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Sierra Wireless Aircard 7xx / 8xx

(Including at least the 775 and the 860)

The below documentation is no longer correct because Sierra Wireless has moved their support pages around. Please read below.

Linux systems with a kernel older than 2.6.13-rc1

Examples of such systems:

  • Suse 9.x
  • Red Hat 9.0, some older Fedora Cores

The support site of Sierra Wireless has good instructions for hardware setup, but it can be done easier than that.

They suggest to edit /etc/pcmcia/config, which is a read-only file, even to root. This is done on purpose. However, you don't need to edit this file, as it will include any other file in that directory with the extension .opts.
This means that just putting a file in that directory, called SierraWirelessAC775EDGE.conf with the proposed contents, and putting the SW_775_SER.dat in the cis directory, will already do.

Linux systems with a kernel newer than 2.6.13-rc1

Examples of such systems:

  • Suse 10.x
  • Fedora Core 5
  • current Gentoos
  • Ubuntu

At least for Suse 10.1, it is no longer needed to do anything by hand, the card is recognized and installed correctly.

Linux distributions newer than 2.6.13 that do not ship the firmware

How to identify:

    After inserting of the device into your running Linux system, the file /var/log/messagescontains error messages like:
      firmware.sh[12488]: Cannot find firmware file 'SW_7xx_SER.cis'

    Examples of such systems:

    • Opensuse 11.0

    Opensuse no longer ships the Sierra Wireless firmware files. You'll have to hunt them on the Sierra Wireless support site. The filename is something like Aircard_Linux.tar.

    This tar archive contains 3 files with firmware, for the 555, the 7xx and the 8xx devices. Untar the archive:
        tar xvf Aircard_Linux.tar
    Then copy the firmware files you need (the name ends in .cis) to /lib/firmware. You need to do that as root.

    If you now reboot your computer and re-insert the card once it has completely booted, your computer should load the firmware automatically.

    updated Wed Aug 2, 2006 by Klaas van Gend
    updated Thu Nov 27, 2008 by Klaas van Gend

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