I can pair my bluetooth headset with my laptop once. But when I disconnect my headset, I cannot reconnect it again. The only way it works is to restart the bluetooth daemon:

service bluetooth restart

When I do that, I see following in my log:

bluetoothd:  Terminating
bluetoothd:  Stopping hci0 event socket
bluetoothd:  Stopping SDP server
bluetoothd:  Exit
bluetoothd:  Bluetooth daemon 4.99
bluetoothd:  Starting SDP server
bluetoothd:  Excluding (conf) network
bluetoothd:  Excluding (conf) gatt_example
bluetoothd:  Excluding (conf) time
bluetoothd:  Excluding (conf) alert
bluetoothd:  Failed to open RFKILL control device
bluetoothd:  Listening for HCI events on hci0
bluetoothd:  HCI dev 0 up
bluetoothd:  Proximity GATT Reporter Driver: Operation not permitted (1)
bluetoothd:  Could not get the contents of DMI chassis type
bluetoothd:  Unable to load keys to adapter_ops: Function not implemented (38)
bluetoothd:  Adapter /org/bluez/8237/hci0 has been enabled

then I can successfully connect my headphones:

bluetoothd:  Can't open input device: No such file or directory (2)
bluetoothd:  AVRCP: failed to init uinput for 44:66:a7:81:3C:84
bluetoothd:  Badly formated or unrecognized command: AT+XEVENT=Bose SoundLink,158
bluetoothd:  Badly formated or unrecognized command: AT+BIA=0,0,0,1,1,1,0

But when I disconnect them and try connecting again, it does not work, and I see nothing in the logs.

Why can't I reconnect my headphones after disconnecting? Why do I have to restart bluetooth daemon? How can I fix this ?

I am using bluez 4.99 on Debian.

I am using custom kernel 4.4.

I am using alsa (no pulseaudio).

  • 1
    Suggestions : (a):include output of modinfo yourbtmod (detect your bt module by lsmod |grep bt, (b): Verify if you have a file called /etc/bluetooth/audio.conf and add manually to this file in General Section the entry Disable = Media, (c): Make sure that you have install the correct Debian Firmware for your device support , (d): It could be a bug of the bluez, but since today bluez stable has reached version 5.23 in stable and version 5.43 in testing i think you may need to try any of those versions. (e): Advise your kernel version Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 13:11
  • @George Vasiliou - a) I am using custom kernel 4.4. without kernel modules support. b) added Disable=Media, but does not make any difference. c) I think, I have correct firmware. After all, the headphones work OK. d) I am on Debian wheezy, cannot upgrade. e) = a) Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 20:08
  • Is pulseaudio on board?
    – user192526
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 20:51
  • @Bahamut - no pulseaudio. I am using only alsa. Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 21:31
  • 1
    @Bahamut - Yes, it is net/bluetooth together. Specifically: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 (802.11ac 2x2, + Bluetooth 4.0) Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 10:51

2 Answers 2


It's buggy with certain brands of headsets. I suffer the same problems and this python script to reconnect my bluetooth headset works for me.

Make sure to have at least python 3.5 installed. Directions on how to use the script is self explanatory in the header:


Edit: I've included the latest code for this script in this answer as a request but I'd recommend getting the latest iteration from the link provided, as the author is always updating the script.

#! /usr/bin/env python3.5
Fixing bluetooth stereo headphone/headset problem in ubuntu 16.04 and also debian jessie, with bluez5.
Workaround for bug: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/indicator-sound/+bug/1577197
Run it with python3.5 or higher after pairing/connecting the bluetooth stereo headphone.
This will be only fixes the bluez5 problem mentioned above .
Licence: Freeware
See ``python3.5 a2dp.py -h``.
    $ alias speakers="a2dp.py 10:08:C1:44:AE:BC"
    $ alias headphones="a2dp.py 00:22:37:3D:DA:50"
    $ alias headset="a2dp.py 00:22:37:F8:A0:77 -p hsp"
    $ speakers
Check here for the latest updates: https://gist.github.com/pylover/d68be364adac5f946887b85e6ed6e7ae
Thanks to:
 * https://github.com/DominicWatson, for adding the ``-p/--profile`` argument.
 * https://github.com/IzzySoft, for mentioning wait before connecting again.
 * https://github.com/AmploDev, for v0.4.0
 * https://github.com/Mihara, for autodetect & autorun service
 * https://github.com/dabrovnijk, for systemd service
Change Log
- 0.5.0
  * Autodetect & autorun service
- 0.4.1
  * Sorting device list
- 0.4.0
  * Adding ignore_fail argument by @AmploDev.
  * Sending all available streams into selected sink, after successfull connection by @AmploDev.
- 0.3.3
  * Updating default sink before turning to ``off`` profile.
- 0.3.2
  * Waiting a bit: ``-w/--wait`` before connecting again.
- 0.3.0
  * Adding -p / --profile option for using the same script to switch between headset and A2DP audio profiles
- 0.2.5
  * Mentioning [mac] argument.
- 0.2.4
  * Removing duplicated devices in select device list.
- 0.2.3
  * Matching ANSI escape characters. Tested on 16.10 & 16.04
- 0.2.2
  * Some sort of code enhancements.
- 0.2.0
  * Adding `-V/--version`, `-w/--wait` and `-t/--tries` CLI arguments.
- 0.1.1
  * Supporting the `[NEW]` prefix for devices & controllers as advised by @wdullaer
  * Drying the code.

import sys
import re
import asyncio
import subprocess as sb
import argparse

__version__ = '0.4.0'

DEVICE_PATTERN = re.compile('^(?:.*\s)?Device\s(?P<mac>%s)\s(?P<name>.*)' % MAC_ADDRESS_PATTERN)
CONTROLLER_PATTERN = re.compile('^(?:.*\s)?Controller\s(?P<mac>%s)\s(?P<name>.*)' % MAC_ADDRESS_PATTERN)
PROFILE = 'a2dp'

_profiles = {
    'a2dp': 'a2dp_sink',
    'hsp': 'headset_head_unit',
    'off': 'off'

# CLI Arguments
parser = argparse.ArgumentParser(prog=sys.argv[0])
parser.add_argument('-e', '--echo', action='store_true', default=False,
                    help='If given, the subprocess stdout will be also printed on stdout.')
parser.add_argument('-w', '--wait', default=WAIT_TIME, type=float,
                    help='The seconds to wait for subprocess output, default is: %s' % WAIT_TIME)
parser.add_argument('-t', '--tries', default=TRIES, type=int,
                    help='The number of tries if subprocess is failed. default is: %s' % TRIES)
parser.add_argument('-p', '--profile', default=PROFILE,
                    help='The profile to switch to. available options are: hsp, a2dp. default is: %s' % PROFILE)
parser.add_argument('-V', '--version', action='store_true', help='Show the version.')
parser.add_argument('mac', nargs='?', default=None)

# Exceptions
class SubprocessError(Exception):

class RetryExceededError(Exception):

class BluetoothctlProtocol(asyncio.SubprocessProtocol):
    def __init__(self, exit_future, echo=True):
        self.exit_future = exit_future
        self.transport = None
        self.output = None
        self.echo = echo

    def listen_output(self):
        self.output = ''

    def not_listen_output(self):
        self.output = None

    def pipe_data_received(self, fd, raw):
        d = raw.decode()
        if self.echo:
            print(d, end='')

        if self.output is not None:
            self.output += d

    def process_exited(self):

    def connection_made(self, transport):
        self.transport = transport
        print('Connection MADE')

    async def send_command(self, c):
        stdin_transport = self.transport.get_pipe_transport(0)
        # noinspection PyProtectedMember
        stdin_transport._pipe.write(('%s\n' % c).encode())

    async def search_in_output(self, expression, fail_expression=None):
        if self.output is None:
            return None

        for l in self.output.splitlines():
            if fail_expression and re.search(fail_expression, l, re.IGNORECASE):
                raise SubprocessError('Expression "%s" failed with fail pattern: "%s"' % (l, fail_expression))

            if re.search(expression, l, re.IGNORECASE):
                return True

    async def send_and_wait(self, cmd, wait_expression, fail_expression='fail'):
            await self.send_command(cmd)
            while not await self.search_in_output(wait_expression.lower(), fail_expression=fail_expression):
                await wait()

    async def disconnect(self, mac):
        print('Disconnecting the device.')
        await self.send_and_wait('disconnect %s' % ':'.join(mac), 'Successful disconnected')

    async def connect(self, mac):
        print('Connecting again.')
        await self.send_and_wait('connect %s' % ':'.join(mac), 'Connection successful')

    async def trust(self, mac):
        await self.send_and_wait('trust %s' % ':'.join(mac), 'trust succeeded')

    async def quit(self):
        await self.send_command('quit')

    async def get_list(self, command, pattern):
        result = set()
            await self.send_command(command)
            await wait()
            for l in self.output.splitlines():
                m = pattern.match(l)
                if m:
            return sorted(list(result), key=lambda i: i[1])

    async def list_devices(self):
        return await self.get_list('devices', DEVICE_PATTERN)

    async def list_paired_devices(self):
        return await self.get_list('paired-devices', DEVICE_PATTERN)

    async def list_controllers(self):
        return await self.get_list('list', CONTROLLER_PATTERN)

    async def select_paired_device(self):
        print('Selecting device:')
        devices = await self.list_paired_devices()
        count = len(devices)

        if count < 1:
            raise SubprocessError('There is no connected device.')
        elif count == 1:
            return devices[0]

        for i, d in enumerate(devices):
            print('%d. %s %s' % (i+1, d[0], d[1]))
        print('Select device[1]:')
        selected = input()
        return devices[0 if not selected.strip() else (int(selected) - 1)]

async def wait():
    return await asyncio.sleep(WAIT_TIME)

async def execute_command(cmd, ignore_fail=False):
    p = await asyncio.create_subprocess_shell(cmd, stdout=sb.PIPE, stderr=sb.PIPE)
    stdout, stderr = await p.communicate()
    stdout, stderr = \
        stdout.decode() if stdout is not None else '', \
        stderr.decode() if stderr is not None else ''
    if p.returncode != 0 or stderr.strip() != '':
        message = 'Command: %s failed with status: %s\nstderr: %s' % (cmd, p.returncode, stderr)
        if ignore_fail:
            print('Ignoring: %s' % message)
            raise SubprocessError(message)
    return stdout

async def execute_find(cmd, pattern, tries=0, fail_safe=False):
    tries = tries or TRIES

    message = 'Cannot find `%s` using `%s`.' % (pattern, cmd)
    retry_message = message + ' Retrying %d more times'
    while True:
        stdout = await execute_command(cmd)
        match = re.search(pattern, stdout)

        if match:
            return match.group()
        elif tries > 0:
            await wait()
            print(retry_message % tries)
            tries -= 1

        if fail_safe:
            return None

        raise RetryExceededError('Retry times exceeded: %s' % message)

async def find_dev_id(mac, **kw):
    return await execute_find('pactl list cards short', 'bluez_card.%s' % '_'.join(mac), **kw)

async def find_sink(mac, **kw):
    return await execute_find('pacmd list-sinks', 'bluez_sink.%s' % '_'.join(mac), **kw)

async def set_profile(device_id, profile):
    print('Setting the %s profile' % profile)
        return await execute_command('pactl set-card-profile %s %s' % (device_id, _profiles[profile]))
    except KeyError:
        print('Invalid profile: %s, please select one one of a2dp or hsp.' % profile, file=sys.stderr)
        raise SystemExit(1)

async def set_default_sink(sink):
    print('Updating default sink to %s' % sink)
    return await execute_command('pacmd set-default-sink %s' % sink)

async def move_streams_to_sink(sink):
    streams = await execute_command('pacmd list-sink-inputs | grep "index:"', True)
    for i in streams.split():
        i = ''.join(n for n in i if n.isdigit())
        if i != '':
            print('Moving stream %s to sink' % i)
            await execute_command('pacmd move-sink-input %s %s' % (i, sink))
    return sink

async def main(args):
    global WAIT_TIME, TRIES

    if args.version:
        return 0

    mac = args.mac

    # Hacking, Changing the constants!
    WAIT_TIME = args.wait
    TRIES = args.tries

    exit_future = asyncio.Future()
    transport, protocol = await asyncio.get_event_loop().subprocess_exec(
        lambda: BluetoothctlProtocol(exit_future, echo=args.echo), 'bluetoothctl'


        if mac is None:
            mac, _ = await protocol.select_paired_device()

        mac = mac.split(':' if ':' in mac else '_')
        print('Device MAC: %s' % ':'.join(mac))

        device_id = await find_dev_id(mac, fail_safe=True)
        if device_id is None:
            print('It seems device: %s is not connected yet, trying to connect.' % ':'.join(mac))
            await protocol.trust(mac)
            await protocol.connect(mac)
            device_id = await find_dev_id(mac)

        sink = await find_sink(mac, fail_safe=True)
        if sink is None:
            await set_profile(device_id, args.profile)
            sink = await find_sink(mac)

        print('Device ID: %s' % device_id)
        print('Sink: %s' % sink)

        await set_default_sink(sink)
        await wait()

        await set_profile(device_id, 'off')

        if args.profile is 'a2dp':
            await protocol.disconnect(mac)
            await wait()
            await protocol.connect(mac)

        device_id = await find_dev_id(mac)
        print('Device ID: %s' % device_id)

        await set_profile(device_id, args.profile)
        await set_default_sink(sink)
        await move_streams_to_sink(sink)

    except (SubprocessError, RetryExceededError) as ex:
        print(str(ex), file=sys.stderr)
        return 1
        print('Exiting bluetoothctl')
        await protocol.quit()
        await exit_future

        # Close the stdout pipe

    if args.profile == 'a2dp':
        print('"Enjoy" the HiFi stereo music :)')
        print('"Enjoy" your headset audio :)')

if __name__ == '__main__':
  • 1
    While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Apr 16, 2017 at 8:29
  • Yeah I was trying to figure the best way to include the code in my reply, but couldn't get formatting right without it looking like crap. I tried to use the code tag, I'll try again.
    – A H
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 4:02
  • 1
    Added script in answer as requested, though I recommend getting the latest update from the github link provided since author is always updating and improving the script.
    – A H
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 6:20

I can say you a couple of things:

a) my (little) experience with bluetooth under linux tells me is usually broken; there or here I always have some kind of issue.
b) bluez 4.99 was issued in March 2012, thus you are using a really, really old version; I suggest you (if you can) to, at least test, a newer version.

These should explain your problems.

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