Bluetooth Primer.. is the official site for anything to do with Bluetooth and holds a wealth of information. Head over there if your looking to become a Bluetooth guru. If you just want a general run through of how Bluetooth works & integrates with Ubuntu then read on πŸ™‚

It’s very important that you find out which class a device belongs to before purchasing it.
There’s no point in paying for a Bluetooth headset (earphones & microphone) for talking to people while walking about your house, if it’s only a class 3 device with a range of 3 feet.
On the other hand; it would be a complete waste of money to pay out double the amount for a class 1 headset if your never going to walk more than 30 feet away either.

Range of devices:
The operating range of different devices depends on the device class it uses..

Class 3 radios – have a range of up to 1 meter or 3 feet.

Class 2 radios – most commonly found in mobile devices – have a range of 10 meters or 30 feet.

Class 1 radios – used primarily in industrial use cases – have a range of 100 meters or 300 feet.

The types of devices that most home users will use are Class 2. This class covers things like mobile phones, mice, keyboards, graphic tablets, speakers, microphones, headsets & other commonly used devices.

For two Bluetooth devices to talk to each other they must both have a unique name, or some other way of identifying themselves.

Once both devices have a unique identifier; one of the devices must be set to send a signal, whilst the other device must be set to listen out for the signal. Only then can these two devices communicate successfully.

Example.. My laptop sends out a signal. My phone searches for the signal, then connects to it.

Both devices must agree to a connection before one is finally made. This is usually a code that needs to be entered within both devices.

Example.. My phone finds the signal that’s being sent out by my computer & I tell it to connect to it. The phone asks me to input a code, so I enter 1234 & press send.

My computer receives the phones code of 1234 & asks me to input the same code into the computer. I input the code of 1234 into my computer & the connection is confirmed.

When two devices have the correct code to communicate with each other, this is called pairing.
You only need to use a code to pair two devices together once & they will always be able to communicate with each other. Well.. until you decide to delete the connection any way πŸ˜‰

This is the Bluetooth applet icon that shows up on the Gnome taskbar when there’s a Bluetooth adaptor active on your computer..


The Bluetooth applet is responsible for giving notifications about what’s happening with your devices. It will tell you when other Bluetooth devices are present & can be connected to. It will also ask you if your computer should allow connection to these devices & allow you to input your code for pairing.

Right click the Bluetooth applet icon & select Preferences to change your Bluetooth options as desired..

Bluetooth Preferences

You shouldn’t have too much trouble understanding the options available here. The most important one is the name (or other form of identification) that you decide to give your Bluetooth adaptor, as that’s what other devices see when they search for your signal.

This is the icon that shows on the Gnome taskbar when you transfer files using your Bluetooth device. It’s an animated icon & the rings move away from the triangle when a file transfer is in progress..


The file transfer program won’t start up automatically. You will either need to add it to your start up programs yourself, or you will need to click on Bluetooth file sharing within the Accessories section of the Gnome menu.

That’s the basics covered for now. For a tutorial on how to install the Bluetooth software & connecting Human Interface Devices in Ubuntu, please check here!


One thought on “Bluetooth Primer..

  1. Pingback: Installing Bluetooth & HIDD Devices.. « Ubuntu-FS

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