Headless modem control on ARM

It seems so long ago that I first bought a EDGE/HSDPA modem so I could work on the train between Durham and Lancaster.  Linux was my OS of choice at the time and I used wvdial to control EDGE/HSDPA Modems. These days WWAN connections seem more common and I was very happy to see NetworkManager add support. Even thought it was a little clunky I would still periodically use wvdial for headless machines where I needed to script connections from the command line.  Recently I’ve been doing some work with a beagleboard which has an ARM processor; wvdial is currently broken on ARM architecture and ppp was giving me a headache.  After numerous emails trying to find a work around, I learned that nmcli has gives you control from the command line, and if you have the keyfile plugin enabled in NetworkManager.conf, global connections are written out .ini-style in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/

e.g. /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/GrammeenPhone

[connection]
id=GrameenPhone
uuid=b68882db-7e97-4fa3-a811-9234f64098f6
type=gsm
autoconnect=false
timestamp=1316411329

[ipv4]
method=auto

[serial]
baud=115200

[gsm]
number=*99#
apn=gpinternet

The end result is that it’s possible to connect with a simple command

#nmcli con up id GrameenPhone

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