Using a bluetooth serial console with linux

Recently I bought a bluetooth RS232 serial convertor. I wasn’t sure whether it would work with my Linux laptop. But it turned out to be quite simple to setup.

Pre-requisites

The following packages are required:

  • bluez
  • bluez-utils
  • byobu (optional)

Bluez provides the bluetooth protocol stack (most likely shipped with the OS), bluez-utils provides the bluetoothctl utility and byobu is a wrapper around screen terminal emulator. You can also use ‘screen’ directly. Install these using your distributions recommended procedure.

Steps

1. Start daemon:

 

Swanky:~$ systemctl start bluetooth

2. Discover using bluetoothctl:

Swanky:~$ bluetoothctl
[NEW] Controller <controller-mac-address> xkgt-Swanky [default]
[bluetooth]# power on
[bluetooth]# scan on

3. Once you can see your device, turn off the scan and pair

[bluetooth]# scan off
[bluetooth]# pair <device-mac-address>

4. Exit blutoothctl and create serial device:

[bluetooth]# exit
Swanky:~$ rfcomm bind 0 <device-mac-address>

5. You should now have /dev/rfcomm0. Connect to it using byobu-screen utility:

Swanky:~$ byobu-screen /dev/rfcomm0

Enjoy your wireless console connection!

 

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