Linux Guide/Linux and Bluetooth

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The following is just a simple example on how to connect a Bluetooth device, in this case a Nokia phone, in a Linux environment.

For the purpose of this article we assume to have installed Linux Mandrake 10.0 (Kernel 2.6.13, X86) on our computer.

Configuration and Connection[edit]

First we need the Bluez protocol, usually available as a RPM package on your distribution, then we have to start bluetooth service:

[ user]# service bluetooth start

now it's necessary to setup the PIN code and (if you want) the local device name link, for that purpose we edit (e.g. using JOE) the file /etc/bluetooth/hcid.conf:

[ user]# joe /etc/bluetooth/hcid.conf

modify the following excerpts:

excerpt for PIN:

# PIN helper 
pin_helper /etc/bluetooth/;  

where is a file created ad-hoc.

Excerpt for name:

# Local device name
# %d - device id 
# %h - host name
name "userdomain (%d)";

N.B.: file contains:

echo "PIN:XXX"

where XXXX means your PIN.

Now it's time to search for devices:

[ user]# hcitool scan

that should returns something like:

12:34:56:78:90:12 user1

in other words bdaddr (BT address) and device name, please take note of bdaddr, now it's time to discover available services an the remote device and on which channels:

[ utente]# sdptool records 12:34:56:78:90:12

depending on the type of device we are analysing the request returns a long list of profiles, in this case we are interested in the dialup one, so let see it available on channel 1:

Service Name: Dial-Up Networking
Service RecHandle: 0x10007
Service Class ID List:
  "Dialup Networking" (0x1103)
Protocol Descriptor List:
  "L2CAP" (0x0100)
  "RFCOMM" (0x0003)
    Channel: 1
Language Base Attr List:
  code_ISO639: 0x454e
  encoding: 0x6a
  base_offset: 0x100
Profile Descriptor List:
  "Dialup Networking" (0x1103)
    Version: 0x0100


[ user]# rfcomm bind 0 12:34:56:78:90:12 1

in other words I bind a virtual serial port, rfcomm0 (/dev/bluetooth/rfcomm/0), by means of the tool rfcomm to the remote device modem, not connected yet but ready for software's requests, let see:

[ user]# rfcomm show 0

that results in:

rfcomm0: 12:34:56:78:90:12 channel 1 clean

BT modem ready as serial peripheral at /dev/bluetooth/rfcomm/0

No need to mention that you in the meantime have already accepted the connection on your remote device.

Bluetooth device as a modem[edit]

To use this ready to use device as a modem I suggest as dialer the program wvdial, for this purpose we need to edit it's configuration file /etc/wvdial.conf, like this:

[Dialer Defaults]
Modem = /dev/bluetooth/rfcomm/0
Baud = 460800
Dial Attempts = 1
Init1 = ATZ
Init3 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP",""
Phone = *99#
Carrier Check = no
Stupid Mode = yes
Username = ""
Password = ""

N.B.: this example is from a working configuration for Vodafone Italy on a Nokia phone, for different countries/operators/brand configuration, please google with keyword +CGDCONT and operator's name, mostly you need to modify just the string

Init3 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP",""

according to your operator's specifications, and

Phone = *99# 

according to your phone's brand.

Dialup and connect...:

[ utente]# wvdial

Good Luck!!!

Other useful commands[edit]

  • hciconfig
  • hcitool scan
  • hcitool info BT_ADDRESS

BT_ADDRESS may be like,, 00:89:34:62:67:52

  • l2ping BT_ADDRESS
  • sdptool browse BT_ADDRESS
  • sdptool search DUN
  • hciattach -l

external links[edit]