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Bluetooth is a standard for the short-range wireless interconnection of cellular phones, computers, and other electronic devices. In Linux, the canonical implementation of the Bluetooth protocol stack is BlueZ.


To use Bluetooth, install bluez, available in the Official Repositories. Once the package is installed, both the dbus and the bluetooth daemons must be started, in that order.

Note: It is important that dbus is started before bluetooth.

The dbus daemon is used to read settings and for PIN pairing, while the bluetooth daemon is required for the Bluetooth protocol.

Graphical front-ends

The following packages allow for a graphical interface to customize Bluetooth.


Blueman is a full featured Bluetooth manager written in GTK+ and, as such, is recommended for GNOME or Xfce. You can install Blueman with the package blueman, available in the Official Repositories.

Be sure that bluetooth daemon is running as described above, and execute blueman-applet. To make the applet run on login add blueman-applet either under System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications (GNOME) or Xfce Menu -> Settings -> Session and Startup (Xfce).

  • If you are running Blueman outside GNOME/GDM (e.g., in Xfce using the startx command) you should add . /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/* on top of your ~/.xinitrc to make Nautilus capable to browse your devices.
  • If you are not using Nautilus (for example Thunar) you may find the following script useful:
 fusermount -u ~/bluetooth
 obexfs -b $1 ~/bluetooth
 thunar ~/bluetooth

Now you will need to move the script to an appropriate location (e.g., /usr/bin). After that, mark it as executable:

chmod +x /usr/bin/
The last step is to change the line in Blueman tray icon -> Local Services -> Transfer -> Advanced to %d.

GNOME Bluetooth

GNOME Bluetooth is a fork of the old bluez-gnome and is focused on integration with the GNOME desktop environment. GNOME Bluetooth is required by gnome-shell, so you should already have it installed if you are running GNOME 3. Otherwise, it can be installed with the package gnome-bluetooth.

Run bluetooth-applet for a nice Bluetooth applet. You should now be able to setup devices and send files by right-clicking the Bluetooth icon. To make the applet run on login, add it to System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications.

To add a Bluetooth entry to the SendTo menu in Thunar's file properties menu, see instructions here.


The Bluetooth tool for KDE is BlueDevil. It can be installed with the package bluedevil, available in the Official Repositories.

Make sure bluetooth daemon is running, as described above. You should get a Bluetooth icon both in Dolphin and in the system tray, from which you can configure BlueDevil and detect Bluetooth devices by clicking the icon. You can also configure BlueDevil from the KDE System Settings

Fluxbox, Openbox, other WM

Of course you can still use the preceding applications even if GNOME, Xfce or KDE are not your desktop manager. This list should help you figuring out which application does what:

  • bluetooth-applet -- tray icon with access to settings, pairing wizard, management of known devices
  • /usr/lib/gnome-user-share/gnome-user-share -- needs to be running if you're about to receive files via obexBT from a paired/bonded device

if you're receiving an error during transmission and/or there's no file received add this into


 <policy user="your_user_id">
   <allow own="org.bluez"/>
   <allow send_destination="org.bluez"/>
   <allow send_interface="org.bluez.Agent"/>
  • bluetooth-wizard -- for new devices to be paired
  • bluetooth-properties -- accessible also via bluetooth-applet icon
  • gnome-file-share-properties -- permissions on receiving files via bluetooth
  • bluez-sendto -- gui for sending files to a remote device

Manual configuration

To configure BlueZ manually, you will need to edit the configuration files in /etc/bluetooth. These are:


The default configuration should work for most purposes. Most configuration options are well-documented in these files, so customization is a simple matter of reading the option descriptions. For general options, start with main.conf.

Audio streaming

If you would like to enable audio streaming from your device to your computer, you must modify audio.conf and add this to the [General] section:


(edit) With bluez 4.98 and alsa-lib, I've had succes with:



Note: This section might not be completely accurate. Thanks to Gattschardo for the pin solution

Many bluetooth devices require pairing. The exact procedure depends among other on the devices involved, and their input functionality. The procedure on a mobile may be as follows:

  • The computer sends a connect request to the mobile.
  • A pin, determined by the computer, is prompted for at the mobile
  • The same key must be re-entered at the computer.

To scan for external devices, do

 $> hcitool scan

To pair with a device without using the gnome-bluez package you will need to use a tool named bluez-simple-agent that comes with the bluez package. You need a few python related packages from the regular repositories to get this to run: dbus-python and pygobject. If you have everything ready you can start the script from the root user:

 $> bluez-simple-agent

If it all works, you should get the message "Agent registered" on that console. You can now start pairing from your mobile device, and the script will ask you for the passcode on this console, you type it and confirm with enter - voila that's all. You can now also shut down the agent using ^C-c, you need it only for pairing, not every time you want to connect. If you can`t discover computer from your phone, go to troubleshooting section.

If you want to pair with a 'passive' device such as a headset, you can provide it's address to attempt pairing from your computer:

 $> bluez-simple-agent hci0 00:11:22:33:AA:BB

For an example scroll down to the example section.

Using Obex for sending and receiving files

Another option, rather than using KDE or Gnome Bluetooth packages, is Obexfs which allows you to mount your phone and treat it as part of your filesystem. Note that to use Obexfs, you need a device that provides an Obex FTP service.

To install;

# pacman -S obexfs

and then your phone can then be mounted running as root

# obexfs -b <devices mac address> /mountpoint

For more mounting options see


Siemens S55

This is what I did to connect to my S55. (I have not figured out how to initiate the connection from the phone)

  • The steps under installation
  $> hcitool scan
  Scanning ...
          XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX  NAME

Start the simple-agent in a second terminal

  $> su -c bluez-simple-agent 
  Agent registered

Back to the first console

  $> obexftp -b $B -l "Address book"
  # Phone ask for pin, I enter it and answer yes when asked if I want to save the device
  <file name="5F07.adr" size="78712" modified="20030101T001858" user-perm="WD" group-perm="" />
  $> obexftp -b 00:01:E3:6B:FF:D7 -g "Address book/5F07.adr"
  Browsing 00:01:E3:6B:FF:D7 ...
  Channel: 5
  Receiving "Address book/5F07.adr"... Sending "Address book"... done
  $> obexftp -b 00:01:E3:6B:FF:D7 -p a                      
  Sending "a"... done

Logitech Mouse MX Laser / M555b

To quickly test the connection:

$> hidd --connect XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX

For automated reconnection, use your desktop wizard to configure the bluetooth mouse. If your desktop environment doesn't includes support for this task, see the Bluetooth mouse manual configuration guide.

Motorola V900

After installing blueman and running blueman-applet, click "find me" under connections -> bluetooth in motorla device. In blueman-applet, scan devices, find the motorola, click "add" in blueman-applet. Click "bond" in blueman-applet, enter some pin, enter the same pin in motorola when it asks. In terminal:

  cd ~/
  mkdir bluetooth-temp
  obexfs -n xx:yy:zz:... ~/bluetooth-temp
  cd ~/bluetooth-temp

and browse... Only audio, video, and pictures are available when you do this.

Motorola RAZ

> pacman -S obextool obexfs obexftp openobex bluez
> lsusb
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 03f0:171d Hewlett-Packard Wireless (Bluetooth + WLAN) Interface [Integrated Module]
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
> hciconfig hci0 up
> hciconfig
hci0:   Type: BR/EDR  Bus: USB
        BD Address: 00:16:41:97:BA:5E  ACL MTU: 1017:8  SCO MTU: 64:8
        UP RUNNING
        RX bytes:348 acl:0 sco:0 events:11 errors:0
        TX bytes:38 acl:0 sco:0 commands:11 errors:0
> hcitool dev
        hci0    00:16:41:97:BA:5E

Attention: make sure that bluetooth on your phone is enabled and your phone is visible!

> hcitool scan
Scanning ...
        00:1A:1B:82:9B:6D       [quirxi]
> hcitool inq
Inquiring ...
        00:1A:1B:82:9B:6D       clock offset: 0x1ee4    class: 0x522204
> l2ping 00:1A:1B:82:9B:6D
Ping: 00:1A:1B:82:9B:6D from 00:16:41:97:BA:5E (data size 44) ...
44 bytes from 00:1A:1B:82:9B:6D id 0 time 23.94ms
44 bytes from 00:1A:1B:82:9B:6D id 1 time 18.85ms
44 bytes from 00:1A:1B:82:9B:6D id 2 time 30.88ms
44 bytes from 00:1A:1B:82:9B:6D id 3 time 18.88ms
44 bytes from 00:1A:1B:82:9B:6D id 4 time 17.88ms
44 bytes from 00:1A:1B:82:9B:6D id 5 time 17.88ms
6 sent, 6 received, 0% loss
> hcitool name  00:1A:1B:82:9B:6D
# hciconfig -a hci0
hci0:   Type: BR/EDR  Bus: USB
        BD Address: 00:16:41:97:BA:5E  ACL MTU: 1017:8  SCO MTU: 64:8
        UP RUNNING
        RX bytes:9740 acl:122 sco:0 events:170 errors:0
        TX bytes:2920 acl:125 sco:0 commands:53 errors:0
        Features: 0xff 0xff 0x8d 0xfe 0x9b 0xf9 0x00 0x80
        Packet type: DM1 DM3 DM5 DH1 DH3 DH5 HV1 HV2 HV3
        Link policy:
        Link mode: SLAVE ACCEPT
        Name: 'BCM2045'
        Class: 0x000000
        Service Classes: Unspecified
        Device Class: Miscellaneous,
        HCI Version: 2.0 (0x3)  Revision: 0x204a
        LMP Version: 2.0 (0x3)  Subversion: 0x4176
        Manufacturer: Broadcoml / Corporation (15)
> hcitool info 00:1A:1B:82:9B:6D
Requesting information ...
        BD Address:  00:1A:1B:82:9B:6D
        Device Name: [quirxi]
        LMP Version: 1.2 (0x2) LMP Subversion: 0x309
        Manufacturer: Broadcom Corporation (15)
        Features: 0xff 0xfe 0x0d 0x00 0x08 0x08 0x00 0x00
                <3-slot packets> <5-slot packets> <encryption> <slot offset>
                <timing accuracy> <role switch> <hold mode> <sniff mode>
                <RSSI> <channel quality> <SCO link> <HV2 packets>
                <HV3 packets> <A-law log> <CVSD> <power control>
                <transparent SCO> <AFH cap. slave> <AFH cap. master>

Edit your main.conf and enter the proper class for your phone ( Class = 0x100100 ):

> vim /etc/bluetooth/main.conf
  # Default device class. Only the major and minor device class bits are
  # considered.
  #Class = 0x000100
  Class =  0x100100
> /etc/rc.d/dbus start
:: Starting D-BUS system messagebus 
> /etc/rc.d/bluetooth start
:: Stopping bluetooth subsystem:  pand dund rfcomm hidd  bluetoothd
:: Starting bluetooth subsystem:  bluetoothd

Pairing with bluez-simple-agent only has to be done once. On your motorola-phone give 0000 in as your pin when phone asks for it !!

> /usr/bin/bluez-simple-agent hci0 00:1A:1B:82:9B:6D
RequestPinCode (/org/bluez/10768/hci0/dev_00_1A_1B_82_9B_6D)
Enter PIN Code: 0000
New device (/org/bluez/10768/hci0/dev_00_1A_1B_82_9B_6D)

Now you can browse the filesystem of your phone with obexftp:

> obexftp -v -b 00:1A:1B:82:9B:6D -B 9 -l
Tried to connect for 448ms
Receiving "(null)"...-<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<!DOCTYPE folder-listing SYSTEM "obex-folder-listing.dtd">
<parent-folder />
<folder name="audio" size="0" type="folder" modified="20101010T132323Z" user-perm="RW" />
<folder name="video" size="0" type="folder" modified="20101010T132323Z" user-perm="RW" />
<folder name="picture" size="0" type="folder" modified="20101010T132323Z" user-perm="RW" />

Or you can mount your phone into a directory on your computer and treat it like a normal file system:

> groupadd bluetooth
> mkdir /mnt/bluetooth
> chown root:bluetooth /mnt/bluetooth
> chmod 775 /mnt/bluetooth
> usermod -a -G bluetooth arno
> obexfs -b 00:1A:1B:82:9B:6D /mnt/bluetooth/
> l /mnt/bluetooth/
total 6
drwxr-xr-x 1 root root    0 10. Okt 13:25 .
drwxr-xr-x 5 root root 4096 10. Okt 10:08 ..
drwxr-xr-x 1 root root    0 10. Okt 2010  audio
drwxr-xr-x 1 root root    0 10. Okt 2010  picture
drwxr-xr-x 1 root root    0 10. Okt 2010  video

Pairing with an iPhone using bluez-simple-agent

Assuming a bluetooth device called hci0 and an iPhone that showed up in a hcitool scan as '00:00:DE:AD:BE:EF':

   # bluez-simple-agent hci0 00:00:DE:AD:BE:EF

Headset and Alsa Devices

1. First if you have not already, install bluez

# pacman -S bluez

2. Scan for your device

$ hcitool (-i <optional hci#>***) scan

3. Pair your headset with your device

$ bluez-simple-agent (optional hci# ***) XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX
  and put in your pin (0000 or 1234, etc)

4. Add this to your/etc/asound.conf file


pcm.btheadset {
   type plug
   slave {
       pcm {
           type bluetooth
           device XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX 
           profile "auto"
   hint {
       show on
       description "BT Headset"
ctl.btheadset {
  type bluetooth

5. Check to see if it has been added to alsa devices

$ aplay -L

6. Now play with aplay:

$ aplay -D btheadset /path/to/audio/file

or Mplayer:

$ mplayer -ao alsa:device=btheadset /path/to/audio/or/video/file
      • To find hci# for a usb dongle, type in
$ hcitool dev


Segfaults in Bluez 4.95

If bluetoothd stops working after enabling oder disabling your bluetooth device via rfkill or via gnome-bluetooth applet, look at your dmesg output. If it looks like:

bluetoothd[2330]: segfault at 1 ip 00007fcef2327b75 sp 00007fff9f769cb0 error 4 in[7fcef22ca000+e9000]

then you shoud consider downgrade to 4.94 (just grab the PKGBUILD/etc from arch and change version to 4.94 and correct the md5sum for bluez) or wait for an update of bluez. Here is also some (arch) bugreport about it.


$> passkey-agent --default 1234
Can't register passkey agent
The name org.bluez was not provided by any .service files

You probably started /etc/rc.d/bluetooth before /etc/rc.d/dbus

$> hciconfig dev
# (no listing)

Try running hciconfig hc0 up


If blueman-applet fails to start, try removing the entire /var/lib/bluetooth directory and restarting the machine (or just the hal, dbus, and bluetooth services).

# rm -rf /var/lib/bluetooth
# reboot


If you see this when trying to enable receiving files in bluetooth-properties:

 Bluetooth OBEX start failed: Invalid path
 Bluetooth FTP start failed: Invalid path

Then run:

 # pacman -S xdg-user-dirs
 $ xdg-user-dirs-update

You can edit the paths using:

 $ vi ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs

Bluetooth USB Dongle

If you are using a USB dongle, you should check that your Bluetooth dongle is recognized. You can do that by inspecting /var/log/messages.log when plugging in the USB dongle. It should look something like the following (look out for hci):

# tail -f /var/log/messages.log
May  2 23:36:40 tatooine usb 4-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 9
May  2 23:36:40 tatooine usb 4-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
May  2 23:36:41 tatooine hcid[8109]: HCI dev 0 registered
May  2 23:36:41 tatooine hcid[8109]: HCI dev 0 up
May  2 23:36:41 tatooine hcid[8109]: Device hci0 has been added
May  2 23:36:41 tatooine hcid[8109]: Starting security manager 0
May  2 23:36:41 tatooine hcid[8109]: Device hci0 has been activated

For a list of supported hardware please refer to the resources section on this page.

If you only get the first two lines, you may see that it found the device but you need to bring it up. Example:

hciconfig -a hci0
hci0:	Type: USB
	BD Address: 00:00:00:00:00:00 ACL MTU: 0:0 SCO MTU: 0:0
	RX bytes:0 acl:0 sco:0 events:0 errors:0
	TX bytes:0 acl:0 sco:0 commands:0 errors:
sudo hciconfig hci0 up
hciconfig -a hci0
hci0:	Type: USB
	BD Address: 00:02:72:C4:7C:06 ACL MTU: 377:10 SCO MTU: 64:8
	RX bytes:348 acl:0 sco:0 events:11 errors:0
	TX bytes:38 acl:0 sco:0 commands:11 errors:0

To verify that the device was detected you can use hcitool which is part of the bluez-utils. You can get a list of available devices and their identifiers and their MAC address by issuing:

$ hcitool dev
        hci0	00:1B:DC:0F:DB:40

More detailed informations about the device can be retrieved by using hciconfig.

$ hciconfig -a hci0
hci0:   Type: USB
        BD Address: 00:1B:DC:0F:DB:40 ACL MTU: 310:10 SCO MTU: 64:8
        RX bytes:1226 acl:0 sco:0 events:27 errors:0
        TX bytes:351 acl:0 sco:0 commands:26 errors:0
        Features: 0xff 0xff 0x8f 0xfe 0x9b 0xf9 0x00 0x80
        Packet type: DM1 DM3 DM5 DH1 DH3 DH5 HV1 HV2 HV3 
        Link policy: RSWITCH HOLD SNIFF PARK 
        Link mode: SLAVE ACCEPT 
        Name: 'BlueZ (0)'
        Class: 0x000100
        Service Classes: Unspecified
        Device Class: Computer, Uncategorized
        HCI Ver: 2.0 (0x3) HCI Rev: 0xc5c LMP Ver: 2.0 (0x3) LMP Subver: 0xc5c
        Manufacturer: Cambridge Silicon Radio (10)

Logitech Bluetooth USB Dongle

There are Logitech dongles (ex. Logitech MX5000) that can work in two modes Embedded and HCI. In embedded mode dongle emulates a USB device so it seems to your PC that your using a normal USB mouse/keyoard.

If you hold the little red Button on the USB BT mini-receiver it will enable the other mode. Hold the red button on the BT dongle and plug it into the computer, and after 3-5 seconds of holding the button, the Bluetooth icon will appear in the system tray. Discussion

hcitool scan: Device not found

  • On some Dell laptops (e.g. Studio 15) you have to switch the Bluetooth mode from HID to HCI using
# hid2hci
Note: hid2hci is no longer in the $PATH, it is under /lib/udev/hid2hci, but udev should run it automatically for you.
  • If the device won't show up and you have a Windows operating system on your machine, try booting it and enable the bluetooth adapter from windows.
  • Sometimes also this simple command helps:
# hciconfig hci0 up

My computer isn't visible

Can't discover computer from your phone? Enable PSCAN and ISCAN:

# enable PSCAN and ISCAN
$ hciconfig hci0 piscan 
# check it worked
$ hciconfig 
hci0:   Type: USB
        BD Address: 00:12:34:56:78:9A ACL MTU: 192:8 SCO MTU: 64:8
        RX bytes:20425 acl:115 sco:0 events:526 errors:0
        TX bytes:5543 acl:84 sco:0 commands:340 errors:0
Note: Check DiscoverableTimeout and PairableTimeout in /etc/bluetooth/main.conf

Try changing device class in /etc/bluetooth/main.conf as following

# Default device class. Only the major and minor device class bits are
# considered.
#Class = 0x000100 (from default config)
Class = 0x100100

This was the only solution to make my computer visible for my phone.

Nautilus cannot browse files

If nautilus doesn't open and show this error:

Nautilus cannot handle obex: locations. Couldn't display "obex://[XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX]/".

Install gvfs-obexftp package:

# pacman -S gvfs-obexftp

Bluetooth is disabled when starting GNOME

If you have dbus and bluetooth backgrounded (@) in your DAEMONS array in /etc/rc.conf, it might happen that bluetooth will be disabled when starting up GNOME. To solve this, make sure dbus is not backgrounded.

Sennheiser MM400 Headset connection problems

If your Sennheiser MM400 Headset immediately disconnects after connecting as Headset Service with Blueman, try to connect it as Audio Sink. Afterwards you can change the headset's Audio Profile to Telephony Duplex with a right click in Blueman. With this option headset functionality will be available although the headset was only connected as Audio Sink in first place and no disconnection will happen (tested with bluez 4.96-3, pulseaudio 1.1-1 and blueman 1.23-2).

My device is paired but no sound is played from it

Try to first inspect /var/log/messages.log

# tail /var/log/messages.log
Jan 12 20:08:58 localhost pulseaudio[1584]: [pulseaudio] module-bluetooth-device.c: Service not connected
Jan 12 20:08:58 localhost pulseaudio[1584]: [pulseaudio] module-bluetooth-device.c: Bluetooth audio service not available

If you see such messages, try first:

# pactl load-module module-bluetooth-device

If the module fails to work, do this workaround: Open /etc/bluetooth/audio.conf and add after [General] (on a new line)


Then restart the bluetooth daemon with /etc/rc.d/bluetooth restart. Pair again your device, and you should find it in the pulseaudio settings (advanced settings for the sound)

More information on Gentoo Wiki

See also