How to Set Up Bluetooth in Linux

Bluetooth is still very important in the world today given that a wide range of devices rely on its protocol to perform various operations. Most laptops come with built-in Bluetooth adapters, but even if yours doesn’t, external Bluetooth dongles are cheap and plentiful in supply.

Having Bluetooth properly set up on your machine allows you to use a Bluetooth mouse, keyboard, headset or any Bluetooth accessories you might own. Usually once you’ve installed a few packages and made a few tweaks, everything works flawlessly.

Getting Started

First, you need to install the required packages on your computer. If you’re on Ubuntu or an Ubuntu-based distro, run the following command:

Next, make sure your Bluetooth device is not blocked. You can verify that using the rfkill utility:


As you can see from the screenshot above, my Bluetooth device is neither soft-blocked or hard-blocked. If yours is blocked for some reason, you can unblock it using the same rfkill command.

Finally, make sure the Bluetooth service is active by running the following command.

Scanning for Bluetooth Devices

Before you start scanning for devices, install the blueman package which helps you pair and manage Bluetooth devices.

On Ubuntu use the following:

Once the installation is complete, launch the Bluetooth Manager from your applications launcher.


By default, your Bluetooth device is hidden. You need to make it visible so that it can be discovered by other devices.

Go to “Adaptor -> Preferences” and change the visibility setting to “Always visible” or “Temporarily visible,” whichever you prefer. You can also set a name for your Bluetooth device. This name is what will show up when other Bluetooth devices discover your PC.


Next, start scanning for Bluetooth devices by clicking “Search” and wait for a few moments for the scan to complete.

All visible and discoverable Bluetooth devices will be listed in the Bluetooth manager.


Pairing and Connecting to Devices

Now you should be able to pair and connect to your Bluetooth devices without breaking a sweat. Here’s how to connect to an Android device, for example.

1. Right-click the relevant entry on the list and click “Pair.” This will initialise a pairing request which the other device will have to accept.


2. Next, enter a PIN code in the dialog box and click OK. A four digit number should do.


3. Finally, go to your Android device and enter the same pin to confirm the pairing.


If everything goes well, the devices will be paired, and a new lock icon will appear on the device’s entry. On your Android device, your laptop should also appear under the “Paired devices” section.


Sending and Receiving Files


To send files to your smartphone, right-click the device and click “Send file” from the context menu. Next, select the file you want to send. A notification will appear on your phone asking you to confirm you want to receive the file.


You can also receive files from your smartphone in a similar manner. Just make sure to initialise the transaction from your smartphone and confirm receipt on your computer.

Using a Bluetooth Headset

Pairing with your Bluetooth headset should be easy enough. You do not need a PIN code here, so it should pair automatically once you send the request to pair the devices. Next, right-click the entry for the headset and connect to “Handsfree.”


Once it’s connected, you may have to go to your sound settings and switch the output device to your Bluetooth headset before it begins to work.


Another valuable step to managing and understanding your Linux PC is controlling the root password. Here’s our guide on how to reset the root password. If you’re a user of Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service, then you may also want to know how to sync OneDrive with Linux.

Ayo Isaiah Ayo Isaiah

Ayo Isaiah is a freelance writer from Lagos who loves everything technology with a particular interest in open-source software. Follow him on Twitter.


  1. I use linux mint 18 and if I use the cinnamon edition much easier BT pairing devices. The mate desktop is much more difficult to select a BT devices.

  2. I was getting reallly frustrated trying to get my dongle to work in Deepin. Followed your tute and boom! Job done. Many thanks for sharing.

  3. Followed your advice and it got my Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard working with an Asus UX31. Great advice. Made my old laptop, whose keyboard was shot, usable again. Thanks

  4. From
    Rfkill list
    Command I only found wireless lan
    I don’t found Bluetooth


    In Bluetooth manager it was showing that no adapter is found

    What should I do……

  5. Thanks – decided to software update linux mint 17.3 and all of a sudden my BT stopped working on reboot. bluetooth status said was running. Turned out rfkill showed Soft blocked as yes. Go figure.

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