Huawei E3331 3G USB dongle works on Ubuntu 14.04 Linux

In the store today, I wanted to check that the Huawei E3331 3G USB dongle I was about to buy would work with my Ubuntu Linux laptops. Because I couldn’t find any posts confirming this, I’m writing this one.

Summary: I can confirm that the Huawei E3331 3G USB dongle works, completely out of the box and without any problems, on Ubuntu 14.04.

After inserting the card into a USB slot, I was greeted by this notification:

As per the instructions, I could immediately open the HiLink Web UI at with my browser, where, after configuring my APN like this:

The home screen showed that I was successfully connected to the 3G network:

No drivers were required. Linux (in my case Ubuntu 14.04 on x86_64) is able to connect to the device using its built-in LAN-over-USB support. This is what the relevant part of the system log looks like when the device is inserted:

[378719.431633] usb 3-3: new high-speed USB device number 73 using xhci_hcd
[378719.450078] usb 3-3: New USB device found, idVendor=12d1, idProduct=14db
[378719.450085] usb 3-3: New USB device strings: Mfr=2, Product=1, SerialNumber=0
[378719.450089] usb 3-3: Product: HUAWEI Mobile
[378719.450092] usb 3-3: Manufacturer: HUAWEI
[378719.461252] cdc_ether 3-3:1.0 eth1: register 'cdc_ether' at usb-0000:00:14.0-3, CDC Ethernet Device, 58:2c:80:13:92:63

Here you have the prerequisite speedtest:


(This dongle is a connectivity backup. It’s an added bonus that the upstream is 3x that of my ADSL at home.)

8 thoughts on “Huawei E3331 3G USB dongle works on Ubuntu 14.04 Linux”

  1. I had the same experience with two dongles from two different providers (more than a year ago). I was quite impressed with the plug-and-play ease using Ubuntu recognizing and configuring 3G dongles. I believe mine were Huawei too. I have stopped using them because I have wi-fi access in the places that I frequent now.

  2. I don’t have the same experience as you. Mine does not work. After inserting the modem, it displays a message asking if I want to run some program. If I click ok for the program to run, it then displays an error message. It looks like there is some configuration that needs to happen but I don’t know how or where. Any idea what to do here.

    1. What were the two messages that you got?

      Also, what version of Ubuntu were you using?

      The 3G dongle is supposed to work with a 3G broadband service that you have subscribed to. So, if you have such a service (from a broadband or phone service provider), you have a 3G broadband sim card that you put into the dongle before inserting it in your usb socket.

      Let us have more details:

      (1) The PC or notebook you are using
      (2) The Ubuntu version
      (3) The service provider that you are using
      (4) The 3G broadband service that you have subscribed to

  3. My apologies for the late reply.
    Intel® Core™ i7 CPU 950 @ 3.07GHz × 8
    Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
    3.13.0-30-generic #54-Ubuntu SMP Mon Jun 9 22:45:01 UTC 2014 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
    Telkom Mobile

    1. No problem.

      It’s been some time I used a 3G broadband mobile dongle. As far as I can remember, you should have subscribed to a broadband or Internet service from Telkom Mobile.

      If the dongle was automatically detected, you should have a popup that asks you to enter the relevant dial-up info.

      I am using 14.04 too. I will try my old dongle when I get home as I am abroad now and will return near the end of the month.

      You can plug in your dongle again and then let me know what the message you got was. This should show what driver or program was missing.

  4. The message I get is : “HiLink” contains software intended to be automatically started. Would you like to run it?
    If you don’t trust this location or aren’t sure, press Cancel.

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