I need a Pi to pair promiscuously with anything with a Bluetooth antenna, because we need to use it headless, in the field, with no desktop, to pair to a Brand X tablet.

Here's the existing literature on headless pairing. Even after I upgraded it to use modern commands, it is fragile and inconsistent:


Now other literature recommends this to turn on discovery:

sudo bt-adapter --set Discoverable 1

The bluez-tools package provides bt-adapter? man bt-adapter does not discuss automatic pairing. Should I run bt-agent as a daemon and allow it to pair with anyone with the correct passkey?

Another problem: When I activated the network-over-Bluetooth system, PAN, it destroyed autopairing from both the old and new systems...

1 Answer 1


Looks like it's just

sudo hciconfig hci0 piscan
sudo hciconfig hci0 sspmode 1

per Automatically accept bluetooth pairings

  • The question you referenced has 6 answers (as of today). The answer that apparently resolved your issue has no votes (up or down). I'm confused... if this resolved your issue, why no upvote, but did it actually solve your issue?
    – Seamus
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 6:58
  • apologies for overreacting. We had a Pi Zero W in the field simply lose its adapter chip entirely, so when it was running headless we couldn't tell if the discovery failed or what. The next time I build a new controller I will confirm things work, then upvote them.
    – Phlip
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 15:32

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