Making BT work in Kubuntu Edgy

Here’s another feather in my opensource cap. I managed to make my bluetooth setup work between my notebook and Sony Ericsson K610i.Yesterday, I bought a USB bluetooth dongle priced at about P500. I guess that the model I bought was in between the high-end and low-end gadgets.

With my Kubuntu Edgy system, I made sure I have the following packages installed:

1. bluetooth – Bluetooth stack utilities
2. kdebluetooth – KDE Bluetooth Framework
3. bluez-utils – Bluetooth tools and daemons
4. qobex – Swiss army knife for the OBject EXchange (obex) protocol
5. obexftp – file transfer utility for devices that use the OBEX protocol
6. obexserver – Receive files with OBEX protocol

Then I issued the kbluetoothd daemon to watch out for connected bluetooth devices, e.g., my mobile phone.

I did not touch the /etc/bluetooth/hcid.conf file except the line on passkey. I also changed the file ‘pin’ to reflect the passkey that I liked.

With the dongle attached to a USB port in my notebook, I tried to connect my phone by adding a device in it. The process of successfully connecting was very long and tedious, though. The bluetooth daemon always said ‘pairing not allowed’. The KDE documentation advised that one check the log file to determine the problem in case the stock workaround does not work. I did check the /var/log/debug file and I saw a line that says: hcid[9419]: call_passkey_agent(): no agent registered.

The not-so-techie dungkal was clueless of course. Searching the Internet made me realize that there’s a glitch in Kubuntu as far as passkey handling is concerned. Solution: install gnome-bluetooth and bluez-passkey-gnome.

I bg’ed the process bt-applet (Gnome’s equivalent for kbluetoothd). It’s wierd of course to have both the KDE and Gnome daemons running at the same time.

I detached the dongle and put it back on. Yes, you guess it right. Both the prompts of KDE and Gnome popped up. But it was the Gnome prompt that I needed. I clicked on the yellow-brownish prompt which fired up the authentication dialog box. I entered the laptop’s bluetooth passkey and then my mobile phone asked for the passkey.

As quick as my batting my eyelash, the bt-applet issued a message like “bonding of two devices created”.

Now that the passkey registration got successful, I tried to restart my machine and not issue the bt-applet any longer. Yahoo! Pairing for Kubuntu worked automatically.

Kubuntu relies on the OpenOBEX protocol to exchange files between two bluetooth-enabled devices. Clicking on my notebook’s applet icon brings me immediately to Konqueror displaying all devices sniffed by my notebook. Then when I click on the device referring to my phone, all services available from it are displayed, common of which are File Transfer and Object Push.

The only beef I have is that the dongle I bought seems to be unstable. Sometimes, file transfer is successful, sometimes it’s not. When I once checked the tx and rx registers, I found out that the tx side contained errors. To do: Buy a more reliable dongle alternative.

Doing Google search also brought me to a handful of sites concerning the use of Sony Ericsson K610i with Linux. Cool! That gives me hope that the data in my phone will be more secure and synchronizable with my notebook on the fly.


  1. Teacher Dungkal, alin po ba sa dose-dosenang distros na available ngayon ang pinakamaganda for normal desktop users? for server administrators? for digital graphics designers? Thanks šŸ™‚

  2. Tough to answer. Ang isang trait ng open source ay “exploratory” ito. Maraming users ang mas gustong mag-explore kung anong distro ang magsu-suit sa needs nila. Pero sa feedback na nakukuha ko, maganda ang UI ng OpenSuse. Of course, dahil ‘biased’ tayo sa Ubuntu at Kubuntu, cool na rin sila in terms of UI. Pwedeng itapat sa Vista (na tumatapat naman sa Mac.)

    Of course, kapag UI ang main consideration mo, kailangan mabilis at stable ang machine mo. You also need at least 512MB memory.

    Sa server administration naman, sa tingin ko kahit anong distro pwede. Kasi naman, yan ang main strength ng Linux at *BSD. Hayan, nabanggit ko ang *BSD. Di ba nasabi ng tekkie idol na si BobSor na OpenBSD sya (apart from being a Mac user at the same time?)

    Sa PEACE, para less complicated ang lahat, we are using Ubuntu as our server and Kubuntu as desktop. Kubuntu kasi medyo may pagkakahawig ito sa Windows.

    Sa graphics design? Subukan mo ang Ubuntu Studio

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