I can't get my Bluetooth keyboard or mouse to work with RaspPi. I want a wireless solution. Are there alternatives?

1 Answer 1


I've seen several questions concerning connecting Bluetooth devices to the RaspPi, particularly mice and keyboards.

There is an alternative: nano-receiver devices. These are tiny dongles that plug in to USB ports and pair with companion devices such as mice and keyboards. You don't even have to install additional drivers. They usually are referred to as "wireless" as opposed to "Bluetooth".

I have a mini keyboard with integrated thumb trackball made by SIIG (SIIG JK-WR0412-S1 81 Key Wireless Mini Multimedia Keyboard) which uses a single dongle and therefore a single USB port (which powers it). It required no configuration other than pairing which occurred automatically when I powered up everything. The keyboard is battery powered. And since RaspPi sees it as a (two?) USB device(s?), it required no configuration either. Range is about 5 meters.

Such devices are available from several manufacturers. You can get separate mouse and keyboard but that would require both USB ports.

For me, it is a good alternative to a Bluetooth device.

  • Most of the wireless keyboards I've seen are actually of this type. As nice as bluetooth is, it doesn't address some major problems especially with keyboards and mice such as how to use them before the driver kicks in (example, in the BIOS). Some bluetooth keyboards work around this by starting up in wireless mode and then switching to bluetooth once the driver is loaded by the operating system.
    – Kibbee
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 12:31
  • The dongle emulates PS/2 over USB and acts as HID for both mouse and keyboard on a single USB port. (Not two on one- that is not possible without a hub) Some BIOS'es detect it on boot but the Raspberry does not use a BIOS so it will only start to work once the Kernel Loads the USB drivers. Also the Dongle has to be rated less than <100ma(Rev A) Many keyboards use more than that, so a wireless keyboard is a good solution but not a universal fix.
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 13:35
  • @Kibbee There is no such thing as wireless mode- It starts up in PS/2 Emulation using propitiatory wireless that is build into the devices. Also I never heard of propitiatory AND Bluetooth. That sounds a bit strange. Even thought the propitiatory wireless might run at 2.4Ghz like Bluetooth it is propitiatory because it uses a custom RF stack and does not meet BT1,2,3 or 5 Specifications for pairing and security. It just connects and relays data based on hard codded Hardware identifiers and cannot be mixed and matched.
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 13:39
  • @ppumkin I was going off the information found here. (superuser.com/a/256290/4095). While I understand there's no such thing as "wireless" mode. They are just emulating a standard PS/2 or USB keyboard and the dongle hides the fact that there is no wire. Based on what I'm reading there do exist keyboards that start up in 2.4 GHz wireless and then switch to bluetooth later.
    – Kibbee
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 13:57

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