A Bluetooth connection with a fresh flashed Raspberry Pi OS should work out of the box, at least with a Media audio profile. I can pair the smartphone and the RasPi but I cannot connect using bluetoothctl. I use the Raspberry Pi OS (32-bit) with desktop, based on version Buster on a Raspberry Pi 4B. First I make the smartphone in its bluetooth settings visible for other devices. Then I do:

rpi ~$ bluetoothctl
Agent registered

[bluetooth]# scan on
Discovery started
[NEW] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB Ingo (Galaxy S5)

[bluetooth]# scan off
[CHG] Controller DC:A6:32:7F:38:48 Discovering: no
Discovery stopped

[bluetooth]# pair 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB
Attempting to pair with 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB Connected: yes
Request confirmation
[agent] Confirm passkey 880257 (yes/no): yes
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB Modalias: bluetooth:v0075p0100d0200
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB UUIDs: 00001105-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB UUIDs: 0000110a-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB UUIDs: 0000110c-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB UUIDs: 00001112-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB UUIDs: 00001115-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB UUIDs: 00001116-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB UUIDs: 0000111f-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB UUIDs: 0000112d-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB UUIDs: 0000112f-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB UUIDs: 00001132-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB UUIDs: 00001200-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB UUIDs: 00001800-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB UUIDs: 00001801-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB ServicesResolved: yes
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB Paired: yes
Pairing successful
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB ServicesResolved: no
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB Connected: no

[bluetooth]# connect 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB
Attempting to connect to 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB
Failed to connect: org.bluez.Error.Failed

Why do I get this error message? What have I to do to connect successfully?

1 Answer 1


The problem is that there is no Audio Sink defined. Check with

rpi ~$ bluetoothctl show
Controller DC:A6:32:7F:38:48 (public)
        Name: raspberrypi
        Alias: raspberrypi
        Class: 0x00480000
        Powered: yes
        Discoverable: no
        Pairable: yes
        UUID: Headset AG                (00001112-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb)
        UUID: Generic Attribute Profile (00001801-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb)
        UUID: A/V Remote Control        (0000110e-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb)
        UUID: Generic Access Profile    (00001800-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb)
        UUID: PnP Information           (00001200-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb)
        UUID: A/V Remote Control Target (0000110c-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb)
        UUID: Audio Source              (0000110a-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb)
        UUID: Handsfree Audio Gateway   (0000111f-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb)
        Modalias: usb:v1D6Bp0246d0532
        Discovering: no
rpi ~$

As you can see, you will find an Audio Source but no Audio Sink, that is needed to provide a service to output audio. Out of the box RaspiOS uses alsa for audio services and with bluetooth bluealsa is needed:

rpi $ bluealsa --help
  bluealsa [OPTION]...

  -h, --help            print this help and exit
  -V, --version         print version and exit
  -B, --dbus=NAME       D-Bus service name suffix
  -S, --syslog          send output to syslog
  -i, --device=hciX     HCI device to use
  -p, --profile=NAME    enable BT profile
  --a2dp-force-mono     force monophonic sound
  --a2dp-force-audio-cd force 44.1 kHz sampling
  --a2dp-keep-alive=SEC keep A2DP transport alive
  --a2dp-volume         control volume natively

Available BT profiles:
  - a2dp-source Advanced Audio Source (SBC)
  - a2dp-sink   Advanced Audio Sink (SBC)
  - hfp-hf      Hands-Free (v1.7)
  - hfp-ag      Hands-Free Audio Gateway (v1.7)
  - hsp-hs      Headset (v1.2)
  - hsp-ag      Headset Audio Gateway (v1.2)

By default only output profiles are enabled, which includes A2DP Source and
HSP/HFP Audio Gateways. If one wants to enable other set of profiles, it is
required to explicitly specify all of them using `-p NAME` options.

Please note the comment at the end. To have an audio sink enabled we have to use at least option p a2db-sink but also others. It doesn't hurt to enable all available profiles:

bluealsa -p a2dp-source -p a2dp-sink -p hfp-hf -p hfp-ag -p hsp-hs -p hsp-ag

bluealsa is started with a service:

rpi ~$ systemctl status bluealsa.service
● bluealsa.service - BluezALSA proxy
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/bluealsa.service; static; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Sun 2020-09-27 11:50:29 BST; 2h 44min ago
 Main PID: 739 (bluealsa)
    Tasks: 3 (limit: 4915)
   CGroup: /system.slice/bluealsa.service
           └─739 /usr/bin/bluealsa

Sep 27 11:50:29 raspberrypi systemd[1]: Started BluezALSA proxy.

Here you can see in the CGroup that 739 /usr/bin/bluealsa is started without the additional option, so we have to modify it. I prefer to use a drop-in file with:

rpi ~$ sudo systemctl edit bluealsa.service

In the empty editor insert these statements, save them and quit the editor.

# Empty ExecStart to disable the old one
ExecStart=/usr/bin/bluealsa -p a2dp-source -p a2dp-sink -p hfp-hf -p hfp-ag -p hsp-hs -p hsp-ag

Check the runtime property:

rpi ~$ systemctl show --property=ExecStart bluealsa
ExecStart={ path=/usr/bin/bluealsa ; argv[]=/usr/bin/bluealsa -p a2dp-source -p a2dp-sink -p hfp-hf -p hfp-ag -p hsp-hs -p hsp-ag ; ignore_errors=no ; start_time=[Sun 2020-09-27 15:23:05 BST] ; stop_time=[n/a] ; pid=728 ; code=(null) ; status=0/0 }

You can also list the complete service with systemctl cat bluealsa.service.

Now reboot. You must unpair the smartphone in its bluetooth settings and on the RasPi:

rpi ~$ bluetoothctl
Agent registered

[bluetooth]# paired-devices
Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB Ingo (Galaxy S5)

[bluetooth]# remove 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB
[DEL] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB Ingo (Galaxy S5)
Device has been removed

Now pair it again. Then you should be able to connect the smartphone. To simplify things I recommend to trust the device before pairing!

[bluetooth]# scan on
--- snip ---
[bluetooth]# scan off
--- snip ---
[bluetooth]# devices
Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB Ingo (Galaxy S5)

[bluetooth]# trust 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB Trusted: yes
Changing 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB trust succeeded

[bluetooth]# pair 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB
--- snip ---
Pairing successful
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB ServicesResolved: no
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB Connected: no

[bluetooth]# connect 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB
Attempting to connect to 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB Connected: yes
Connection successful
[CHG] Device 14:A3:64:06:9F:DB ServicesResolved: yes
[Ingo (Galaxy S5)]

(1) Ubuntu - pairing
{2] Pairing Agents in BlueZ stack

  • There's a broken link in your first reference: "Ubuntu - pairing"
    – Seamus
    Mar 13, 2021 at 6:42
  • I don't pretend to understand Bluetooth but current Raspberry Pi OS has UUID: Audio Sink (0000110b-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb) - probably the "new-raspberry-pi-os-release-december-2020" 4th Dec 2020
    – Milliways
    Mar 13, 2021 at 10:12
  • @Seamus I have no problem to get to the side by clicking the link.
    – Ingo
    Jun 20, 2021 at 21:53
  • Ja - works for me as well now. So - where in the world have you been, my friend?
    – Seamus
    Jun 20, 2021 at 22:16
  • @Seamus Do you missed me :-) ? Yes, I'm busy with reengineering old classic UPnP library github.com/pupnp/pupnp to make it re-entrant, object oriented, unit tested and to support IPv6. It isn't done in a month. I have changed the focus a bit.
    – Ingo
    Jun 21, 2021 at 9:33

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