Can I get step by step directions for installing a generic Bluetooth dongle, so that I can use an existing bluetooth mouse and keyboard?

This answer to the question How can I use a bluetooth mouse and keyboard? suggests that Debian Squeeze should work out of the box with other Bluetooth HID devices.

Some other places suggest that this requires a specific chipset which some generic bluetooth dongles don't have, but I can't confirm that.

  • sudo apt-get install bluetooth takes forever... Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 10:14
  • With Alex's edit I'm happy to reverse my downvote. If this question attracts decent answers, I would suggest that we close the other question as a duplicate of this and migrate useful answers over.
    – Mark Booth
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 13:27
  • @MarkBooth: Agreed.
    – Jivings
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 13:29
  • Flagged as off topic. This is a Unix/Linux question and nothing directly related to RPI.
    – user606723
    Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 18:27

2 Answers 2


Packages & Tools

You only really need to install the 'bluetooth' package but, I used the following command to install some test tools and the GUI Bluetooth manager:

sudo apt-get install bluetooth bluez-utils blueman

USB Dongle Detection

lsusb shows a new device. This is the output:

Bus 001 Device 005: ID 0a12:0001 Cambridge Silicon Radio, Ltd. Bluetooth Dongle (HCI Mode)

There will be other devices in the list, but that (or something very similar) is what you are looking for.

The /etc/init.d/bluetooth status command shows whether Bluetooth is running.

Output should be:

Bluetooth is running


Switch your phone's Bluetooth to 'visible'. Then use the hcitool scan command to discover our devices initially:

hcitool scan showed the following output:

Scanning ... A0:75:91:01:02:03 Nexus S


Once you are able to see a device using hcitool scan, start a GUI session.

Under LXDE Menu>Preferences>Bluetooth Manager, you will find the Blueman GUI Bluetooth manager.

From there, you can scan and pair bluetooth devices as expected in any GUI system.

and that is what worked for me. Original tutorial found here

Edit: There are apparently further steps required to use a bluetooth keyboard(or other device) in a CLI environment. Anybody have an idea about that?


For command-line only (headless server) connection to a Nokia phone I did this:

I've put in bold what you need to do to to pair something with the command line only...

Usb hub: Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0409:005a NEC Corp. HighSpeed Hub Bluetooth dongle: Bus 001 Device 006: ID 0e5e:6622 Conwise Technology Co., Ltd. CW6622

This is a cheap (under 10$) Bluetooth dongle I've bought a year ago and forgot about it.

  1. Installed bluetooth stack $ apt-get install bluetooth bluez-utils blueman

  2. go make dinner while it does its thing

  3. scan for devices

$ hcitool scan
Scanning ...
00:AA:BB:CC:DD:EE <phone name>
  1. start a Bluetooth agent with a pin to pair with the phone $ bluetooth-agent <pin>
  2. on a second ssh connection (bluetooth-agent is still running!) $ rfcomm connect hci0 00:AA:BB:CC:DD:EE
  3. phone asks for a pin, put in the same pin from bluetooth-agent, always allow connection
  4. close both rfcomm and bluetooth agent**
  5. Install gammu $ apt-get install gammu
  6. configure gammu $ nano /etc/gammurc For my Nokia phone:
Connection = bluephonet
Device = 00:AA:BB:CC:DD:EE
Model = NAUTO
  1. test if the model autodetection works with $ gammu --identify
  2. use it!

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.