I asked how to install bluetooth, so I can use an existing mouse and keyboard. I was able to get that to work, but the keyboard ceases to function when the GUI is logged out.

That means that I still need a 2.4Ghz keyboard to login, or to use the system prior to starting the GUI.

Does anyone have a solution which will allow me to pair to the bluetooth module automatically, pre-login?

  • Did you get it working with the command line? If so then it should be simple. If you have to connect using a GUI then I don't know how you can do it pre-login.
    – Jivings
    Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 10:06
  • There is, as i understand it, a way to pair using the command line, but I don't know how. The directions I've been able to find indicate connecting from the device side, which isn't functional on a keyboard. It has to be possible, or a bluetooth keyboard wouldn't be at all useful, since you'd still need a separate keyboard for use outside the GUI.
    – zenbike
    Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 10:15
  • Arch Users can follow: wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Bluetooth_Keyboard - it may give you enough hints to write an answer. Commented Jul 6, 2012 at 13:23
  • Looks good for Arch. Useless for Debian, though, as they've (apparently) deprecated the HIDD package. Thanks, though.
    – zenbike
    Commented Jul 6, 2012 at 15:08
  • 1
    I think you will need to start the BT driver before X (system wide) and somehow tell it to search for any paired devices before continuing..might make booting slower. This is just a comment I am not entirely sure how to solve it. But i know how annoying it is!
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 10:32

3 Answers 3


This doesn't answer your question, rather it offers an alternative. You ought to be able use a "wireless" keyboard which uses a USB dongle. To the OS, it appears just like a wired USB keyboard and so on boot, becomes active as soon as USB is active, quite early in the process. There's no need to load the BT stack, which would occur much later. See this question... Is There an Alternative to Bluetooth for Keyboard and Mouse?


This answer for a similar question posted in the Unix Stack Exchange may solve your problem (although I haven't tried it): https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/42593

  • You may have noticed that I asked that question as well.
    – zenbike
    Commented Mar 4, 2013 at 6:04

To pair from the command line with a phone (i assume to create a pair is the same for a keyboard)

  1. start a bluetooth agent with a pin to pair with the phone $ bluetooth-agent
  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
  • This clearly won't work before a log in. Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 14:04
  • why, cant a script run those 2 commands and then kill them? it should be enough to automatically pair a device on boot. If you want continous connection, i'd use l2ping <bluetoothmac> to check if device is in range. If yes, connect, if not, wait a bit, then ping and check again and so on
    – vlad b.
    Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 14:06

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