mmcli Man page

mmcli(8) User Commands mmcli(8)


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 dif‐
ferent 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’,

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

Show time specific options.

Show firmware specific options.

Show OMA specific options.

Show SIM card specific options.

Show bearer specific options.

Show SMS specific options. See also –help-messaging which is



-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 pro‐
vides 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 automati‐
cally by the kernel.



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

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 dif‐
ferent. 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 follow‐
ing 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

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

List packet data bearers that are available for the given modem.

–create-bearer=[‘KEY1=VALUE1,KEY2=VALUE2,…’] Create a new packet data bearer for a given modem. The KEYs and
some VALUEs are listed below:

‘apn’ Access Point Name. Required in 3GPP.

Addressing type. Given as a MMBearerIpFamily value
(e.g. ‘ipv4’, ‘ipv6’, ‘ipv4v6’). Optional in 3GPP and

Authentication method to use. Given as a MMBearerAl‐
lowedAuth value (e.g.
‘none|pap|chap|mschap|mschapv2|eap’). Optional in 3GPP.

‘user’ User name (if any) required by the network. Optional in

Password (if any) required by the network. Optional in

Flag to tell whether connection is allowed during roam‐
ing, given as a boolean value (i.e ‘yes’ or ‘no’).
Optional in 3GPP.

Protocol of the Rm interface, given as a MMModemCdmaRm‐
Protocol 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

–set-allowed-modes=[MODE1|MODE2|…] Set allowed modes for a given modem. For possible modes, see the
beginning of this section.

–set-bands=[BAND1|BAND2|…] Set bands to be used for a given modem. These are frequency
ranges the modem should use. There are quite a number of sup‐
ported 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



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

Included are options to control USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Ser‐
vice 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

Request a given modem to register on the network of the given
MCCMNC (Mobile Country Code, Mobile Network Code) based opera‐
tor. 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 set‐
tings they provide.



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

–simple-connect=[‘KEY1=VALUE1,KEY2=VALUE2,…’] Run a full connection sequence using KEY / VALUE pairs. You can
use the –create-bearer options, plus any of the following ones:

‘pin’ 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 Posi‐
tioning System (GPS) or directly from your mobile network infrastruc‐
ture (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

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. lati‐
tude, 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

Enable location discovery using GPS but without taking control
of the NMEA tty port.

Disable location discovery using GPS and unmanaged port.



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.

–messaging-create-sms=[‘KEY1=VALUE1,…’] Create a new SMS on a given modem. KEYs can be any of the fol‐

Number to which the message is addressed.

‘text’ 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

‘smsc’ 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. Stor‐
ages 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.

–time 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.



All OMA options require the –modem or -m option.

Show the status of the OMA device management subsystem.

–oma-start-client-initiated-session=[SESSION TYPE] Request to start a client initiated session.

The given session type must be one of:

–oma-accept-network-initiated-session=[SESSION ID] Request to accept a network initiated session.

–oma-reject-network-initiated-session=[SESSION ID] Request to reject a network initiated session.

Request to cancel current OMA session, if any.



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

Disable PIN request for a given SIM card. This must be used WITH

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 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 –messag‐
ing-status option.

This option states which STORAGE to use for SMS messages. Pos‐
sible values for STORAGE include:

‘sm’ SIM card storage area.

‘me’ Mobile equipment storage area.

‘mt’ Sum of SIM and Mobile equipment storages

‘sr’ Status report message storage area.

‘bm’ Broadcast message storage area.

‘ta’ Terminal adaptor message storage area.

This option takes an SMS that has DATA (not TEXT) and will cre‐
ate 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 oper‐
ations, 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’,num‐
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-cre‐
ate-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

$> 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 –loca‐
tion-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 (







GNU October 2012 mmcli(8)