to send packets to machines beyond your subnet) configured via DHCP or statically (probably via a router). For the FreeRunner to reach the Internet, your desktop will have to be configured to route and masquerade (NAT) packets from it.

Normally, none of this is an issue, but problems can arise when the subnet between the FreeRunner and your desktop overlap with the desktop to the router (which forms a second LAN), since your desktop might not know how to route traffic properly.

In other words: if your existing router and desktop have addresses 192.168.0.(something) changing them to e.g. 192.168.1.(something) might save you a lot of troubleshooting later. A discussion of this is here.

Things to keep in mind


When the FreeRunner suspends it disables its USB networking interface. Therefore it is a good idea to turn off the FreeRunners suspend function when using USB networking.

So is it "usb0" or is it "eth1"?

  • The documentation below refers to the network interface name on the host side as "usb0". However, the actual name is determined by your host system, and many host systems will rename the interface based on the mac (or hardware) address presented by the Neo or Freerunner. Use the ifconfig -a command, or use dmesg to examine the output from your host's kernel, to find which interface name was actually assigned to your device. If it wasn't "usb0", it will almost always be the next available "ethn" name.

In all the steps below where you see the interface referred to as "usb0", you may need to substitute the interface name that your host assigned.

For those interested in the technical details, the "usb0" interface name is used on the host system when the mac (hardware) address presented by the Freerunner or Neo is a locally-generated (random) address. Because the address is random, the ability to easily manage the interface with network managment tools is somewhat compromised. In fact, the Freerunner has been assigned official mac addresses, including addresses for the USB network interface. When these addresses are correctly used on the Freerunner (which is the case with the Qi bootloader, and with certain of the distros for the Freerunner), then the host system sees official mac addresses, and responds by configuring a permanent network interface for that device. By convention, this permanent interface is one of the "eth" interfaces. The specific interface name chosen will be remembered, and will be used each time that specific Freerunner is connected, and used only for that Freerunner. This is a particularly useful feature for users who have multiple USB-networked devices.

As of the time of this writing, the Android and SHR distros will correctly pass the official mac address to the host, and will appear as "ethn" interfaces on the host.

My distro

There are many differences between distributions, both on the phone and on the desktop. Also within a single distribution there can be big changes over time, so remember that solutions provided here might not always exactly match your situation.

If all your approaches fail, you might want to consider using Knoppix (6.3 WorkedForMe(tm)) or another live distribution.

NOTE: IP adresses are changed in new SHR-CORE images, phone host: so use theses adresses if you use the manual

Simple Manual Linux Configuration

Try this first (as root on your desktop, with FreeRunner attached via USB cable and booted properly, not at the Boot Menu). If it works, then you can add permanent configuration or use more sophisticated setups below.

The shortest way

This simple way has been tested with many Linux distributions (Fedora, SuSE, Red Hat, Debian and others) and network configurations. It was even successfully applied to connect another Linux based handhelds like TDS Nomad and surely can be recommended as the first attempt. The way assumes that you have the recent Linux distribution with USB networking enabled and also rather typical network setup.

With the device connected configure usb0 interface (as root or via sudo like in this example):

sudo ip address add dev usb0
sudo ip link set dev usb0 up

or (deprecated)

sudo ifconfig usb0 netmask up

If your eth0 interface is also in the same 'range' (e.g. then you can do the following:

sudo route add -host dev usb0

The login

Log in to the Neo (you do not need to be a root on the desktop host just to log in).

$ ssh root@

On some SHR Version the default root password is blank.

If you get an error like: "Permission denied, please try again." try to set a new password on the phone:

open a terminal on the phone and type:


then enter a new password and establish a new ssh connection.

Note that an empty passwords won't work on some SHR releases!

Do not forget to allow ssh (open the port 22) on your firewall so that you can connect to the device. If you suspect any firewall issues, the simplest way is to unplug the main Internet cable leaving only Neo connected and then temporary turn the firewall off.

Also, some old or narrowly configured Linux distributions may not have USB networking support. For such cases the simple way might be just to upgrade.

The more advanced way

If the previously described simple approach does not work, you may try the more complex one.

sudo iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -j MASQUERADE -s
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.ip_forward=1
sudo ip addr add dev usb0

If your Internet connection is also in the range 192.168.0.x then instead you might want to use only:

sudo ip addr add dev usb0

(This will just map the net from to onto usb0. If you get the error 'Cannot find device "usb0"', double-check that your FreeRunner is turned on and connected by USB. Ensure also that the uhci_hcd module is loaded on your PC. If that doesn't work, try unplugging and replugging the USB cable.)

And in this case you should enable ARP proxy on internet facing interface INSTEAD of using iptables:

sudo sysctl net.ipv4.conf.eth2.proxy_arp=1

This assuming that eth2 is connected to ISP.


sudo ip link set usb0 up

or (deprecated)

sudo ifconfig usb0 up

Then (ideally, not as root):

ssh root@

The default password is blank.

Due to the fact that in most cases your Neo will use the same dns servers as your computer uses, you can automate the process of writing dns servers to your phone:

/sbin/route add -host dev usb0
iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -j MASQUERADE -s
sysctl -w net.ipv4.ip_forward=1
scp /etc/resolv.conf root@

Again if your net already is, replace the POSTROUTING statement with

iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -j MASQUERADE -s

This simple script will set up routing for your Freerunner and than copy resolv.conf with dns addresses straight to the phone. All you have to do is connect phone to the computer, run the script and enjoy internet connection from your phone.

Changing the Neo IP address

Like mentioned above, if the default Neo subnet 192.168.0.X is already used, it might be necessary to change the Neo IP adress and subnet. To achieve this, edit /etc/network/interfaces on the Neo (and do "/etc/init.d/networking restart"). In the following example the Neo will use the IP address (instead of the default within the network 192.168.100.X (instead of 192.168.0.X), another private class C network. (The netmask indicates that the first 3 bytes (all bits set) are used to determine the subnet and the last byte (no bits set) to determine the machine.) The gateway (the computer, the Neo is attached to) also has to be part of the subnet and is expected to be (instead of here.

Modifications for /etc/network/interfaces:

auto usb0
iface usb0 inet static

(The network entry seems to be redundant information, since it can be derived from address and netmask?) Note that wiki articles usually expect default settings and you have to adjust the IP adress, gateway, etc entries according to your changes.

Linux Kernel Support

Your Linux desktop/laptop needs to have suitable support. In particular you will need to have enabled USB networking and masquerading support in the kernel. For default kernels in many Linux distributions this will already be the case.

USB Networking support

The following options need to be enabled:

  • CONFIG_USB_USBNET (Multi-purpose USB Networking Framework. Module will be called usbnet)
  • CONFIG_USB_NET_CDCETHER (CDC Ethernet support. Module will be called cdc_ether)

These options are available in Device Drivers -> USB support -> USB Network Adapters or Device Drivers -> Network Device Support -> USB Network Adapters.

In order for USB networking to work you need to load the cdc_ether module (when loading cdc_ether the module usbnet will be loaded automatically). For more info see the usbnet driver homepage.


Masquerading support

Masquerading options are found in Networking ---> Networking options ---> (tested on Linux

To enable the needed options you first have to enable:

  • CONFIG_NETFILTER (Network packet filtering framework (Netfilter))

Then, from

Networking ---> Networking options ---> [*] Network packet filtering framework (Netfilter) ---> Core Netfilter Configuration --->

You need at least following options enabled as modules:

  • CONFIG_NF_CONNTRACK (Netfilter connection tracking support)
  • CONFIG_NF_CONNTRACK_FTP (FTP protocol support)
  • CONFIG_NETFILTER_XTABLES (Netfilter Xtables support)

Rest of the needed options are found from

Networking ---> Networking options ---> [*] Network packet filtering framework (Netfilter) ---> IP: Netfilter Configuration --->

You need to enable (again, as modules is fine):

  • CONFIG_NF_CONNTRACK_IPV4 (IPv4 connection tracking support (required for NAT))
  • CONFIG_IP_NF_IPTABLES (IP tables support (required for filtering/masq/NAT))

Firewall Issues

On some systems, you may have firewall rules which prevent this working - such as added by the iptables service on Fedora. You may care to stop these, and/or review any rules or policies you think might cause issues.

The most relevant table is the nat table, which controls translation of addresses:

iptables -L -t nat -v -n

Unless you have a special setup, you'll want to see only the MASQUERADE rule that you apply below, and ACCEPT as the default policy. Also look at the filter table:

iptables -L -t filter -v -n

If this contains anything in the FORWARD chain, then this may prevent passing packets. It can be flushed with:

iptables -t filter -F FORWARD

Other Issues

In case the Freerunner was recognized and you could assign the IP address to the device, but you get after trying to connect with 'ssh root@' an error like:

 ssh: connect to host port 22: No route to host 

Then your USB cable could be broken. Try to connect with another cable.

Regular drop-outs

If you've connected, and your connection keeps dropping and then coming back up, make sure that you don't have automatic wireless network connections - in some distros, the the wireless connection scripts automatically disable the usb network interface.


In addition to routing issues, to be practical, DNS will need to work. In some cases, you might already be running a DNS server on your desktop such as dnsmasq or bind9, which is the default assumption the FreeRunner makes. In other cases, you'll need to configure DNS to that of your router, or a DNS server further out on the internet such as that provided by your ISP.

Configure Default Neo DNS

DNS is configured in /etc/resolv.conf on your FreeRunner.

You should add the IP address of the DNS servers as provided by your ISP. Check your router's or PC's network status for the nameserver IP addresses.

echo nameserver > /etc/resolv.conf

You can also add the public DNS server called openDNS:

echo nameserver > /etc/resolv.conf
echo nameserver >> /etc/resolv.conf

These settings will be lost on reboot. You can set the DNS for the next connect, by adding the following to the end of the usb0 setting in /etc/network/interfaces, right above the bluetooth networking section:

up echo nameserver > /etc/resolv.conf
up echo nameserver >> /etc/resolv.conf

Proxying DNS from Desktop/Laptop

If you move about, making assumptions about the network may not be convenient, and it is possible to proxy DNS requests via your host laptop (which you are also taking with you), without running or installing a DNS server. There are a number of ways to do this:

Proxying with dnrd

The script is designed to use dnrd as the DNS proxy. The script and a copy of dnrd are available. The script also performs the initial setup of the connection as per the USB_Networking#Manual_method above.

Proxying with a UDP forwarder

Another easy setup is using a UDP forwarder like the one from (BROKEN LINK REMOVED) - use it with the command"

udpf-elf -p=53-f=`awk '$1 == "nameserver"{print $2; exit(0);}' /etc/resolv.conf`:53

Proxying with iptables

It is possible to forward DNS requests with iptables using the DNAT target:

iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -p tcp -s -d --dport domain -j DNAT --to-destination
iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -p udp -s -d --dport domain -j DNAT --to-destination

Where is the IP of your router.

Test if it works:


If so, then this is sufficient for most internet access. But manual changes to resolv.conf are usually lost later if for example one uses DHCP, especially for WiFi, and so may not be convenient to configure manually.

Testing Your Connection

You should be able to connect to your Neo! Make sure you can ping your Neo to be sure. ping

Then log into your Neo using ssh: ssh root@ The default password is blank (press enter).

You can also scp files back and forth. You can telnet, SSH, SMB or do whatever you want if you install software that enables you to set up TCP/IP network over your USB connection.

Now, make sure you can ping back to your desktop ping (Note that some systems like Vista, don't respond to ICMP ping by default)

Try pinging the outside world (a Google IP address) ping This demonstrates that masquerading is working - your desktop is sending/receiving packets to the wider internet.

Lastly, verify that DNS is correctly configured between the Neo & Network: ping

Connection script

With the contents of this page I made this script to easily get your FreeRunner connected with your PC.

All you have to do is run the script (after connect the FR to the PC):

sudo sh

You have to:

  1. Disconnect FreeRunner
  2. Connect it again
  3. Re-run the script and voila the connection is there!
  • It needs root privileges to be executed for the iptables and sysctl commands (if you don't like sudo, login as root instead)
  • It uses the eth1 interface so on OM and other distros different from SHR, you have to put usb0
  • Thanks to Tony Berth: if the first time you run the script you can't ping/access

OS or Distro Specific & Automatic Configuration

Based on Hotplugging usbnet (BROKEN LINK REMOVED) by Marcin 'Hrw' Juszkiewicz. These instructions should keep you from having to run the Simple Manual Linux Configuration every time you plug in and want to connect to an Openmoko device. One run and then you're done!

If the Simple Manual Linux Configuration does not work for your OS or Distro (MacOS X, MS Windows, etc) there may be instructions here that work for you.


See MacOS X USB Networking.


See Windows USB Ethernet emulation for Neo1973.

There is also a very helpful tutorial for connecting with Vista at [1].


You need to load the cdce kernel module (if it is not already linked into your kernel). As root do:

# kldload cdce

The Neo should then show up as cdce0 interface and you can handle the cdce0 interface just like the usb0 device under Linux. For more information see the cdce manpage. An easy way to assign the IP address to the cdce0 interface is using the devd(8) daemon. Create the following two files,

/usr/local/etc/devd/cdce.conf as:

notify 1 {
match "system"          "IFNET";
match "subsystem"       "cdce0";
match "type"            "ATTACH";
action "/usr/local/etc/devd/ $subsystem $type";

and /usr/local/etc/devd/ as:

case $2 in
ifconfig cdce0 netmask
exit 0 ;
exit 0

Then restart the devd(8) daemon with:

# /etc/rc.d/devd restart

If you now plugin the FreeRunner into the USB port the cdce0 interface gets created and the IP addr will be assigned.


If your kernel report kernel: ugen5.2: <Linux 2.6.29-20100118.gita15608> at usbus5

add to /etc/devd.conf:

attach 100 {
        device-name "ugen[0-9]+";
        match "vendor" "0x1457";
        match "product" "0x5122";
        action "perl /usr/local/etc/ /dev/$device-name";

If your kernel report kernel: ugen1.2: <Linux 2.6.34.x.y.z> at usbus5 (it happens for QtMokov28)

add to /etc/devd.conf:

attach 100 {
        device-name "ugen[0-9]+";
        match "vendor" "0x0525";
        match "product" "0xa4a2";
        action "perl /usr/local/etc/ /dev/$device-name";

The two entryes in /etc/devd.con can coexists, so it's a good idea to have both inserted. Anyway you can collect all the required information for your actual distribution with usbconfig. For example:

# usbconfig | grep -i linux
ugen1.2: <RNDIS/Ethernet Gadget Linux with s3c2410_udc> at usbus1, cfg=1 md=HOST spd=FULL (12Mbps) pwr=ON

#usbconfig -d ugen1.2 dump_device_desc
ugen1.2: <RNDIS/Ethernet gadget Linux with s3c2410_udc> at usbus1, cfg=1 md=HOST spd=FULL (12Mbps) pwr=ON

  bLength = 0x0012 
  bDescriptorType = 0x0001 
  bcdUSB = 0x0200 
  bDeviceClass = 0x0002 
  bDeviceSubClass = 0x0000 
  bDeviceProtocol = 0x0000 
  bMaxPacketSize0 = 0x0008 
  idVendor = 0x0525 
  idProduct = 0xa4a2 
  bcdDevice = 0x0312 
  iManufacturer = 0x0001  <Linux with s3c2410_udc>
  iProduct = 0x0002  <RNDIS/Ethernet Gadget>
  iSerialNumber = 0x0000  <no string>
  bNumConfigurations = 0x0002 

Create /usr/local/etc/

my ($u, $ad) = $ARGV[0] =~ /(\d+)\.(\d+)$/;
print ("usage: $0 /dev/ugen4.2\n"), exit unless (length $u and length $ad);
print `usbconfig -u $u -a $ad set_config 1
#ifconfig ue0 link 00:1f:11:01:71:62 # uncomment if moko reports: usb0: duplicate address detected!
ifconfig ue0`;

Debian, Ubuntu and others

There are two systems which deal with hotplugginng devices, which is what you do when you plug in Freerunner in an USB port. udev and the older Hotplug system.

Systems using udev

There are 2 common ways the USB networking device can be handled by your systems.

If there is a definition for the USB networking device in /etc/network/interfaces, it is handled by the ifupdown system. If not, it is handled by NetworkManager.

It is possible to use network-manager to automatically connect to the Freerunner using udev. The process uses udev to run a script when the Freerunner is plugged in.

For devices showing as usb0

The script uses the ip command to set the mac address of the usb network interface.

To begin, create /etc/udev/rules.d/80-freerunner.rules :

# This file causes programs to be run on device insertion.
# See udev(7) for syntax.
# rule to assign a fixed mac address specified in /
KERNEL=="usb[0-9]*", DRIVERS=="cdc_ether", ACTION=="add", RUN+="/usr/local/sbin/ %k"

Next, create the /usr/local/sbin/ :

busNum=$( printf %.2d $( expr match "$1" "usb\([0-9]*\)") )
ip link set "$1" address 00:00:22:55:bb:$busNum &> /dev/null
iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -j MASQUERADE -s
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
) &
exit 0

For devices showing as eth1

This script allows ipforwarding so your device can access the internet through your pc.

To begin, create /etc/udev/rules.d/80-freerunner.rules replacing the mac address with the one from your device (run ifconfig on the pc, or use udevinfo, note that it must match udev's case):

# This file causes programs to be run on device insertion.
# See udev(7) for syntax.
KERNEL=="eth*", ATTR{address}=="00:1f:11:01:28:d6", RUN+="/usr/local/sbin/"

Next, create the /usr/local/sbin/ :

iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -j MASQUERADE -s
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
) &
exit 0

For all devices

Finally run

 chmod +x /usr/local/sbin/

to make it executable. Now you can use network-manager with mac-address specific settings and get it to automatically connect.

  • Plug your phone into your computer's usb port.
  • Note the mac address from "ifconfig usb0" (or eth1)
  • Right-click the network manager icon in the panel.
  • Click "Edit Connections..."
  • Delete the "Auto usb0" entry. (or eth1)
  • Add a new connection named 'freerunner' (or whatever you fancy)
  • Tick "System setting"
  • Enter the mac address from above.
  • Click the "IPv4 Settings" tab.
  • Change "Method" to "Manual"
  • Add an address of, (address and netmask respectively).
  • Click "Ok"
  • Enter your system password (if prompted) to allow changing of this system setting.

(watch out for this bug: )

You should now be able to ping/ssh your phone.

Systems using hotplug - Using the interfaces file

Edit /etc/network/interfaces and add:

# freerunner
allow-hotplug usb0
iface usb0 inet static
        up iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -s -j MASQUERADE
        up echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
        down iptables -D POSTROUTING -t nat -s -j MASQUERADE

This is more sophisticated than the manual setup. The 'auto usb' stanza ties into the Linux hotplug system so that when the device appears and vanishes, as happens when the FreeRunner is connected via USB, this is run.

In addition, the desktop-side netmask is limited to a much smaller range, so that overlapping subnets are less of a problem - Linux will use more specific routes first when deciding where to send packets.

Another possible configuration that adds DNS forward and removes the iptables changes after unplugging:

in /etc/network/interfaces add

# freerunner
allow-hotplug usb0
iface usb0 inet static
        post-up /etc/network/freerunner start
        pre-down /etc/network/freerunner stop

create file /etc/network/freerunner

# configures the freerunner for internet


# get first ip for dns
DNSIP=$(awk '$1 == "nameserver"{print $2; exit(0);}' /etc/resolv.conf)

case "$1" in
iptables -A PREROUTING -t nat -p tcp -s $REMOTE_IPADDR -d $IPADDR --dport domain -j DNAT --to-destination $DNSIP
iptables -A PREROUTING -t nat -p udp -s $REMOTE_IPADDR -d $IPADDR --dport domain -j DNAT --to-destination $DNSIP

if [ "$(cat /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward)" = "0" ]; then
echo "temoprarely allow ip_forward for openmoko" > /var/run/openmoko.ip_forward
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
iptables -D PREROUTING -t nat -p tcp -s $REMOTE_IPADDR -d $IPADDR --dport domain -j DNAT --to-destination $DNSIP
iptables -D PREROUTING -t nat -p udp -s $REMOTE_IPADDR -d  $IPADDR --dport domain -j DNAT --to-destination $DNSIP

if [ -f /var/run/openmoko.ip_forward ]; then
rm /var/run/openmoko.ip_forward
echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward

Make /etc/network/freerunner executable with

chmod +x /etc/network/freerunner

Ubuntu 9.10 - the Karmic Koala

Karmic has a bug in one of the upstart scripts, that makes it fail to properly bring down an unplugged network device (not just USB networking).

Edit /etc/init/network-interface.conf and replace this line

stop on net-device-removed INTERFACE=$INTERFACE

... with this

stop on net-device-remove INTERFACE=$INTERFACE

If you use /etc/network/interfaces, make sure the device is marked 'auto'. Plugging and unplugging will then work automatically.

('allow-hotplug' doesn't work, because upstart on ubuntu doesn't support 'allow-hotplug' defined devices)

Ubuntu 9.04 - the Jaunty Jackalope

One can see /etc/udev/rules.d that a device plugged in on USB will be called eth1 (or eth2 etc.). Go to System->Administration->Network (or edit /etc/network/interfaces) and add the parameters for eth1; static ip, netmask

Ubuntu 8.10 - Easy Way

1. Connect Neo to PC and wait about a minute when NetworkManager stops scanning usb for dhcp (wait when icon in the tray switches to normal).
2. Open "nm-connection-editor", select "Auto usb0", click "Edit", then "IPv4 Settings". Set "Method" - "Manual", click "Add". In the "Address" field write "", "Netmask" - "", leave "Gateway" field empty (or Change the "Connection name" and click "Apply", then "Close".
3. Now you can connect via ssh to

Note: After reflashing the Neo you have to copy the "MAC Address" from "Auto usb0" into your new connection.

Then, based on these instructions (BROKEN LINK REMOVED), you should be able to setup masquerading by running the following commands on your Ubuntu PC:

sudo iptables -I INPUT 1 -s -j ACCEPT
sudo iptables -I OUTPUT 1 -s -j ACCEPT
sudo iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -j MASQUERADE -s
sudo bash -c 'echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward'

Ubuntu Issues

Ubuntu 8.10 doesn't work as expected if you used /etc/network/interfaces to automate the connection.
Network manager likes to latch onto the network device and add a default route through, breaking your network connection. Network manager also says you can't edit or remove this connection from its list. I'm going back to making the connection manually.
Using the /usr/local/sbin/ script for some automatism can be a workaround:

ip address add netmask dev usb0 > /dev/null
ip link set usb0 up > /dev/null
/etc/network/freerunner start
) &
exit 0

Ubuntu Feisty, Gutsy and Hardy reportedly have a bug where ifdown is not run when the interface is unplugged, meaning this only works once after the system is booted. This is mentioned at

One can patch /etc/udev/rules.d/85-ifupdown.rules. Moving the DRIVERS=="*?" out of the top GOTO, to ACTION=="add" line fixes the problem.

SUBSYSTEM=="net", GOTO="net_start"


# Bring devices up and down only if they're marked auto.
# Use start-stop-daemon so we don't wait on dhcp
ACTION=="add", DRIVERS=="?*",       RUN+="/sbin/start-stop-daemon --start --background --pidfile /var/run/network/bogus --startas /sbin/ifup -- --allow auto $env{INTERFACE}"
ACTION=="remove",       RUN+="/sbin/start-stop-daemon --start --background --pidfile /var/run/network/bogus --startas /sbin/ifdown -- --allow auto $env{INTERFACE}"


The bug is that the DRIVERS variable isn't set at all when the device is unplugged.

This appears to be fixed in Ubuntu 8.04 Mattt 11:38, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Actually it appears that it's not fixed, but patching that file and disconnecting and reconnecting the phone works perfectly. --Johndoesacc 18:37, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, yes, it must be fixed because it worked for me out-of-the-box without tweaking the udev rule on 8.04 --EtienneG November 26th, 2008
It wasn't solved in my case, as of 3. February 2009 in 8.04 (AMD64), the patch above solved my problem thou. --VilleWitt February 3td, 2009.

Iptables Configuration with GUI

Firestarter can be used to allow the freerunner to connect to the internet without manually running iptables commands. Firestarter is in the ubuntu repositories and can be installed with a

sudo aptitude install firestarter

Once installed, the firestarter go to

  • Edit > preferences dialog > network setting section,
  • choose internet connection device (e.g. eth0)
  • choose loacl area network device your Freerunner (generally usb0). You can select the device with a drop-down box, which is labeled "Local network connected device." Select the freerunner, generally "Unknown device(usb0)"
  • check the "Enable internet connection sharing" box. Uncheck local network DHCP and the freerunner should be able to access the internet.

Tested in

  • Ubuntu 8.10--Makito February 26, 2009
  • Ubuntu 9:04--David September 2009
  • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, Niebert July 2010
NOTE: Firestarter needs to run as root. Be aware that when firestarter is running it by default blocks all incoming connections, so if you where using your linux box as a mail-server, web-server or whatever those connections will be blocked. It is quick and easy to add exceptions for whatever protocol you are using in the policy tab of firestarter.

Ubuntu Workaround

Use wicd instead of networkmanager: It is much further in development than networkmanager yet and doesn't make any problems with USB networking. You can use the "normal" settings in /network/interfaces.

Because of it's dependencies it deinstalls networkmanager.

Ubuntu and QI

If you have trouble connecting to the freerunner after installing qi, check to see if the address has changed to eth<n>. Many host systems will assign eth<n> addresses when they detect an official (non-locally-generated) mac address on the usb network connection. Qi passes in the official Openmoko USB mac address; u-boot does not.


This first file configures the network system for the usb0 interface. Any time you plug in the FreeRunner the interface will be configured.



This next file configures the static routes that we need to communicate to the subnet. Since it has "usb0" in the name, the system will automatically apply these static routes any time that the usb0 interface is configured. (i.e. when you connect the FreeRunner)



Now we need to restart the network system to pick up the changes.

service network restart

This didn't work for me (Mandriva 2008.1), giving errors from Shorewall. However, simply using MCC, Network->Sharing Internet Access worked fine. You need to connect Neo when starting it. --Alih 18:50, 22 September 2008 (UTC)



# USB configuration for PDAs (openmoko)

For more information on getting USB networking up using YaST, see USB Networking with openSUSE.


Option A - Tested with FC9, FC8 & FC5

edit file /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-usb0 to look like this:

# USB configuration for PDAs (openmoko)
# from

and restart networking service by typing:

service network restart

if your openmoko is connected when you restart network you should see system message:

Bringing up interface usb0 [OK]

Option B

This setup is probably over-complex:




cd /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts
[ -f ../network ] && . ../network
need_config ${CONFIG}
NETBITS=`ipcalc -p ${IPADDR} ${NETMASK} | awk -F'=' '{print $2;}'`
/sbin/ip addr flush dev ${DEVICE} 2>/dev/null
/sbin/ip link set dev ${DEVICE} up
/sbin/ip addr add dev ${DEVICE} ${IPADDR}/${NETBITS}
/sbin/iptables -I POSTROUTING -t nat -j MASQUERADE -s ${IPADDR}/${NETBITS}
/sbin/sysctl net.ipv4.ip_forward=1
/sbin/iptables -I FORWARD -s ${IPADDR}/${NETBITS} -j ACCEPT
/sbin/iptables -I FORWARD -d ${IPADDR}/${NETBITS} -j ACCEPT

Set /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifdown-usb:

cd /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts
[ -f ../network ] && . ../network
need_config ${CONFIG}
NETBITS=`ipcalc -p ${IPADDR} ${NETMASK} | awk -F'=' '{print $2;}'`
/sbin/iptables -D FORWARD -d ${IPADDR}/${NETBITS} -j ACCEPT
/sbin/iptables -D FORWARD -s ${IPADDR}/${NETBITS} -j ACCEPT
/sbin/sysctl net.ipv4.ip_forward=0
/sbin/iptables -D POSTROUTING -t nat -j MASQUERADE -s ${IPADDR}/${NETBITS}
/sbin/ip link set dev ${DEVICE} down
/sbin/ip addr flush dev ${DEVICE} 2>/dev/null

If you are using NetworkManager, restart it and enable the usb device from its menu, otherwise it will disable your connection shortly after you enable it.

/sbin/service NetworkManager restart

Option C - tested on FC8, FC9 and F10

Plug in the usb cable. NetworkManager should detect the phone automatically but you should ignore it. Open Network Configuration tool (System -> Administration -> Network) and perform following steps:

  1. Click New button on top bar
  2. Click Forward
  3. Select OpenMoko from device list
  4. Click Forward
  5. Select 'Statically set IP address:' and enter address:, netmask (or use if you want only route ip range Leave gateway empty.
  6. Click Forward
  7. Click Apply to close add dialog
  8. Select newly added usb0 device from the device list.
  9. Click Edit button on top bar
  10. You might want to remove a tick from 'Activate device when computer starts' check box.
  11. Click Ok to close window dialog.

Save settings and close the window.

Open Firewall Configuration (System -> Administration -> Firewall) and enable masquerading:

  1. Select Masquerading from left panel
  2. Check device(s) which you'd like to share internet connection. Typically eth0 or wlan0.
  3. Click Apply and close application

Open terminal and perform (as root user):

  1. ifdown usb0
  2. ifup usb0

The first command will remove any existing settings given by the NetworkManager and second command brings the device up with appropriate settings.

Now you should be able to ping e.g. [] from OpenMoko. Configure /etc/resolv.conf and you should have full a internet access.


If Network Configuration tool cannot see the the usb0 try to unplug the usb cable for a few seconds and wait until the NetworkManager finds it again.

NetworkManager will assign a new ip address for the OpenMoko if link goes down for a while. You can fix this by issuing ifup usb0 again.

Option D - tested on Fedora 11 (Leonidas), Fedora 12 (Unite) and Fedora 13 (Goddard)

Plug in the usb cable. NetworkManager should detect the phone automatically. Perform following steps:

  1. Rightclick NetworkManager Icon
    1. Click Edit Connections ...
    2. Type root password when requested
    3. Select first entry in List (eg. Auto eth1)
    4. Click Edit
    5. Change Connectionname to neo freerunner
    6. Chose tab IPv4 Properties
    7. Choose manual in Drop-Down-Box Method
    8. Click Add at Adresses
    9. Enter this values:
      1. Address:
      2. Netmask:
      3. Gateway:
    10. Click Apply
    11. Click Close on dialog "network connections"
  2. Open Shell (as root)
    1. Enter iptables -I FORWARD -j ACCEPT -d
    2. Enter iptables -I FORWARD -j ACCEPT -s
    3. Enter iptables -I POSTROUTING -t nat -j MASQUERADE -s
    4. Enter /etc/init.d/iptables save
    5. Enter chkconfig iptables on
    6. Enter sed -i -e 's/net.ipv4.ip_forward =.*/net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1/' /etc/sysctl.conf
    7. Enter sysctl -p


Red Hat or Similar (tested with Workstation 5)

Edit /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/net.hotplug:

After this command:

case $INTERFACE in
# interfaces that are registered after being "up" (?)


ifconfig usb0 netmask
route add usb0
iptables -I INPUT 1 -s -j ACCEPT
iptables -I OUTPUT 1 -s -j ACCEPT
iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -j MASQUERADE -s
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
exit 0


Open /etc/conf.d/net and add:

# Neo
config_usb0=( " netmask" )
routes_usb0=( " via" )

Create a new init script:

cd /etc/init.d
ln -s net.lo net.usb0

Manual Configuration

Put iptables into use:

iptables -I INPUT 1 -s -j ACCEPT
iptables -I OUTPUT 1 -s -j ACCEPT
iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -j MASQUERADE -s

Store them:

/etc/init.d/iptables save

If you want the routing by default:

rc-update add iptables default

You must also inform the kernel, to start forwarding.

echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward

Automatic Configuration

One way to automate all this is to create /etc/conf.d/net.usb0 as follows. It sets IP forwarding and the iptables rules all in one go. It removes the iptables rules and disables ip forwarding when the FreeRunner is unplugged. Therefore the net.usb0 service must be hotpluggable (/etc/rc.conf or /etc/conf.d/rc).

preup() {
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
iptables -I INPUT 1 -s -j ACCEPT
iptables -I OUTPUT 1 -s -j ACCEPT
iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -j MASQUERADE -s
return 0

postdown() {
echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
iptables -D INPUT -s -j ACCEPT
iptables -D OUTPUT -s -j ACCEPT
iptables -D POSTROUTING -t nat -j MASQUERADE -s
return 0

Slackware (tested with 12.1)

Following is based on Enrico Zini's solution (404 LINK REMOVED).

Create a new udev rules file /etc/udev/rules.d/91-openmoko.rules:

SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="add", ATTRS{idVendor}=="1457", ATTRS{idProduct}=="5122", RUN+="/sbin/om-usb $env{INTERFACE} start"
SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="remove", ENV{INTERFACE}=="usb[0-9]", RUN+="/sbin/om-usb $env{INTERFACE} stop"

Then create the script /sbin/om-usb:


# udev fails silently when the script fails, e.g. due to commands not
# being found

case $ACTION in
# Put all your setup here
# Put all your tear down here
echo "Usage: $0 {start|stop}"
exit 1

The INTERFACE will be usb0 in most cases.


Following is based on furester's solution.

Install package openmoko-usb-networking from AUR:

$ yaourt -S openmoko-usb-networking

SSH Extras

Reportedly, the ssh daemon (dropbear 0.49) on the FreeRunner appears to have a bug when sending the exit status back to the client. From time to time you receive an exit status of 255.

To avoid ssh adding a new line for every ssh host-key to your known_hosts you can add the following to the phone section in ~/.ssh/config (or see the snippet at : USB Networking#Changing_host_keys bellow)

UserKnownHostsFile /dev/null

You might want to use keys to bypass the login prompt too.

SSH Keys

From desktop to FreeRunner

To generate ssh keys for use as a login mechanism type:

user@host$ ssh-keygen -t rsa

When prompted for a password either hit enter for no password (not really a good idea) or enter a password for this key. ssh into the phone and create ~/.ssh:

root@phone# mkdir ~/.ssh

Then from your desktop copy the .pub file to the phone.

user@host$ scp ~/.ssh/ root@phone:~/.ssh/authorized_keys

You should now be able to ssh directly into the phone without a password prompt using a command like 'ssh root@phone' from the account user@host because the public key in the file user@host:~/.ssh/ is contained in the list of keys which have access in the file root@phone:~/.ssh/authorized_keys (since scp is used, only one key exists, but you can grant access to the phone from more than one account, for example user@host, user@laptop).

To make ssh login as root by default, add the following lines to ~/.ssh/config:

Host phone
User root

Replace phone with the hostname or ip of your phone. You should now be able to ssh into the phone without having to type root@ every time.

To disable password logins (after setting up key access) edit /etc/init.d/dropbear and change the following line:




You will need to restart dropbear for this to take effect.

From FreeRunner to Desktop

Generate the key:

dropbearkey -t rsa -f id_rsa

The output will look something like this:

Will output 1024 bit rsa secret key to 'id_rsa'
Generating key, this may take a while...
Public key portion is:
ssh-rsa AAAAB3Nza[...]
Fingerprint: md5 ca:e8:f0:b7:f6:7b:c2:b6:b9:71:e4:45:86:a9:ff:b8

Copy and paste the one line (in this example, starting with 'ssh-rsa' onto the end of the host's authorized_keys file (often in ~/.ssh/).

From the phone, ssh with -i:

ssh -i id_rsa user@host

Changing host keys

If you reflash, your hosts keys will change. Try this ~/.ssh/config snippet:

Host moko
StrictHostKeyChecking no
UserKnownHostsFile /dev/null
User root

This is suggested because ssh on your desktop may complain if the key matching a certain IP changes (stored in .ssh/known_hosts). Now you have set this, you can issue the following command to connect to your moko (the usual "root@" isn't required as it's set by the user section in the config file) :

ssh moko

GUI on desktop through SSH

To get the GUI on the FreeRunner onto the desktop via USB, you can use ssh as follows (execute on desktop):

xhost +
ssh -l root -X -v

Using this, run openmoko-finger-demo for example, and it will open up on the desktop. To get landscape view, just resize the GUI window on the desktop.

If you get an error like this:

dbus.exceptions.DBusException: org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.Spawn.ExecFailed: dbus-launch failed to autolaunch D-Bus session: Autolaunch requested, but X11 support not compiled in.

you need to set the DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS environment variable to the value on the FreeRunner before launching the process from your desktop. You can find the value of this variable by using a command such as

ps auxwwwwe | grep -m 1 DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS

Note that you must run that command on the FreeRunner. Back on your desktop, run the process you want with the env command like this:

env DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS=dbus_address process #(isn't the "env" redundant here?)

Display Remote Applications on FreeRunner

To get desktop apps to show up on your FreeRunner, first log in:

 ssh -l root

Then run:

 DISPLAY=:0 xhost +

After this you can close the ssh session. Back on the desktop computer, run:

 DISPLAY=openmoko:0 xclock

Note that the xhost command will allow remote applications on to access the X server. It will allow anyone on the desktop machine to access the X server of the neo, including snooping anything you type on it. To disallow remote applications again, run this in the neo:

 DISPLAY=:0 xhost -


After you get the SSH connection working, it is possible to use Konqueror, Nautilus or another sftp - enabled tool to browse the phone filesystem and deploy the test applications. Just enter sftp://root@ into address bar.


You can use sshfs to mount the phones filesystem into the hosts filesystem. Make sure that fuse-sshfs is installed and that you are allowed to use fuse. Now run:


REMOTE_PATH can now be accessed through LOCAL_PATH.

E.g. you create copy audio files to SD card create a directory on your desktop computer and mount the card via sshfs

 desktop# mkdir /mnt/freerunner
 desktop# mkdir /mnt/freerunner/card
 desktop# sshfs /mnt/freerunner/card

No the content of card of your FR can be access via /mnt/freerunner/card.

Automated setup network and mounting partitions

See Ubuntu bug report in launchpad.

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