Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there a way to share my desktop Internet connection with my Android 2.2.1 using the phone data cable?

share|improve this question
How do you mean? You're trying to share the connection from a tethered android phone? – Oli Jul 26 '11 at 14:08
Nope, I want to share the internet connection of the computer with my android phone. So the other way around than tethering. – panmari Jul 26 '11 at 14:21
Maybe you could explain exactly what you're trying to do. Why would you ever want to use your laptop's internet on your phone? – user606723 Jul 26 '11 at 17:03
@user606723 There are lots of reasons for wanting to do this - e.g. getting faster or cheaper internet service, wanting to capture or test MITM for packets from the phone, etc. The phone help notes that on windows this is done via "HTP sync", which you can download from – nealmcb Aug 18 '11 at 0:04
This is called Reverse Tethering. – BigSack Aug 15 '12 at 6:13

Well, it can be done with rooted 2.2+ devices. It's not simple.

Before I start, you might just find it easier to buy a cheap USB Wifi dongle and share the connection to your phone through that. It's a much more simple procedure and doesn't require root on the phone.

But here's how to do it over USB:

  1. Put your phone in USB debugging mode (in settings → applications → usb). Plug the phone in.

  2. Then you need to turn on USB tethering on the phone. On my SGS2, this sits in Settings → Wireless and network → Tethering and portable hotspots.

    At this point, a new network device will be added to the computer (usb0).

  3. Fire off the following commands to bridge eth0 and your new USB connection.

    sudo apt-get install bridge-utils
    sudo brctl addbr br0
    for i in eth0 usb0; do
        sudo ifconfig $i
        sudo brctl addif br0 $i
    sudo ifconfig br0 up
    sudo dhclient br0 # might take a few seconds
  4. Then load a terminal on your phone (or use the SDK adb shell) and fire off (as root):

    netcfg usb0 dhcp

To reverse it all:

for i in eth0 usb0 br0; do sudo ifconfig $i down; done
sudo brctl delbr br0
sudo ifconfig eth0 up
sudo dhclient eth0

To make things slightly easier there are a few Apps out there that do the phone side of things (ASProxy for example) but you still need a rooted 2.2 device. The computer side of things can be scripted. You could even hook into udev to fire these commands off when you plug the phone in (and destroy the bridge when you unplug it).

share|improve this answer
Thanks for your quick answer =) I'd wish, there was an easier way, though :( – panmari Jul 26 '11 at 15:21
See this page for more details and comments on this kind of "reverse tethering":… I'm surprised it is so hard, and assume there is a simpler ubuntu-only method, presumably involving setting up ubuntu to be a router via FORWARD_IPV4=true etc. – nealmcb Aug 18 '11 at 0:01
I don't get a usb0 interface appearing on my laptop (using 12.04) any ideas? – Hamish Downer May 15 '12 at 12:33
This reverse tethering app and their help page helped me to successfully do this. – Anwar Shah Feb 26 '13 at 6:05

There are some old notes on Reverse USB Tethering with Android 2.2 with a Nexus One.

I've been planning to try this without rooting my HTC DHD.
It has an Internet Pass-through option which works great on Windows,
So, I wonder if this can be used on the same lines through Ubuntu...
Not tried yet -- would love to know of any first-hand experience.

Requirements from those notes are,

Android 2.2 (or an older version with a root tethering app)
ADB from Android SDK, or a rooted Android 2.2 with terminal in root mode

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.