Globe Tattoo on Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04

Update: Confirmed that the device Just Works in Ubuntu Karmic 9.10. No need to install udev-extras and fiddle with udev rules.

Globe Tattoo mobile internet service is officially supported in Windows and MacOS X, but it should work in a Linux installation with a recent kernel.

My Tattoo unit is marked Huawei E1552 HSDPA USB Stick. Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 recognized it as a HUAWEI Mass Storage/MMC Storage device. According to this web page:

Several new USB devices (especially high-speed wireless WAN stuff, there seems to be a chipset from Qualcomm offering that feature) have their MS Windows drivers onboard; when plugged in for the first time they act like a flash storage and start installing the driver from there. After that (and on every consecutive plugging) this driver switches the mode internally, the storage device vanishes (in most cases), and a new device (like an USB modem) shows up. The WWAN gear maker Option calls that feature “ZeroCD (TM)”.

The web page then explains how to install a tool (USB_ModeSwitch) to help perform the “mode switch” in Linux. I prefer to work within the distro’s official repositories, however, and fortunately, Ubuntu provides a similar tool, modem-modeswitch, in the udev-extras package.

Here’s what I did under Ubuntu 9.04 for my Huawei E1552 Globe Tattoo device:

  1. install the udev-extras package

    sudo apt-get install udev-extras
  2. create a file called /etc/udev/rules.d/62-option-modem-modeswitch.rules, and paste this line:

    ATTRS{idVendor}=="12d1", ATTRS{idProduct}=="1446", RUN+="modem-modeswitch -v 0x%s{idVendor} -p 0x%s{idProduct} -t option-zerocd"
  3. restart udev

    sudo /etc/init.d/udev restart

Now plug-in the Tattoo device. If you’re watching /var/log/messages, you should see the kernel detecting the device as a mass storage device, then disconnecting the device, then finally detecting it as a USB GSM modem. (Interestingly, lsusb reports the device to be a Huawei E620 USB Modem.)

If your device isn’t detected properly, try changing the values for idVendor and idProduct in Step 2 above. Use lsusb -v to find the values for your device. Also make sure that the rules file you saved in /etc/udev/rules.d/ has a higher number prefix than the similary-named rules file in /lib/udev/rules.d/.

You should then create a mobile broadband network connection via the NetworkManager applet. I changed the APN to, following this post.

Sometimes when I try to connect, the modem will properly authenticate but then hang up. I just keep trying to connect until I am prompted for the password (globe). Connection usually succeeds after that. Still, I feel my connection is too slow. I have no way of determining if I’m connected to HSDPA or 3G or GPRS. Maybe someone out there can find out.

21 Responses to Globe Tattoo on Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04

  1. spot says:

    I think you should be able to determine your connection via the LED on the device. If its GREEN, BLUE, or CYAN. Then, you may check the documentation that goes with your device and see what each color means.

  2. Johann Tagle says:

    Neil! Thanks for this. I used to borrow a Huawei e220 and used it a number of times. When I got my own Globe Tattoo package with the e1552 last Friday, it actually worked without any config change. Then I was surprised to find out it wasn’t working today. Your method worked perfectly =).

    Re LED color – what sucks with my tattoo is it’s all black. Even the sticker is black. The problem with it is it blocks out the LED light.

    • Joanna says:

      Where can I purchase Globe Tattoo package with the e1552.
      My dog got my father’s and chewed it up. Any suggestions?

      Thank you

  3. miguel says:

    how can I unlock my globe tattoo and use the sim of smart to use the net of smart?I think this modem have been line for globe but I thinkthis can be unlock and ue a deffirent provider…what do you think?

    • michelle says:

      give me your Globe tattoo IMEI and I will give you the unlock code. WHen you insert a non-globe sim it will prompt you to enter unlock code. enter the one that i will give you.

    • daniel says:

      hi i need to do this, what is the IMEI though?

  4. ReAnK says:

    Thanks Neil. Everything worked flawlessly. I’m using MoonOS- an Ubuntu derivative that looks real good.

  5. ReAnK says:

    Made a script to automate the process here:

  6. Jay says:

    Thanks so much Neil!! Just followed your guide and got this working on a HP Mini 1000 running Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

  7. merlin says:

    I am using prepaid service in Davao. I found that the default settings for globe would not work with my prepaid service. My understanding is that postpaid service uses APN setting of (which I could not test) and that prepaid uses (which worked for me).

    Here are the settings for prepaid globe service:

    number: *99#
    username: globe
    password: globe

    network,pin,puk: blank

  8. lepton says:

    hey guys…
    patulong naman iinstall yung globe tattoo sa ubuntu koala karmic…hindi ko kasi mainstall kahit gumamit na ako ng WINE…
    thanks sa mga tips na ipopost nyo…

  9. Joshua says:

    Thank you very much for the info. I finally connected my Ubuntu 9.04 to the internet. Whew!

  10. Live says:

    My Globe Tattoo was autodetected in Karmic. Just use APN Then you’re all set, also you can install gnome-phone-manager and the port should be /dev/ttyUSBx where x can be 0, 1, or 2, just check on your /dev

  11. pj says:

    My globe tattoo was also autodetected but this day I was suddenly being asked for a password. Just updated my OS yesterday and that problem surfaced already

  12. Pearlseattle says:

    Thanks a lot – I used some of your informations to make my E1552 work. As I was a bit complicated I wrote this how-to:
    Hope it’s useful.

  13. Pingback: Huawei on Linux « Linux T&T

  14. jl says:

    Hello there. I’ve been able to connect to the internet in Karmic using the Network Manager. Apparently, that method does not work anymore in Lucid Lynx. It’s a problem because my Globe Tattoo is my only means to access the net. Hope you can help us out.

  15. mhelvin says:

    hai,,im connected to cproxy per month but when i am downloading a movie,the signal is lower and increase like high by 650kpbs ang lower by 11.56kbps when the blue color of tattoo prepaid i lower and higher by the green color.what can i do to stanby mode my green light.tnx

  16. franky says:

    hi Im using Kubuntu 10.4 and my globe tattoo heuwei E1552 was not recognized. rather it shows a label “Globe tattoe broadband” and as a storage device.

    Any help for Kubuntu 10.4 from you experts? Help Please… Thanks

  17. mj says:

    Hi. Please help me..
    My globe tattoo stick is not working in Microsoft surface
    It says “this app can’t run in your pc
    To find apps for this pc open windows store”

    What app will I have to download?
    Pls,pls. Tnx

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