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Linux Multimedia Hacks by Kyle Rankin

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Hack #45. Use a Bluetooth Headset with Linux

Use a Bluetooth-enabled headset to make VoIP calls or listen to music while wirelessly roaming throughout your house.

One of the coolest wireless technologies to come along recently is Bluetooth. Unlike its more well-known cousin, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth is not intended to be a networking protocol, though it can be used as one. Bluetooth was designed to fill a more mundane purpose—cable replacement. When Bluetooth devices are talking to one another (defined as pairing), they form a Personal Area Network (PAN). There are many Bluetooth-enabled devices today, including PDAs, headsets, cellphones, and computers.

I own quite a few devices that are Bluetooth-capable, and I've used several of them under Linux. One of the more difficult things I've tried is getting a Bluetooth headset working in Linux, because the software isn't quite there yet. After a good deal of experimentation, I've finally gotten this working.

This has been tested under Ubuntu Linux (Hoary Hedgehog release), kernel 2.6.10. In theory, it would also work with Debian Linux with little or no modification. For users of other distributions, these steps might give you enough information to get a Bluetooth headset working.

Here's what you'll need:

  • A Bluetooth headset (I'm using a Jabra BT250)

  • A Bluetooth adapter for your computer (I'm using a D-Link DBT-120 USB adapter)

  • The Bluez Bluetooth software stack and the associated development libraries installed:

    bluez-hcidump
    bluez-pin
    bluez-utils ...

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