On Debian Buster, I have a bluetooth headset.

While pairing with it works from the applet, the pairing wizard says there is an error just after the pairing, and trying to connect result in an immediate error pop up with no clear details.

How can I find what is wrong ? Or how to proceed ?

1 Answer 1


The GUI have no ways to give any logs about what went wrong, so you'll have to use the terminal.

A useful oneliner is sudo journalctl -n 20, which will give you the last system logs, if the error just happened, it should appear in it.

Example logs:

user@hostname:~$ sudo journalctl -n 10                        
-- Logs begin at Sun 2020-11-29 21:43:02 CET, end at Fri 2020-12-04 18:25:48 CET. --
Dec 04 18:25:41 hostname bluetoothd[707]: a2dp-sink profile connect failed for BC:F2:92:7E:C9:85: Protocol not available
Dec 04 18:25:48 hostname sudo[3854]: user : TTY=pts/2 ; PWD=/home/user ; USER=root ; COMMAND=/usr/bin/journalctl -n 20
Dec 04 18:25:48 hostname sudo[3854]: pam_unix(sudo:session): session opened for user root by user(uid=0)

You can see that pulse-audio is failing to find the proper protocol, which can happen quite easily as pulseaudio-module-bluetooth is not installed by default.

$ apt install pulseaudio-module-bluetooth

Pulse audio also need to reload to get the module working, which should be accessible from this command:

$ pulseaudio -k

If this doesn't works, you it should be listed as a service (service pulseaudio restart) or you can reboot.

Trying to connect, be it via CLI or GUI, should now work, if something else goes wrong, the same logs should provide enough informations to search for another solution. I had no need to pair the headset again.

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