Everything You Need To Set Up Bluetooth On The Raspberry Pi 3

Everything You Need to Set Up Bluetooth on the Raspberry Pi 3

One of the best new features of the Raspberry Pi 3 is its on-board Bluetooth, but while the software needed to get it working is easy to install, it might be a bit baffling to use. Element14 has a guide to working with Bluetooth from Raspbian.

If you're using the most recent version of Raspbian, you should have all the software you need already, but if not you should update Raspbian with these commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade -y
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade -y
sudo rpi-update

Once everything is updated, you'll need to pair you Bluetooth devices. You can do this in the Raspbian GUI by just clicking the Bluetooth icon in the upper-right hand corner and then add devices much like you would from any other desktop computer. This is all pretty self explanatory. Adding devices from the command line isn't quite so obvious though.

From the command line, type in bluetoothctl to launch the Bluetooth tool. From here, you have a bunch of commands you can run, but connecting to a device is pretty straightforward:

  1. From the bluetoothctl tool, type in power on to make sure Bluetooth is on.
  2. Type in agent on to make sure Bluetooth is running.
  3. Type in scan on to start searching for nearby Bluetooth devices.
  4. You should see all your various Bluetooth devices pop up with their MAC address (it's the number shown on the screen next to the device name, usually something like "50:54:B4:45:00:EB"). Make a note of the MAC address for the device you want to pair with your Raspberry Pi.
  5. Type connect followed by the MAC address, like connect 50:54:B4:45:00:EB

With that, your device should be paired. Go ahead and go through that process for each of the Bluetooth devices you want to set up. Head over to Element 14 for a more in-depth look at the setup process and a walkthrough for using the Raspbian GUI.

Setting up Bluetooth on the Raspberry Pi 3 [Element 14]


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