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HOWTO: Bluetooth and Skype on Ubuntu

Posted by yuzhou on December 28, 2006

This howto is based on Motorola HS815 Headset and Zonet (Broadcom Corporation USB) Adapter on Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy)

1. sudo modprobe snd-bt-sco or add ‘snd-bt-sco’ to the end of ‘/etc/modules’

2. sudo apt-get install bluez-utils to install btsco user-space program and (optional) bluez-pin for PIN GUI

3. edit ‘/etc/bluetooth/hcid.conf’ for security and pairing mode settings

  • ‘security auto;’ if using static pass key in the same file – add following statement
    • passkey “0000”;
  • ‘security user;’, if using a GUI interface to allow input – add following statement
    • pin_helper /usr/bin/bluez-pin;
  • ‘pairing multi;’

4. (seems optional) edit ‘/etc/bluetooth/rfcomm.conf’ to set remote device’s MAC address and channel

5. sudo /etc/init.d/bluetooth restart to restart bluetooth daemon

6. (optional) if in step 3 the security is set to ‘user’, need to run ‘passkey-agent --default /usr/bin/bluez-pin &

  • for the first time, I highly recommend everyone trying to use ‘user’ in step 3
    • before step 6, run xhost + to enable the GUI to show;
    • then run step 6;
    • when run step 7, the GUI for passkey shows, enter the passkey (0000 in my case) for your device;
    • then go on to step 8;
    • now, you can use xhost - to disable GUI;
    • then go back to step 3 ad change ‘security’ to ‘auto’;
    • then run step 5 to restart the daemon;
    • from now on, for everyday use, you can simply turn on your headset and run step 7 and 8;
    • you are all good, aren’t you?

7. sudo hcitool cc 00:00:00:00:00:00 (replace this with remote bluetooth device’s MAC address)

  • use sudo hcitool dev to ensure whether the bluetooth adapter is working
  • use sudo hcitool scan to get the MAC address of the remote bluetooth device’s MAC address

8. btsco 00:00:00:00:00:00 2 to use bluetooth headset as the audio device.

  • or better opt to btsco 00:00:00:00:00:00 2 >/dev/null & to run it at background with less message

9. select BT Headset as the Sound Device in Skype -> Tool -> Options -> Sound Devices.

(ToDo: I will add some references later on)

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7 Responses to “HOWTO: Bluetooth and Skype on Ubuntu”

  1. David Armour said

    Thank you for an informative and helpful how-to. I’m still having trouble, but I’ve got further following your how-to than anything I’ve found so far. Can I ask a couple of further questions?

    I set security to auto, and the passkey string to 0000. When I got to step 8, I got a selection of error messages, to wit:

    >> btsco 00:03:89:53:EC:7F 2
    Can’t connect RFCOMM channel: Device or resource busy
    >> btsco 00:03:89:53:EC:7F 2
    Can’t connect RFCOMM channel: Host is down
    >> btsco 00:03:89:53:EC:7F 2
    Can’t connect RFCOMM channel: Connection refused ## what’s it going to be?
    ## how can I connect to RFCOMM channel?

    Any response greatly appreciated.

  2. yuzhou said

    David, Please look at and follow the note in Step 6 for the first time you use a new device. The key point here is to allow the passkey GUI (a dialogbox) to show up and to accept your input. It will help establishing the passkey information.

    After one successful connection, you can change the security setting back to ‘auto’ and only run step 7, 8 for everyday use.

  3. Nate Clark said

    Nice! This worked perfectly for me. Actually, I don’t even think steps 3 to 6 were necessary for me because it was already configured that way (probably because I’ve used bluetooth to connect to my Treo previously). The step I was missing to get it to work with Skype was the ‘btsco’ command. Thanks much, now I don’t have to reboot into windows in order to Skype.

    Just a question: what is the ‘2’ at the end of the btsco command for?

  4. yuzhou said

    Nate, that’s the channel number. And as for daily use, you indeed only need step 7 and 8, while this howto is targeting a fresh installation. Anyway, Linux Rocks.

  5. Max said

    By reading your steps from 1 to 6 I was able to connect via gprs my Linux Ubuntu to Internet with a Nokia phone.
    I tried to do that for more than 3 hours, reading everything by Google searching but without success.
    I immediately added your web site to my prefered ones 🙂 Many thanks.

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  7. What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve
    found It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads.
    I’m hoping to give a contribution & aid other customers like its
    aided me. Good job.

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