OMG, Jaunty ate my Hauwei
Recently I got hold of one of those pesky USB UMTS wi-fi modems, to stay on the ball on everyone's breakfasts (thanks Twitter) even when I'm on the road. I plugged the stick, and Irky asked me for a PIN code. Plain and simple, and I was on the go. I even took pictures of it. Eat your heart out, you linux-is-not-user-ready bashers. Ha!
Since that, I enjoyed the pleasures of effortlessly twittering abysmal updates from buses, trains, fences, bars (plenty), bycycles (don't try that at home, kids) and even a barn (and you don't want to know).
Now the happy crew at Ubuntu does not love to sit there idly, so a couple of days ago their J thing hit stable and I did a dist-upgrade to this Jitty Jackaroe (or whatever the name is). First thing it did after booting up anew, it basically ate my USB modem stick. Whole. Plug. Hey it's there. Connect. Nothing. Hm. Unplug. Plug. Hey it's there. Connect. Nothing. You get the idea.
It took me the best of two days to hunt down a zillion apparently unrelated bug reports and check every single log to understand what was happening. I cannot claim I understood, but I solved it and can now happily connect again.
My logs said a GSM modem was found, but then usb-core was incapable of working some magic and the device kept being shuffled around. This was some sort of red herring though, as the most important message was hiding in auth.log: dbus-daemon wasn't dispatching messages because of some resolution issues. The message ran like this:
Apr 28 18:02:22 home dbus-daemon: Rejected send message ( ** more stuff **) comm="/usr/lib/NetworkManager/nm-dispatcher.action "))
I dug deeper and found that if I ditched the whole problem and changed all instances of 'deny' to 'allow' in the configuration file /etc/dbus-1/system.d/nm-dispatcher.conf everything worked smoothly again. Since I have other things to do, as I said, I rested my case. Fine with me.
I understand this is a pretty creative, unsecure and unofficial way of temporarily patching an ill-defined issue while someone more in the know finds out what's really going on, and it may really be a way to break more havoc, but if you land in trouble with Jarry Jackaroe and a E620 Huawai UMTS stick you know you can always try that. Possibly.