Using Your Smartphone For Internet Access Under Ubuntu

You know those smart-phones with Internet access? Ever wondered how you can connect them to your Ubuntu system and use them for Internet access while out and about? Well, here's my quick start guide to accomplish just that.

This tutorial assumes that you already have a working installation of Ubuntu Linux (Gusty Gibbon 7.10). You must also have a working bluetooth adapter connected to your Ubuntu system.

  1. First, let's install the appropriate software. Using whatever package manager you prefer, install the following packages:
    • gnome-bluetooth
    • bluez-gnome
    • bluez-utils
  2. Restart bluetooth services on your system by running "sudo /etc/init.d/bluetooth restart"
  3. Right click on the menu bar at the top of your screen and select "Add to panel"
  4. Find the "Bluetooth applet" and add it to your system tray.
  5. Next, you need to create a quick script which will be used to connect to your smart-phone when you are ready to use it for Internet access. Here's the script that I use:

    gksu "/usr/bin/pand --role PANU --search"
  6. When you run this, it will search for nearby smart-phones which have Personal Area Networking enabled and attempt to connect. Make this script executable and create a launcher on your desktop somewhere.
  7. Now, get your Windows Mobile based smart-phone and turn on Internet Connection Sharing and set it for Bluetooth Personal Area Networking connections.
  8. Run the script which was just created. If this is the first time that your computer has connected to the smart-phone, you will have to pair the devices. The phone should ask for authentication and you will be prompted on the phone to enter a PIN number.
  9. Enter a PIN number and within GNOME on your Ubuntu computer you should see an alert asking you to authenticate. Click on the alert and enter the same PIN that you just defined on your smart-phone.
  10. After a few seconds of negotiation, you will be able to click on the Network Manager icon in your system tray and you will see a new Wired Interface for bnep0. Select this device and Ubuntu will attempt to get an IP address from the DHCP server on your smart-phone.
  11. Fire up a browser and browse away.
Remember, on some cellular plans this can tally up quite a large bill. Make sure that you know the consequences of using your smart-phone as an Internet gateway for your computer!!!


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