I am wondering if the RPi3 has BLE built in. (Not standard bluetooth, but BLE)

And if it does, how do I find BLE devices or install BLE software or whatever, as I know Raspbian doesn't support BLE itself.

1 Answer 1


From the datasheet of the Raspberry Pi 3's BCM43438 radio chip (emphasis mine):

a 2.4 GHz WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g/n MAC/baseband/radio, Bluetooth 4.1 support, and an FM receiver.

Adafruit have a great tutorial on installing the latest version of BlueZ (the official Linux Bluetooth protocol stack). They summarise the process as:

  • Download source
  • Install dependencies
    • sudo apt-get update
    • sudo apt-get install -y libusb-dev libdbus-1-dev libglib2.0-devlibudev-dev libical-dev libreadline-dev
  • Compile and install BlueZ
  • Set up BlueZ service
    • sudo systemctl start bluetooth
    • systemctl status bluetooth
    • sudo systemctl stop bluetooth
  • Enable Bluetooth Low Energy features
    • Edit /lib/systemd/system/bluetooth.service to enable experimental features
    • Restart BlueZ service

Once all that's done you can use bluetoothctl to scan for nearby BLE devices.

While it's not explicitly mentioned in your question, the python tag implies that you might get some use out of the pybluez module, a 'Python extension module allowing access to system Bluetooth resources.'

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