Fedora & 4G/5G hardware (USB or integrated) to access Internet - works fine with Fedora? Which hardware? "Common issues"?


I am considering to connect my Fedora notebook (and maybe soon its successor) directly to the Internet using a 4G / 5G USB adapter or an integrated adapter (some models can be integrated into my notebook; it has antenna). Does anyone have experience with that?

I am wondering if our vanilla kernel has “on average” drivers for such devices contained or if it is common that such hardware ain’t supported by default (I am not a fan of tainting the kernel). Feel free to suggest hardware that you have experience with :smiley:

Also, do we maybe have already some “common issues” with that? (e.g., complex configurations, requirements for customization in Fedora, unreliability, needs to regular adjust configurations, manual driver updates, or issues like that)

I appreciate any type of experience around using Fedora wih 4G/5G devices, may it be USB or integrated, or something else in case I forgot some possibility :slight_smile:

Using an external device for 4G/5G and then accessing this device through WiFi would be a possibility I would like to avoid :frowning:

It seems there exist some topics around specific devices, but most are very outdated, and it doesn’t really offer a clear picture of the use case and the possibilities with Fedora around it.

Here are two very good resources you can check:
USB WiFi Adapter Information for Linux
Linux Kernel Wireless Wiki

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Both seem to refer only to WiFi, not 4G/5G technologies. So what I mean is not a WiFi as a person can, e.g., host it themselves, but using the same cellular technology as smartphones to access the Internet directly (the same way as the smartphone accesses it, but without the need to have a smartphone or another device in between Internet and my Fedora).

So it’s about the cellular technologies: 4G - Wikipedia and 5G - Wikipedia (I should have mentioned the reference to cellular in the beginning, sorry)

But thanks for the quick response :slight_smile:

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This might be what you were looking for https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Mobile_broadband_modem

Otherwise search for “linux 4G”. The term “5G” can also mean 5 GHZ wifi, so not a good search term.

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Yeah, that’s one of the issues. All engines and shops auto-direct it to WiFi. But 4G isn’t much better, I get a lot of wifi results, and with the cellular-4G hardware I find, it is unclear if it is supported natively by vanilla kernels or if there are other limitations :frowning: I have already the list from Lenovo of stuff that is supported by my notebook, but it is unclear if it is supported by Linux. Vendor information is limited for such devices (if a device needs customized patches or so, it might be also incompatible with default nm/mm configurations, beyond the obvious security/stability issues). Therefore I was hoping some people who already used that technology directly with Fedora know examples that work out reliably :wink: The same for potential issues/limitations.

It doesn’t contain hardware, only how to configure hardware that is already supported natively. But the article gives “some hope” as it seems to take it for granted that hardware will work natively.

I guess I have to buy something and test if it works out with a default configuration of nm/mm. If I can identify hardware that works out I post here. Maybe others will find that useful too.

However, modemmanager might be a useful term to search for in order to get hardware examples, tests and experiences. Thanks for making me aware! I just became aware through the arch page you mentioned.