A Bluetooth Quick Fix Hack For Ubuntu 11.10

This is a fix on how to access the files on your phone via bluetooth on Ubuntu 11.10. I found it recently when I realized that bluetooth on my laptop was not working like it did on Ubuntu 11.04. Sure, the bluetooth dongle and my phones are detected without problems. Even searching for other active bluetooth devices within range is done correctly. However, connecting to my phone on bluetooth is not working properly after it has been paired with my laptop. While I do not use bluetooth to transfer files that often – it is awfully slow – there are times when I do need it, like those instances when I forget the phone USB cable. It is during times like these when bluetooth comes in real handy.

Okay so the fix can be found on this page – http://ubuntu.igameilive.com/2011/11/temporary-problematic-bluetooth-fix-in.html. Please follow the link to read about the fix. I do not want to repeat the same steps when you can just read it directly from the source.

The steps above can be done easier. If you hate memorizing the commands to mount and unmount, and  the thought of having to type on a terminal every time you want to access your device via bluetooth does not appeal to you, then you can add it to your Unity Launcher.

I am fairly comfortable with using a terminal but for those who are not, below is an example of what I did to easily mount and unmount my phone via Obexfs.

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Obexfs Mount
GenericName=Bluetooth mounter
Comment=Mount-Unmount My Bluetooth


[UnmountMyBlue Shortcut Group]
Name=Unmount My Bluetooth
Exec=fusermount –u /PATH/TO/MOUNT/DIR/

Use your favorite text editor to create a similar entry and save it with a .desktop extension inside /home/USER/.local/share/applications, where USER is your username. In my case I simply named it obexfsmount.desktop. The file does not need to be executable so you don’t have to change permissions.

Once the .desktop file is saved drag it to Unity Launcher. Click on the icon to mount. Right-click it to access the shortcut to unmount.

Of course the above can be improved to include a prompt to enter the desired bluetooth device address. Right now I only hard-coded to one address for example’s sake. I will update this post once I’ve made the script to easily change the address to allow other phones. I think it can be done via a simple bash script and gtk-dialog or whatever.

Things To Note

One of my phones has a 16GB micro SD card. Nautilus cannot seem to display the contents. In my experience it caused Nautilus to freeze thus I had to force-close the application. However accessing the mounted card on a terminal is okay. I can access the phone that way.

On the other hand my other phone, an old Nokia which is just an ordinary cellphone with bluetooth, accessing the files on  Nautilus is okay.

I do not know the reason behind this “bug”. Perhaps the 16GB size is too much for Bluetooth + Nautilus? The card is only 1/4th full. Out of the 16, only 4GB+ is used. I will try with a smaller card, I have an extra 2GB micro SD on hand, and will be updating this post.

Another Fix

One of the members on a thread on the Ubuntu forums suggested that reverting to an older kernel appears to have fixed his bluetooth problem on Ubuntu 11.10. Maybe installing kernel versions 2.6.38.*, the one used for Natty, may work. I did not try it. If it works for you, please leave a comment below.

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Notice: This article was published on February 15, 2012 and the content above may be out of date.