New mobile phone and Bluetooth

My two years old mobile phone died, so I bought a Nokia 6111, a small, nice and very usable phone.

This is my first Bluetooth mobile phone, so I tried for the first time Bluetooth on my MacBook. On Debian it works out of the box (you only need the bluetooth package), but Debian doesn’t have packages for GNOME Bluetooth, so I tried the packages from To use them install the GPG key:

wget -O- | apt-key add -

Then add the repository to /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb unstable gnome-bluetooth

gnome-obex-server (the program used to receive files) works, but gnome-obex-send (the program used to send files) cannot list devices even if “hcitool scan” is working correctly. This Ubuntu bug describes the problem and suggests to use “hciconfig hci0 inqmode 0”, but it doesn’t work for me.

I’m going to use Bluetooth only a few times and I’m lazy, so I decided not to solve this problem and to use a simple script to send files to other devices:

#! /bin/sh

if [ $# -lt 2 ]; then
    echo "Usage: $0 DEVICE-NAME FILES"

ADDR=`hcitool scan | grep $1 | awk '{ print $1; }'`
if [ -n "$ADDR" ]; then
    gnome-obex-send -d $ADDR "$@"
    echo "Device \`$1' not found" >&2

A more annoying problem is that, when I try to use Bluetooth, I get disconnected from wireless. Dear Lazyweb, how can I solve this?

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Try nautilus-sendto 0.10 which has bluetooth obex support and fixes.
I was not very lucky with BT under Linux either btw…

Try gnome-vfs-obexftp (the Maemo obex:// method I ported to work on standard Gnome systems).

Once the phone is paired with your computer, you can browse its filesystem and copy files to/from it in Nautilus. It can be a lot easier than basic obex send/receive if you want to work with multiple files (e.g. download multiple photos off the phone).

It is packaged as “gnome-vfs-obexftp” in Ubuntu and Debian.

I tried nautilus-sendto from SVN but it cannot list the devices, so it doesn’t work.

@James Henstridge:
I tried the Debian package for gnome-vfs-obexftp 0.2. Device listing doesn’t work and using the address (something like obex://[xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx]) gives an error both on the phone and on the computer.

barisone: check to see if hcid is running with the “-x” option. Gnome-vfs-obexftp depends on some of the D-Bus interfaces that are only provided with that flag.

Also, if you have hcid running with the “user” security mode (the default under Ubuntu at least), it is a good idea to make sure bt-applet is running (packaged as bluez-passkey-gnome on Ubuntu) so that PIN requests work.

@James Henstridge:
Device listing was only very slow, the error was due to bluetooth-applet not running.

Great post! I was wondering why gnome-bluetooth is not in Debian (at least not in testing). This repository has it though, and it’s working great! (Except that, just like in your case, gnome-obex-send won’t list my phone (SE K700i) and the hciconfig trick doesn’t work for me either (macbook C2D). Your script works fine though, and is probably good enough for the couple of times I need it.)

Don’t have the obex:// thingy working though… (nothing seems to happen; I just get an empty nautilus window).