Blackberry for the rest of us
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Berry4All FAQ's & Troubleshooting

If it does not want to connect and you have a 3G service, try setting your phone to 2G, apparently some providers block tethering when in 3G mode ... it's sometimes possible to switch back to 3G after the connection is established

I was told by several peolle that on the newest debian/ubuntu (11.04) distros, ppd would only work with full paths to config files
So you might need to edit your provider file (ex: bbtether/conf/att and use a full path, example, replace:
connect "/usr/sbin/chat -f conf/claro-chat"
with something like:
connect "/usr/sbin/chat -f /home/john/bbtether/conf/claro-chat"


If you need help, you can contact me through twitter @tcolar.

How do I make a one click launcher / start icon

In gnome, right click the desktop and select "create launcher"
in the launcher tab / command field enter: ( replace /home/me/berry4all/ with the path you installed berry4all at)

/bin/bash -c "cd /home/me/berry4all/ && gksudo ./"

Click it to start it.

My DNS (/etc/resolv.conf) does not get updated on it's own, can I make a script to do that too ?

Sure, look at berry4all output to find what the DNS server for tethering is, lines like those:
primary DNS address
secondary DNS address

Then create(editor) a resolv-berry.conf file in the berry4all folder

Create(editor) a berry4all launch script, like so (same folder):
cp /etc/resolv.conf resolv.conf.back
cp resolv-berry.conf /etc/resolv.conf
#cp resolv.conf.back /etc/resolv.conf

Then run it from command line like so:

cd /home/me/berry4all sudo ./

Or create a gnome shortcut with command like this:

/bin/bash -c "cd /home/me/berry4all/ && gksudo ./"

Was told (Gus K.) that on Fedora/RH, this works better:
cd /tmp/bbtether && beesu bash ./

Will i be charged by my provider - How much

It is hard to answer this, every provider/plan is different, you can try to find that info on the provider plan / site.
Or you can try it just a little, say 1mb and check the bill smile
Either way usually you will want some sort of unlimited data plan, some providers might also have a dedicated tethering plan.
Myself i use the t-mobile 19.99 unlimited data plan, note that unless you have a special tethering plan, it's probably best not to abuse tethering usage, many provider have an undocumented 5GB monthly cap.
Either way i say, be reasonable, otherwise they might all start charging extra which would suck.

Usually you need an unlimited data plan or tether plan.

T-mobile usually works and does not charge anything, though it's slow..

Verizon, if you don't have a tether/data plan, will present you with a page asking to sign-up : 15$/month I think.

Many providers have an undocumented 5GB monthly cap .. but seriously that's a lot !

There is no config for my provider yet

The best thing then is to try and modify the generic config files.
They are named bbtether/conf/generic and bbtether/conf/generic-chat

At the minimum, you will need to change the APN in generic-chat (replace '')

You might also need to set the correct 'user' and 'password' values in the generic file
user "web"
password "web"

Sometimes the 'phone number' line in generic-chat needs to be changed, examples:
OK 'ATD*99#'
OK 'ATD*99***1#'
OK 'ATD*99***4#'
OK 'ATDT#777'

Here are some good links to find the proper APN, user & password for your phone providers:

If you do get a new provider working please send me the 2 config files and the name of the provider so I can add it to the standad distribution

What speed to expect

Here is some speed data for information.
With my provider t-mobile, it uses GPRS or EDGE (preferably), according to this wikipedia page the max download speed are 80kbps for GPRS and 236kbps for Edge), that's in kilobit per second, your browser often shows speed in KB (kiloBYTES), so they will appear 8 times slower (~10KB to ~30KB).
In my download test i got between 8KBs and 27KBs (or 2x to 6x modem speed) so that seems right.
If you are on a 3G network it should be faster obviously. for example EV-DO can go up to 700kbits/s (~12 times modem or about a low end DSL). One user on Sprint(CMDA) reported ~650kbps.

It IS possible to get faster speed by:
Editing your ppp file (ex: conf/tmobile) and change the line that says 115200 to a higher value (power of 2),
for example: 230400 or 460800 or 921600, the higher the better, as long as your phone can handle it.

You can also improve performance quite a lot by turning OFF logging (especially verbose logging)


Firefox says "Offline Mode"

On some version of linux (ubuntu) firefox goes into offline mode if the NetworkManager is not connected.
You can fix this by de-selecting (in firefox) File -> Work Offline.

It fails to connect .. or disconnects right away

I've been told by multiple users that it sometimes does NOT work in 3G mode.
In this case you can switch the phone to 2G only(Edge) to tether.
So far I don't know why it is the case (I don't have 3G myself).

It disconnects after a few minutes

Try commenting out novj in the conf file for your provider.

It's connected by i can't seem to browse to anything

Check that the /etc/resolv.conf got updated correctly, on some systems it does not.
See: #my_dns_etc_resolv_conf_does_not_get_updated_on_it_s_own_can_i_make_a_script_to_do_that_too_

No Carrier

If you get "No Carrier", you probably need to fix the pppd config.
Some like Verizon require you to put your actual phone number in there.
so see the file conf/yourprovider and see if you need to edit anything.

Also it is possible your plan juts has tethering blocked (you might have to call them to get it turned on)

It seems Sprint has blocked tethering all together since around Oct 09 !

Why needs to run as root?

Basically for it to work without being root, we need to tell UDEV (which detects and setup the device)to set different permissions.

Here is how it works and what to do in details:

Or for the quick version (you probably should still check the infos in the previous link)
Make RIM device WORLD read/writable
cd bbtether
sudo cp udev/99-bbtether.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/
sudo udevcontrol --reload-rules
# unplug and replug blackberry
# verify permissions: ls /dev/usbdev* -lai

If you use any PPP options that requires to be root, you will need to removed them, for example you cannot use "noauth" in your ppp config file (ex : conf/tmobile)
You should now be able to use berry4all as a regular user.

Can't claim interface

Another program is probably holding the interface:
try to look at lsmod output or dmsg after plugging the device.

OS X: on mac, the "PocketMac" software grabs the blackberry and will not let Berry4All Talk to it !, you will have to de-install it, and maybe also run sudo rm -rf /System/Library/Extensions/Blackberry*, then reboot. You can use the commandsudo kextstat to try to find find what is grabbing the BB.

Connects to modem but no internet

This is VERY important, if not set correctly, you won't be able to authenticate/connect
You have to make sure your APN is set correctly in the blackberry itself.
See Here for correct settings per country/carrier.
You enter those settings(except DNS) on the BB under options/adv. options/TCP
I think, you have to reboot the BB for this change to take effect (remove battery).

Can't ping

Don't rely on ping, it's often blocked / not working when tethering.
Just browse the web: ex: Firefox (make sure it's not in offline mode).

PPPD won't connect:

You mihgt have to create your own ppp files in the conf folder (for example att and att-chat)
If you get a new provider working, please send it to me.

ppp password: For some provider you will need to enter your login/password (ex: see conf/verizon)

Blackberry does not get a DNS /IP address & Serial loopback errors

First, make sure no other pppd are running (sudo killall pppd -9)
or maybe some other bbtether process (check with ps axf | grep bbtether), kill if any.

Also make sure the APN is set correctly in your phone (see above)

Got an IP, yet does not seem to work

First, you need to make sure you have "usepeerdns" in the ppp conf file (ex: conf/tmobile) for this to work.
Still, some linux distros do not update /etc/resolv.conf properly, the DNS server assigned by PPPD should show in there.
If it's not there, pppd probably wrote it somewhere else (ex: /etc/local/resolv.conf or /etc/pppd/resolv.conf), you either need to copy it manually, or make a link or better, fix the /etc/ppp/ip-up so it writes to /etc/resolv.conf .

Also if you get an error in the logs /usr/sbin/pppd: The remote system is required to authenticate itself,
you will want to add/uncomment the option noauth to your conf file (ex: conf/sprint)


Sometimes it seems the modem works best if you unplug the blackberry, switch it completely off and back on(reboot) and then try again (it should not be necessary anymore).

Device busy errors

You might have another kernel module grabbing the device.

BBTether will try to remove berry-charge module for you (causes issues)

You can also try this (not sure it's necessary):

Not finding Modem Endpoints(-1,-1)

If bbtether does not find any endpoints (or only one pair) that is not right (there should be at least 2 pairs)
I have seen this happen before on bad blackberry firmware.
It gets resolved by upgrading the Blackberry firmware (from windows)

Kernel 2.6.28 broken libusb

Kernel 2.6.28 is broken with libusb, so don't use that kernel or patch it.
See bug report here

ImportError: No module named usb

That emans pyusb is not installed properly, you can try reinstalling it, or on OSX you might have to compile it.

Could not determine local IP address

If you see the error "Could not determine local IP address" in the log, you can try adding/removing the option 'noipdefault' to the ppp config file( NOT the chat file) and see if that helps.

3G mode and no connection

If it does not want to connect and you have a 3G service, try setting your phone to 2G, apparently some providers block tethering when in 3G mode ... it's sometimes possible to switch back to 3G after the connection is established

Other issues

You can try adding the "-m" option (data mode) and see if that helps.

Getting Help

You will want to run with the verbose option in preferences(or -v option in command line)
And send me the log file:

I might need you to provide me an USB trace from windows if i cannot reproduce the problem or don't have the same hardware.
In this case see: Creating an USB Trace under windows

Last modified: by admin


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