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Cell Modem


The cellmodem plugin is a monitoring plugin for cellular modems. It reports provider and signal quality for GPRS/UMTS(3G)/HSDPA(3.5G) modem cards. It works with (mostly) all cards which support an out-of-band channel for monitoring purposes.

The current features include:

  • Display the current network type (GPRS/UMTS)
  • Display the current signal level
  • Configure the maximum signal level
  • Configure the low and critical signal level
  • Asking for PIN if modem needs it
  • Quick visual feedback on modem and registration status via LEDs


You can download the latest releases from http://goodies.xfce.org/releases/xfce4-cellmodem-plugin/


Tue 16 January 2007

Uploaded version 0.0.5. Changelog:

  • Support for autodetecting known modem devices (PCI/USB)
  • Support for HSDPA detection (for modems which support it using _OHCIP)
  • Smaller leds - most people use absurdely low resolutions.
  • No more error after sending pin.
  • Added the Czech translation by Michal Várady. Thanks Michal!

Thu 05 October 2006

Uploaded version 0.0.4. Changelog:

  • Support for –enable-debug in configure

Wed 04 October 2006

Uploaded version 0.0.3. Changelog:

  • Better error handling - Error messages included
  • Fixed bugs in remove_leading_chars and remove_trailing_chars
  • Fixed modem pin reply in fake driver.
  • Added vasprintf - needed for error messages
  • Moved some prototypes into cellmodem.h
  • Removed C++ style comments
  • Enforce pin '1234' on fake driver.
  • Cancel pending timers when reinitializing modem.

Sun 01 October 2006

Uploaded version 0.0.2 to SVN. Changelog:

  • Fixed error handling.
  • Disabled the ask for pin. You can click on the plugin to enter the pin, if it is required.
  • Fixed initialization of IO channel in modem_driver_generic.


Screenshot of the modem registered and working. The signal level is low.


Screenshot of the modem requiring a PIN. The yellow LED flashes:


To-do and Wish List

  • [Wish] Support to start and stop pppd.
  • [ToDo] Add keyboard shortcut to enter PIN
  • [ToDo] Feedback if PIN worked, and if not how many attempts left.
  • [ToDo] Entering PUK to unlock after invalid PIN entries

Known problems

  • Some cards/drivers sometimes stop to respond on the control channel. This is a driver issue and not a plugin issue. If you come across this problem please e-mail me so we can find a workaround for it.
  • Some cards/drivers (happened with me with nozomi driver, Globethrotter 3G/EDGE card) sometimes reply no registration when it is registered. This seems to be related to the card firmware. I will try to find a workaround when it happens again.

Contact the Author

You can contact me through the following e-mail address:

alvieboy «@» alvie «.» com

Just remove the spaces and the « and » characters.