Thursday, June 30, 2016

Using bluetooth headset on Linux

I bought a bluetooth headset recently. I got to make it work with my Linux laptop. There are 2 tools that I found useful in my experience in making it works such as:

  1. rfkill - let you know whether particular feature is blocked or not
Example: rfkill list

0: phy0: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: no
1: asus-wlan: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: no
2: asus-bluetooth: Bluetooth
        Soft blocked: yes
        Hard blocked: no

As you can see, the bluetooth is soft blocked. It means, you have to turn it on using software. Usually you can enable it using a GUI tool in your KDE or GNOME desktop. If it is hard blocked, it means you have to turn it on by pressing a combination of or a key on your keyboard or a switch. 

2. pavucontrol

Taken verbatim from here:

Pulseaudio volume control (pavucontrol) is a simple gtk+ based volume control tool (mixer) for the pulseaudio sound server. in contrast to classic mixer tools this one allows you to control both the volume of hardware devices and of each playback stream separately. it also allows you to redirect a playback stream to another output device without interrupting playback.

It is a powerful tool to control your input and output devices. If you want to use your bluetooth headset, you can change it here (see picture above).

That's all there is to it. Have fun!