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.
- 1 Installation
- 2 Configuration via the CLI
- 3 Configuration with a Graphical Front-end
- 4 Using Obex for sending and receiving files
- 5 Examples
- 6 Troubleshooting
Install the Bluetooth protocol stack official repositories. The
dbus daemon, which is started automatically by systemd, is used to read settings and for PIN pairing, while the
bluetooth daemon is required for the Bluetooth protocol.
Start the bluetooth systemd service:
# systemctl start bluetooth.
Configuration via the CLI
Pairing a device from the shell is one of the most simplistic and reliable options. The exact procedure depends on the devices involved and their input functionality. What follows is a general outline of pairing a device using
bluetoothctl interactive command. There one can input
help to get a list of available commands.
- Turn the power to the controller on by entering
power on. It is off by default.
devicesto get the MAC Address of the device with which to pair.
- Enter device discovery mode with
scan oncommand if device is not yet on the list.
- Turn the agent on with
pair MAC Addressto do the pairing (tab completion works).
- If using a device without a PIN, one may need to manually trust the device before it can reconnect successfully. Enter
trust MAC Addressto do so.
- Finally, use
connect MAC_addressto establish a connection.
An example session may look this way:
# bluetoothctl [NEW] Controller 00:10:20:30:40:50 pi [default] [bluetooth]# agent KeyboardOnly Agent registered [bluetooth]# default-agent Default agent request successful [bluetooth]# scan on Discovery started [CHG] Controller 00:10:20:30:40:50 Discovering: yes [NEW] Device 00:12:34:56:78:90 myLino [CHG] Device 00:12:34:56:78:90 LegacyPairing: yes [bluetooth]# pair 00:12:34:56:78:90 Attempting to pair with 00:12:34:56:78:90 [CHG] Device 00:12:34:56:78:90 Connected: yes [CHG] Device 00:12:34:56:78:90 Connected: no [CHG] Device 00:12:34:56:78:90 Connected: yes Request PIN code [agent] Enter PIN code: 1234 [CHG] Device 00:12:34:56:78:90 Paired: yes Pairing successful [CHG] Device 00:12:34:56:78:90 Connected: no
Configuration with a Graphical Front-end
The following packages allow for a graphical interface to customize 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 , so you should already have it installed if you are running GNOME 3. Otherwise, it can be installed with the package .
bluetooth-applet for a nice Bluetooth applet. In newer versions, for this to work, you might need to install AUR. 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.
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"/> </policy>
- 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
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 ObexFTP service.
Installand then your phone can then be mounted by running:
$ obexfs -b devices_MAC_address /mountpoint
For more mounting options see http://dev.zuckschwerdt.org/openobex/wiki/ObexFs
For devices don't support Obex FTP service, check if Obex Object Push is supported.
# sdptool browse XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX
Read the output, look for Obex Object Push, remember the channel for this service. If supported, you can use ussp-push to send files to this device:
# ussp-push XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX@CHANNEL file wanted_file_name_on_phone
All examples have been moved to section bluez4. They need to be checked and fixed for use with bluez5. See section Bluez4 below.
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 installand issue:
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 (or running
journalctl -f with systemd). It should look something like the following (look out for hci):
Feb 20 15:00:24 hostname kernel: [ 2661.349823] usb 4-1: new full-speed USB device number 3 using uhci_hcd Feb 20 15:00:24 hostname bluetoothd: HCI dev 0 registered Feb 20 15:00:24 hostname bluetoothd: Listening for HCI events on hci0 Feb 20 15:00:25 hostname bluetoothd: HCI dev 0 up Feb 20 15:00:25 hostname bluetoothd: Adapter /org/bluez/4568/hci0 has been enabled
For a list of supported hardware please refer to the Resource 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 DOWN RX bytes:0 acl:0 sco:0 events:0 errors:0 TX bytes:0 acl:0 sco:0 commands:0 errors:
# 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 UP RUNNING RX bytes:348 acl:0 sco:0 events:11 errors:0 TX bytes:38 acl:0 sco:0 commands:11 errors:0
If this fails with an error like:
Operation not possible due to RF-kill
it could be due either to the
rfkill utility, in which case it should be resolved with
# rfkill unblock all
or, it could simply be the hardware switch of the computer. The hardware bluetooth switch (at least sometimes) controls access to USB bluetooth dongles also. Flip/press this switch and try bringing the device up again.
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
Devices: hci0 00:1B:DC:0F:DB:40
More detailed informations about the device can be retrieved by using
$ hciconfig -a hci0
hci0: Type: USB BD Address: 00:1B:DC:0F:DB:40 ACL MTU: 310:10 SCO MTU: 64:8 UP RUNNING PSCAN ISCAN 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
- 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
rfkill unblock: Do not unblock
If your device still soft blocked and you run connman.
Try this: $ connmanctl enable bluetooth
My computer is not visible
Can't discover computer from your phone? Enable PSCAN and ISCAN:
# enable PSCAN and ISCAN $ hciconfig hci0 piscan # check it worked
hci0: Type: USB BD Address: 00:12:34:56:78:9A ACL MTU: 192:8 SCO MTU: 64:8 UP RUNNING PSCAN ISCAN RX bytes:20425 acl:115 sco:0 events:526 errors:0 TX bytes:5543 acl:84 sco:0 commands:340 errors:0
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]/".