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I have a Dell Latitude 7280 on which I'm trying to install Linux. One problem is that I've only mobile broadband. ATM I'm trying to install NixOS but it's unclear if I'll keep it (haven't tried it yet). My computer has a WWAN module (SIM card tray) but I'd like to use an external modem, as I'm swapping the SIM between computers and never have a paperclip to open the damn tray. Anyway, mmcli -L shows ...Modem/0 and mmcli -m 0 shows state: 'failed' and failed reason: 'sim-missing'. Since SIM isn't missing (the dongle works w/ Linux on another computer), I suspect the reason is that SIM's missing in the internal modem. Two questions:

  1. Is this conjecture likely correct?
  2. Is there a way to make the computer to use an external dongle instead of the inbuilt modem?
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i rigged a dell latitude e7240 with a sierra wireless pcie in the spare pcie slot (make sure the card 'not locked' (25$ on amazon), put a sim card from a functioning tmobile phone in the tray behind the battery, fired up kali, and boom- it was working, clicked 3 drop down boxes in the newly shown mobile connection menu, and have unlimited data 4glte. I'm just now trying to tunnel metasploit over this connection for wan instaead of lan testing.. good luck

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  • by the way,, 95% of the dell help forums and general help on internet said it wasn't possible - key is to make sure the sierra card is unlocked.. my first one was locked -wasted about 20 hours of troubleshooting – user329169 Dec 31 '18 at 7:50
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To semi-answer my questions..

  1. Yes, the conjecture is likely correct
  2. I think so

While plugging the dongle to different Linuxes and running lsusb, I noticed that the stick's product code on 7280 was different than on where it worked. From this I supposed that the issue could be fixed w/ usb_modeswitch. However, the NixOS install didn't have it. Neither did it have its dependencies. Nor its dependencies dependencies. Nor.. for Christ's sake, it didn't even have make! In short, I ended up installing a different distro (Xubuntu Core), where the stick worked more or less out-of-the-box

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