Content-type: text/html Manpage of mmcli


Section: User Commands (8)
Updated: October 2012
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mmcli - Control and monitor the ModemManager



mmcli [OPTION...]



ModemManager is a DBus-powered Linux daemon which provides a unified high level API for communicating with (mobile broadband) modems. It acts as a standard RIL (Radio Interface Layer) and may be used by different connection managers, like NetworkManager. Thanks to the built-in plugin architecture, ModemManager talks to very different kinds of modems with very different kinds of ports. In addition to the standard AT serial ports, Qualcomm-based QCDM and QMI ports are also supported.



-h, --help
Show summary of options by group.
Show all groups and options.
Show manager specific options.
Show common options. These are used for defining the device an option operates on. For example, modems, bearers, SIMs, SMS', etc.
Show modem specific options.
Show 3GPP specific options.
Show CDMA specific options.
Show simple options. These are useful for getting connected or disconnected and understanding the state of things as fast as possible without worrying so much about the details.
Show location or positioning specific options.
Show messaging specific options. See also --help-sms which is related.
Show time specific options.
Show firmware specific options.
Show SIM card specific options.
Show bearer specific options.
Show SMS specific options. See also --help-messaging which is related.



-G, --set-logging=[ERR|WARN|INFO|DEBUG]
Set the logging level in ModemManager daemon. For debugging information you can supply DEBUG. Each value above DEBUG provides less detail. In most cases ERR (for displaying errors) are the important messages.

The default mode is ERR.

-L, --list-modems
List available modems.
-M, --monitor-modems
List available modems and monitor modems added or removed.
-S, --scan-modems
Scan for any potential new modems. This is only useful when expecting pure RS232 modems, as they are not notified automatically by the kernel.



All options below take a PATH or INDEX argument. If no action is provided, the default information about the modem, bearer, etc. is shown instead.

The PATH and INDEX are created automatically when the modem is plugged in. They can be found using mmcli -L. This produces something like (for modems only):

Found 1 modems:

In this case, the INDEX is 4 and the PATH is the entire string above.

However, for the bearers, SIMs and SMS cases, the PATH is slightly different. The Modem is replaced with the object name in use, like Bearer. For example:


-m, --modem=[PATH|INDEX]
Specify a modem.
-b, --bearer=[PATH|INDEX]
Specify a bearer.
-i, --sim=[PATH|INDEX]
Specify a SIM card.
-s, --sms=[PATH|INDEX]
Specify an SMS.



All of the modem options below make use of the --modem or -m switch to specify the modem to act on.

Some operations require a MODE. MODE can be any combination of the modes actually supported by the modem. In the perfect case, the following are possible:

  '2G'  - 2G technologies, e.g. EDGE, CDMA1x
  '3G'  - 3G technologies, e.g. HSPA, EV-DO
  '4G'  - 4G technologies, e.g. LTE
  'ANY' - for all supported modes.
-w, --monitor-state
Monitor the state of a given modem.
-e, --enable
Enable a given modem.

This powers the antenna, starts the automatic registration process and in general prepares the modem to be connected.

-d, --disable
Disable a given modem.

This disconnects the existing connection(s) for the modem and puts it into a low power mode.

-r, --reset
Resets the modem to the settings it had when it was power cycled.
Resets the modem to its original factory default settings.

The CODE provided is vendor specific. Without the correct vendor code, it's unlikely this operation will succeed. This is not a common user action.

Send an AT COMMAND to the given modem. For example, COMMAND could be 'AT+GMM' to probe for phone model information. This operation is only available when ModemManager is run in debug mode.
List packet data bearers that are available for the given modem.
Create a new packet data bearer for a given modem. The KEYs and some VALUEs are listed below:
Access Point Name. Required in 3GPP.
Addressing type. Given as a MMBearerIpFamily value (e.g. 'ipv4', 'ipv6', 'ipv4v6'). Optional in 3GPP and CDMA.
Authentication method to use. Given as a MMBearerAllowedAuth value (e.g. 'none|pap|chap|mschap|mschapv2|eap'). Optional in 3GPP.
User name (if any) required by the network. Optional in 3GPP.
Password (if any) required by the network. Optional in 3GPP.
Flag to tell whether connection is allowed during roaming, given as a boolean value (i.e 'yes' or 'no'). Optional in 3GPP.
Protocol of the Rm interface, given as a MMModemCdmaRmProtocol value (e.g. 'async', 'packet-relay', 'packet-network-ppp', 'packet-network-slip', 'stu-iii'). Optional in CDMA.
Telephone number to dial. Required in POTS.
Delete bearer from a given modem. This option explicitly uses a PATH to define the bearer, you can not use an INDEX to be deleted.
Set allowed modes for a given modem. For possible modes, see the beginning of this section.
Set bands to be used for a given modem. These are frequency ranges the modem should use. There are quite a number of supported bands and listing them all here would be quite extensive. For details, see the MMModemBand documentation.

An example would be: 'egsm|dcs|pcs|g850' to select all the GSM frequency bands.

Set the preferred MODE for the given modem. The MODE MUST be one of the allowed modes as set with the --set-allowed-modes option. Possible MODE arguments are detailed at the beginning of this section.



The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is a collaboration between groups of telecommunications associations. These options pertain to devices which support 3GPP.

Included are options to control USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) sessions.

All of the 3GPP options below make use of the --modem or -m switch to specify the modem to act on.

Scan for available 3GPP networks.
Request a given modem to register in its home network.

This registers with the default network(s) specified by the modem,

Request a given modem to register on the network of the given MCCMNC (Mobile Country Code, Mobile Network Code) based operator. This code is used for GSM/LTE, CDMA, iDEN, TETRA and UMTS public land mobile networks and some satellite mobile networks. The ITU-T Recommendation E.212 defines mobile country codes.
Request the status of ANY ongoing USSD session.
Request the given modem to initiate a USSD session with COMMAND.

For example, COMMAND could be '*101#' to give your current pre-pay balance.

When initiating an USSD session, a RESPONSE may be needed by a network-originated request. This option allows for that.
Cancel an ongoing USSD session for a given modem.



All CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) options require the --modem or -m option.

Activate the given modem using OTA (Over the Air) settings. The CARRIER is a code provided by the network for the default settings they provide.



All simple options must be used with --modem or -m.

Run a full connection sequence using KEY / VALUE pairs. You can use the --create-bearer options, plus any of the following ones:
SIM-PIN unlock code.
ETSI MCC-MNC of a network to force registration.
Disconnect ALL connected bearers for a given modem.
Display the status of the given modem.



These options detail how to discover your location using Global Positioning System (GPS) or directly from your mobile network infrastructure (either 3GPP or 3GPP2).

All location options must be used with --modem or -m.

Show the current status for discovering our location.
Show all location information available.
Enable location discovery using the 3GPP network.
Disable location discovery using the 3GPP network.
Show 3GPP based location information (MCC, MNC, LAC, CI).
Enable location discovery using GPS and reported with NMEA traces.
Disable location discovery using GPS and NMEA traces.
Show GPS based location with NMEA trace information.
Enable location discovery using GPS and reported with raw (i.e. longitude/latitude) values.
Disable location discovery using GPS and raw values.
Show GPS based location information with raw values (e.g. latitude, longitude).
Enable location discovery using the 3GPP2 network.
Disable location discovery using the 3GPP2 network.
Show 3GPP2 based location information (location of the CDMA base station).



All messaging options must be used with --modem or -m.

Show the status of the messaging support.
List SMS messages available on a given modem.
Create a new SMS on a given modem. KEYs can be any of the following:

 Number to which the message is addressed.
Message text, in UTF-8. When sending, if the text is larger than the limit of the technology or modem, the message will be broken into multiple parts or messages. Note that text and data are never given at the same time.
Indicates the SMS service center number.
Specifies when the SMS expires in the SMSC.
3GPP message class (0..3).
Specifies whether delivery report is requested when sending the SMS ('yes' or 'no')
Specifies the storage where this message is kept. Storages may be 'sm', 'me', 'mt', 'sr', 'bm', 'ta'.
Use PATH to a filename as the data to create a new SMS.
Delete an SMS from a given modem. PATH indicates the SMS path.



All time operations require the --modem or -m option.

Display the current network time from the operator. This includes the timezone which is usually of importance.



All firmware options require the --modem or -m option.

List all the firmware images installed on a given modem.
Select a firmware image from those installed on a given modem. A list of available firmware images can be seen using the --firmware-list option.

The ID provided is a UNIQUE identifier for the firmware.



Send PIN code to a given SIM card.
Send PUK code to a given SIM card. This must be used WITH --pin.
Enable PIN request for a given SIM card. This must be used WITH --pin.
Disable PIN request for a given SIM card. This must be used WITH --pin.
Change the PIN for a given SIM card. It will be set to PIN. This must be used WITH --pin to supply the old PIN number.



All bearer options require the --bearer or -b option.

-c, --connect
Connect to a given bearer.
-x, --disconnect
Disconnect from a given bearer.



All SMS options require the --sms or -s option.

Send an SMS.
This option will store the SMS in the default storage defined by the modem, which may be either modem-memory or SMS-memory. To know what the existing default storage is, see the --messaging-status option.

This option states which STORAGE to use for SMS messages. Possible values for STORAGE include:
SIM card storage area.
Mobile equipment storage area.
Sum of SIM and Mobile equipment storages
Status report message storage area.
Broadcast message storage area.
Terminal adaptor message storage area.
This option takes an SMS that has DATA (not TEXT) and will create a local file described by PATH and store the content of the SMS there.



-v, --verbose
Perform actions with more details reported and/or logged.
-V, --version
Returns the version of this program.
-a, --async
Use asynchronous methods. This is purely a development tool and has no practical benefit to most user operations.
Use SECONDS for the timeout when performing operations with this command. This option is useful when executing long running operations, like --3gpp-scan.




Send the PIN to the SIM card

You'll need first to know which the proper path/index is for the SIM in your modem:

    $ mmcli -m 0 | grep SIM
    SIM | path: '/org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SIM/0'

And after that, you can just use the SIM index:

    $ mmcli -i 0 --pin=1234
    successfully sent PIN code to the SIM


Simple connect and disconnect

You can launch the simple connection process like:

    $ mmcli -m 0 --simple-connect="pin=1234,apn=internet"
    successfully connected the modem

Then, you can disconnect it like:

    $ mmcli -m 0 --simple-disconnect
    successfully disconnected all bearers in the modem


3GPP network scan

Scanning for 3GPP networks may really take a long time, so a specific timeout must be given:

    $ mmcli -m 0 --3gpp-scan --timeout=300

    Found 4 networks:
    21404 - Yoigo (umts, available)
    21407 - Movistar (umts, current)
    21401 - vodafone ES (umts, forbidden)
    21403 - Orange (umts, forbidden)


Creating a new SMS message & storing it

Using the “sm” (SIM), you can do this using:

    $ mmcli -m 0 --messaging-create-sms="text='Hello world',number='+1234567890'"
    Successfully created new SMS:
        /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/21 (unknown)

    $ sudo mmcli -s 21 --store-in-storage="sm"
    successfully stored the SMS

    $ sudo mmcli -s 21
    SMS '/org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/21'
      Content    |              number: '+1234567890'
                 |                text: 'Hello world'
      Properties |            PDU type: 'submit'
                 |               state: 'stored'
                 |                smsc: 'unknown'
                 |            validity: '0'
                 |               class: '0'
                 |             storage: 'sm'
                 |     delivery report: 'not requested'
                 |   message reference: '0'

    $ sudo mmcli -m 0 --messaging-status
      Messaging | supported storages: 'sm, me'
                |    default storage: 'me'


Sending SMS messages from files

As you can see below, the important part is the --messaging-create-sms-with-data and the PATH provided.

    $ sudo mmcli -m 0 \
           --messaging-create-sms="number='+1234567890'" \
    Successfully created new SMS:
        /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/22 (unknown)

    $ sudo mmcli -s 22 --send
    successfully sent the SMS


Listing SMS messages

When the receiver gets all the parts of the message, they can now recover the sent file with another mmcli command in their ModemManager setup:

    $> sudo mmcli -m 0 --messaging-list-sms
    Found 1 SMS messages:
        /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/0 (received)

    $> sudo mmcli -s 0 --create-file-with-data=/path/to/the/output/file


GPS location status

You first need to check whether the modem has GPS-specific location capabilities. Note that we’ll assume the modem is exposed as index 0; if you have more than one modem, just use --list-modems to check the proper modem index:

    $ mmcli -m 0 --location-status
      Location | capabilities: '3gpp-lac-ci, gps-raw, gps-nmea'
               |      enabled: 'none'
               |      signals: 'no'

The output says that the modem supports 3GPP Location area code/Cell ID, GPS raw and GPS-NMEA location sources. None is enabled yet, as we didn’t enable the modem, which we can do issuing:

    $ sudo mmcli -m 0 --enable
    successfully enabled the modem

    $ mmcli -m 0 --location-status
      Location | capabilities: '3gpp-lac-ci, gps-raw, gps-nmea'
               |      enabled: '3gpp-lac-ci'
               |      signals: 'no'


GPS location technology enabling

We can enable the RAW and NMEA GPS location sources using:

    $ sudo mmcli -m 0 \
                 --location-enable-gps-raw \
    successfully setup location gathering

If we do check again the status, we’ll see the GPS-specific locations are enabled:

    $ mmcli -m 0 --location-status
      Location | capabilities: '3gpp-lac-ci, gps-raw, gps-nmea'
               |      enabled: '3gpp-lac-ci, gps-raw, gps-nmea'
               |      signals: 'no'


GPS location retrieval

You can query location source specific information with --location-get-3gpp, --location-get-gps-nmea and --location-get-gps-raw; but also for all at the same time:

    $ sudo mmcli -m 0 --location-get
      3GPP location   | Mobile country code: '214'
                      | Mobile network code: '3'
                      |  Location area code: '21071'
                      |             Cell ID: '7033737'
      GPS NMEA traces | $GPGGA,,,,,,0,,,,,,,,*66
                      | $GPRMC,,V,,,,,,,,,,N*53
                      | $GPGSA,A,1,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,*1E
                      | $GPGSV,4,1,16,24,,,,29,,,,05,,,,18,,,*7A
                      | $GPGSV,4,2,16,22,,,,14,,,,11,,,,17,,,*7B
                      | $GPGSV,4,3,16,03,,,,12,,,,30,,,,13,,,*78
                      | $GPGSV,4,4,16,23,,,,15,,,,27,,,,07,,,*79
                      | $GPVTG,,T,,M,,N,,K,N*2C
      Raw GPS         | Not available
      CDMA BS         | Not available

An example of RAW GPS location information:

    $ sudo mmcli -m 0 --location-get-gps-raw
      Raw GPS         |  UTC time: '155142.2'
                      | Longitude: '-3.513941'
                      |  Latitude: '40.502603'
                      |  Altitude: '18.000000'



Martyn Russell <>



ModemManager(8), NetworkManager(8)

AT (

3GPP (









Send the PIN to the SIM card
Simple connect and disconnect
3GPP network scan
Creating a new SMS message & storing it
Sending SMS messages from files
Listing SMS messages
GPS location status
GPS location technology enabling
GPS location retrieval

This document was created by man2html, using the manual pages.
Time: 07:44:55 GMT, July 19, 2013