'Plug and play' 3G/4G dongle

I’ve searched the forums and documentation but didn’t find an answer for this…

I’d like to give my balena devices (RPis) 3G/4G connectivity… and I’d like it to be as seamless as possible… meaning… flash the image, plug the USB modem to the RPi, power on RPi… voila!

I see there are a few USB dongles supported, but there is a need to configure the network with some codes for the carrier…

Is there any way to get it to auto-configure based on the SIM card or something similar?



Cellular modem configuration works much like WiFi configuration (https://www.balena.io/docs/reference/OS/network/2.x/#cellular-modem-setup) with configuration files stored in /resin-boot/system-connections/. As with Wifi, you can add multiple configuration files in that directory and, on boot, the device will connect to the first available network it can successfully reach. So, if you create configuration files for each type of SIM you have and add all those files to the device, it will try them and connect with the one it finds that works.

Let us know how you make out.


Hi @jtonello,

I have a related question where i would like to update the configuration files at runtime. Is it possible to do this from HostOS?

Hi, at runtime you would find them under /mnt/boot/system-connections. But you can also use the dbus api from your container to alter the network configs programmatically


I’ve been trying to find any of the USB modems supported, but both of them are either outdated or out of stock…

Are there any plans to test/support other USB modems?


Hello, modems that work with ModemManager should be supported, you can check the list here https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/ModemManager/SupportedDevices/