Has anyone got a bluetooth keyboard working with Raspbian “wheezy”?

I have just spent an annoying evening trying to get my little bluetooth keyboard working. Without success. Plenty of websites seem to offer instructions, but so far none of them have worked.

I’m pretty sure the bluetooth adapter is compatible. It certainly gets as far as showing the ids of my keyboard and a nearby laptop, but after, everything I can try I’m still net getting to the point where I can type keys and have them appear on the Raspberry Pi. I’m beginning to wonder if this is a reasonable thing to do at all.

I started by following some instructions from “Raspberry Pi Spy” about connecting a Wii remote by bluetooth:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends bluetooth

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo service bluetooth status
[ ok ] bluetooth is running.

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ hcitool scan
Scanning ...
        00:12:A1:70:42:78       Bluetooth Keyboard

This seemed to show that the hardware is working. So far so good. But how do I tell the Raspberry Pi to use the bluetooth keyboard? I had great hopes from a Raspberry PI forum thread titled Pairing my Bluetooth Keyboard/touchpad. This suggested:

I got it to work. Here’s what I had to do (I basically followed the instruction from http://wiki.debian.org/BluetoothUser):

apt-get install bluetooth bluez-utils blueman

After installation went through and you get into the gui, it’s quite easy to pair the Rii with the Pi.

I did that, but found that startx did nothing for me. Of course, I am connected to the Raspberry Pi over ssh. So I took a detour of a few hours trying various ways to show a Linux X desktop.

Given that I already have X forwarding working well, I thought I’d start with a remote X server as described on No spare HDMI monitor? XDMCP setup HOWTO. Despite trying a variety of things, I could not get anything out of this other than a blank black screen. Eventually finding some instructions for using VNC which worked, albeit fairly slowly without the graphical acceleration of the Pi screen.

As for how to “pair” the keyboard I was stumped. The instructions stop here. Later in the thread, someone else mentions some sort of bluetooth icon, but I could not find one.

Much as I hate to admit it, I gave up. All this failing had exhausted me. It seems that bluetooth on the Raspberry Pi is just too difficult, so I’ll have to abandon this little keyboard and mouse, leaving it to my desktop, laptop and phone, all of which work happily with it with no problems at all.


  1. Hey I just got my keyboard working on my pi over bluetooth. Found the solution on amazon of all places

    create a file /etc/modprobe.d/medialink-btusb.conf and put this one line in it:

    install usb:v0A5Cp21E8d*dc*dsc*dp*ic*isc*ip* /sbin/modprobe btusb; echo 0a5c 21e8 > /sys/bus/usb/drivers/btusb/new_id

    Detailed explanation: This device is handled just fine by the stock btusb kernel module. The issue is that the driver does not recognize the exact USB vendor/product ID. However, the driver was fixed just a few weeks ago. It’ll just take a little time for your favorite Linux distro update to pick up the fix.

    you can find your required address using lsusb

  2. Hi Frank,

    I don’t know whether you still looking for a hint regarding your bluetooth keyboard problem. I had similar problems with my Rasp and a Logitech K400. All the hints and tricks written in forums didn’t help. My Raspberry recognized the USB Unifying dongle. But that was it. I’m not a Linux specialist, I must admit. A lot forum members reported that their Buetooth keyboards did run out of the box but didn’t even touch deeper going relation regarding bluetooth basics for beginners like me.

    Then I realize occasionally the reason behind my problem. When you buy a new Bluetooth keyboard set of which your OS offers from start ob a driver for (in my case Wheezy 7) it runs cause new keyboard sets are pre-paired by the manufacturer. But my keyboard was already in use before. Solution: first pair dongle and keyboardthe easy way with Windows and the appropriate Win tool. Then it should work with Wheezy or other OS as long as your OS is prepare for your keyboard.

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