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Bluetooth is a wireless network protocol, designed for short range distances, low power and low cost. This makes it specially useful in small, mobile devices like mobile phones, PDAs and laptops, but is also used in many other types of devices.

It uses the open or license free 2.4Ghz radio band and does fast frequency hopping to avoid interference with other devices in that band. For more information, see Wikipedia's article.

Linux support

You can find a list of supported hardware at

The Linux kernel includes a bluetooth protocol stack named bluez. It supports USB, PCMCIA and serial bluetooth devices. In most recent distributions these devices are normally recognized automatically.

File transfer

This describes how you initiate a bluetooth file transfer, typically with your mobile phone.

  • Find out if you have a Linux-supported bluetooth device:
hwinfo --bluetooth
  • Switch on bluetooth on your mobile phone and put it next to your computer.
  • Find out which bluetooth devices you can access:
hcitool scan

Your mobile phone should appear in the output, about like this:

tweedleburg:~ # hcitool scan
Scanning ...
        00:16:4E:62:BE:31       Nokia 6230i
  • install your bluetooth application (this example is taken from SUSE Linux 11.1)
yast -i bluez-gnome
  • start your bluetooth application and follow the on-screen instructions
Should you find video clips with the suffix .3gp on your phone: They can be played with mPlayer and RealPlayer.

Pairing devices

After the hardware has been set up, it's time to actually use it. You need some software to scan and 'pair' devices. The Bluez project created several programs to do this (hcitool,hcidump,bluez-pin, etc.). Here is an example how to pair a device:

You need to tell your mobile phone now that it shall trust your computer. First, your computer needs a PIN, like this:

echo 1111 >/etc/bluetooth/pin

Then continue on your mobile device. In my example, I have a Nokia 6320, so I do:

  • menu
  • settings
  • connections
  • Bluetooth
  • coupled devices
  • Option
  • couple new device
  • choose my computer
  • choose "couple"
  • type my password


See also

External links