Today I bought a Virgin 3G USB dongle for internet access while on the road, and I thought I’d share the experience. It turns out I don’t need to write up the documentation because it mostly works out of the box, and the little bits I need to change are already well documented 🙂
First I looked at the Ubuntu 3G Hardware page to see what the best supported cards were. We already have our mobiles on Virgin, so I was pleased to see the default Virgin mobile Broadband device was supported, the Huawei E169.
When I plugged it in, I then created a new mobile broadband connection through the network manager. If I used all the defaults, and then selected the connection through Network Manager, it would ask for a password and fail.
So I followed the excellent instructions from the Ubuntu forums here to both disable chap from the /etc/ppp/options and edit my network managed mobile broadband connection with a few settings (the Virgin Broadband number and password, plus the changing of the name from the default VirginInternet to VirginBroadband) and within minutes it is working perfectly!