Bluetooth headset pairing problem on Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick


Yes, I’m still using Maverick, sue me. I have tailored my maverick install to my utmost liking, a little hack here and there, that I couldn’t (or wouldn’t want to try to) replicate on my 12.04 install.
So I’ve noticed that recently (I used to be able) I’ve been unable to pair a bluetooth headset to my 10.10. The same headset works fine on my 12.04, on the same notebook. So this is not hardware problem. I can also connect my Razer Orochi mouse to the 10.10. This happen to all 3 of my “headset” bluetooth devices (a Jabra Clipper, Plantronic Backbeat 903+, and a Logitech Miniboombox). Selecting “Set up new device” from the bluetooth applet, and following the steps always ends up failing.

I solved this by pairing (well, not exactly pairing) the headsets using Blueman, an alternative bluetooth applet for Ubuntu. You can install Blueman by doing:

ikhsan@Mach5-NX:~$ sudo apt-get install blueman

When I tried to pair the headset via Blueman, it gave the “Authentication canceled” error. After some googling I deduced that this has to do with the “Secure Simple Pairing” (SSP) not working as it should be

But oddly, you can do this

  • Search for the headset using the search button. Don’t forget to set the headset to pairing-mode

    search for the unpairable headset
  • When the headset is listed on Blueman screen, highlight the headset by clicking it, and press the “+” button to “add” it

    Pai.. uh.. add the headset
  • Press the star button to set the headset as trusted

    set the headset as trusted device
  • Right click on the headset, and select “Headset service” to connect to the headset protocol, and  “Audio sink” for A2DP stereo output

    connect to the headset service
  • Done!

The next time you need to connect to the headset, just use the default bluetooth applet, by clicking the bluetooth icon on the menu-bar, and select the corresponding function

Use the default bluetooth applet

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