What's a bluetooth utility for Linux that will let me pair and unpair devices, display messages coming from a device, send messages to a device (hopefully done using the filesystem!), and set any available flags?

The application in mind is that I just want to have say 10 tiny bluetooth keyboards and map each key on each keyboard to send a MIDI message (obviously the midi part is not part of this OP).

  • Nice, thanks. But I would like to use obex push to send files instead of obex ftp. Is there a way?
    – user78048
    Jul 19, 2014 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


Here's a list of several tools dealing with Bluetooth that you can use to interact with a device.



  • Gives info about the bluetooth hci on your pc
  • Ensure the device is up and running and has required scan modes
  • Running hcitool dev should also give some of this info


hcitool inq and hcitool scan

  • Gives info about or rather identifies nearby bluetooth devices

hcitool info <BTAddr>

  • Get info about remote bluetooth device


l2ping <BTAddr>

  • One way to see if we can communicate with a remote bluetooth device


sdptool browse <BTAddr> or sdptool records <BTAddr>

  • Gives info about the services provided by a remote bluetooth device


obexftp –nopath –noconn –uuid none –bluetooth <BTAddr> –channel <OPUSHChann elNo> –put <FileToPut>

  • Allows one to send file without specifying the pin on the remote device side
  • The OPush channel number for device is got from sdptool above

obexftp -b <BTAddr> -v -p <FileToPut>

  • Allows one to put a file onto the specified BT device
  • obexftp could also be used to get or list the files on the BT device
  • also allows one to identify a nearby BT device by just giving -b option


passkey-agent –default <Pin>

  • Pin specified here is what the remote BT device should provide or its user enter on that device when requested.



  • Allows one to recieve files sent from a bluetooth device.
  • Depending on who started it, the recieved files will be stored in the corresponding home directory


You can following the directions from this site to pair a device with your Linux box via the command line. The aritcle is titled: How to pair a bluetooth device from command line on Linux.


  1. Find your bluetooth device mac address

    $ hcitool scan
    Scanning ...
        11:22:33:44:55:66   device 1
        12:34:56:78:90:12   device 2
  2. Setup bluetooth-agent to pass the expected pairing code

    $ bluetooth-agent 0000 &
  3. Edit the rfcomm config file /etc/bluetooth/rfcomm.conf, and put the MAC address from above, in it.

    rfcomm0 {
      # Automatically bind the device at startup
      bind no;
      # Bluetooth address of the device
      device 11:22:33:44:55:66;
      # RFCOMM channel for the connection
      channel 3;
      # Description of the connection
      comment "This is Device 1's serial port.";

    NOTE: An important caveat, if you configure your device to not bind at startup (bind no;) you are going to have to manually spin up rfcomm using this command before using the serial port (which also requires root permissions).

    $ sudo rfcomm connect rfcomm0


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