I have a Raspberry Pi 3 and a Raspberry Pi Zero-W: both of which have built-in Bluetooth.

How can I pair these two machines together ? Both are headless systems.

Once they are paired - will 'obexftp' be the most sensible way of sending files between them ? Or better to set up 'pan' between them ?

  • What do you mean set up 'pan' between them? Doesn't pairing via Bluetooth - by definition - create a Personal Area Network (PAN)? Otherwise. the only Raspbian software package I can find named pan is a newsreader, so I don't think you're talking about a particular piece of software.
    – Hydraxan14
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 17:00
  • I think I meant a 'piconet' - which (I believe) is a specific Bluetooth profile.
    – monojohnny
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 17:02
  • But basically: I meant a way of running 'IP' over Bluetooth. ('bnep' device or something?)
    – monojohnny
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 17:08
  • Maybe I should have checked first... there is, in fact, a PAN profile for Bluetooth. It looks like it does something like IP over Bluetooth.
    – Hydraxan14
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 17:12
  • No worries - I should have been more specific (but the problem is I don't know what I need to do here - I think I need the 'pand' daemon working on one system - which is also running a Bluetooth 'access point' )
    – monojohnny
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 17:24

1 Answer 1


Adapt Intel Edison Guide, Use obexftp

I found a guide that describes pairing two Intel Edisons using bluetoothctl. It should work for two Raspberry Pi's, since they have the same software.

It basically goes like this:

  1. On both, set KeyboardDisplay agent (and default-agent?)
  2. On slave, set pairable and discoverable
  3. On master, scan and pair with slave MAC (confirm passkey)
  4. On slave, trust master MAC
  5. On master, connect to slave MAC

Once you're paired, I think it would be simpliest if you used obexftp for the file transfers, since you've only got two devices, and messing with profiles would probably be more complicated.

Note: I usually try to include specific commands from the links I put in answers, but I would have to copy so much from this blog post that I'd be uncomfortable doing so.


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