How to set up Bluetooth on Linux PCs

Let’s face it: Bluetooth peripherals like mice, keyboards, and headsets are indeed a lot more comfortable than their respective wired versions.

If you use some Linux distributions, then it will be simple and immediate to configure Bluetooth. However, if you use other distributions such as Fedora and Arch Linux, you may have some difficulties: they require you to change some settings before you can fully enjoy the benefits of Bluetooth.

In our guide, we explain how to easily set up Bluetooth in Linux.

set up Bluetooth on Linux PCs

Before we begin, it’s good to make a clarification: the following steps will vary slightly between distributions, but the basic steps are essentially the same. If your distribution does not already have Bluetooth configured, you will first need to install Bluez, which contains the driver stack for the Bluetooth adapters and the Bluetooth CLI administration utilities. After installing Bluez, you may need to install a Bluetooth manager. Some desktop devices have built-in Bluetooth managers. For example, KDE Plasma has already integrated the KDE Bluetooth client. Gnome also has an integrated client. If your desktop device doesn’t have a built-in client, you can install the Blueman client.

How to install Bluez

Here are all the instructions to install Bluez on some different distributions.

Debian

sudo apt-get install bluez *

OpenSUSE

With OpenSUSE, you need to install bluez with the Open Build service.

Fedora

sudo dnf install bluez bluez-tools

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S bluez bluez-utils

How to install Blueman

Below, let’s find out together how to install Blueman on various Linux distributions.

Debian

sudo apt-get install blueman

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install blueman

Fedora

sudo dnf install blueman

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S blueman

Other distributions

To install Blueman on other Linux distributions, you need to search for the package manager in the distribution used for Blueman and then install all relevant packages.

Enabling Bluetooth

Enabling Bluetooth

After installation, you will need to activate and start the Bluetooth service. If you are using a Bluetooth dongle, you will first need to run the following command:

mdprobe btusb

To enable the Bluetooth service, run the following command:

sudo systemctl enables bluetooth.service

To start the Bluetooth service, use this command:

sudo systemctl starts bluetooth.service

After doing this, you will be able to start using Bluetooth on your system.

Connect to devices using Blueman

The connection process varies depending on the desktop manager you are using. Below, we analyze the connection process with Blueman as it is quite representative of the process on all other desktop managers.

To connect to a device, open “Bluetooth Manager” in your applications and start the search. Make sure the device you want to connect to is discoverable. When you see it in the device list, right-click on it and hit “Connect”. You may need to enter a passcode, but this information can be found in the device’s user manual.

You have finally configured Bluetooth on your Linux system:  now you can start using it!

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