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1. Introduction

This is the Linux Linmodem HOWTO document. It is intended as a quick reference to help you find out if there is a way to get your (so-called) winmodem working under Linux, and, if so, how to do it. You should understand from the outset that there may well be no support for your winmodem: there is limited support for such modems, often in the form of vendor-created but vendor-unsupported, binary-only kernel modules (though a small number of open-source projects exist).

To emphasize: your best bet under Linux is certainly to get a true hardware modem. However, if you're stuck with a winmodem, perhaps this document can help.

For the most up-to-date information about available Linmodem drivers, visit Rob Clark's site, our small resources page, and the mailing list archives. General modem issues, such as IRQ settings and dialup scripts, are dealt with much more thoroughly in the more general Modem-HOWTO, Serial-HOWTO, PPP-HOWTO, and other related HOWTOs available at the Linux Documentation Project site and elsewhere.

1.1 Copyright

Copyright (c) 2000,2001 by Sean Walbran, Marvin Stodolsky

Please freely copy and distribute (sell or give away) this document in any format. It's requested that corrections and/or comments be fowarded to the document maintainer. You may create a derivative work and distribute it provided that you:

If you're considering making a derived work other than a translation, it's requested that you discuss your plans with the current maintainer.

1.2 Disclaimer

Use the information in this document at your own risk. We disavow any potential liability for the contents of this document. Use of the concepts, examples, and/or other content of this document is entirely at your own risk.

All copyrights are owned by their owners, unless specifically noted otherwise. Use of a term in this document should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark. In particular, since the term "Winmodem" is a trademark of US Robotics/3Com, we use the term "winmodem" here as does Rob Clark: to be read as "Winmodems(tm), host-based modems, HCF-modems, HSP-modems, and all similar modem-like hardware." Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Naming of particular products or brands should not be seen as endorsements.

It are strongly recommended to make a backup of important and/or relevant files before any installation procedure.

1.3 Credits

Most individual credits are given in the body of the text where appropriate.

A large amount of information contained in this document comes a variety of great sources such as Rob Clark's site, the, mailing lists, and Werner Heuser's Mobilix pages.

Special thanks to Mark Spieth (mark(at) for discussions, advice, and multiple and ongoing contributions.

This document itself was created using the SGML HOWTO template created by Stein Gojen, as described in the HOWTO-HOWTO. site.

1.4 Updates and Corrections

The most recent HTML version of this document is available at, as a single HTML file at, with source SGML at

The old version of this document was getting huge and unwieldy, so this rewrite seemed necessary. To avoid the total loss of that information, a copy of the old version is maintained at

Do you have a Linmodem which works, but is not described here? Are you developing a driver? Do you think something in this document is incorrect or misleading? Do you think that your or someone else's work has been used here but not appropriately credited? Please don't hesitate to email me at sean(at) with corrections and suggestions.

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