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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Network
PuppyBT Bluetooth Manager for Tahr/Xenial/Tahr64/Xenial64
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Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 11338
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jun 2017, 06:35    Post subject:  PuppyBT Bluetooth Manager for Tahr/Xenial/Tahr64/Xenial64  

PuppyBT is a graphical front-end for some common BT functions. It can:

1. stream audio to a portable BT speaker or headphones
2. connect BT mice and keyboards
3. play audio from a portable device to your computer's speaker system.
4. Transfer files over BT.

Download puppybt_combo-2.1.10.tar.gz. Click the green DOWNLOAD box. This package contains several PETs. Extract it and install the PET that matches your system.

1. puppybt_tahrpup-2.1.pet is for Tahrpup and Xenialpup
2. puppybt_tahr64-2.1.pet is for Tahr64 and Xenial64

These PETs are self-contained. You don't need to install anything else, like Python. If the PET installed correctly, there should be a blue BT icon in the system tray. It auto-launches at bootup via /root/Startup/bluetooth_tray.

PuppyBT opens various terminal windows. To close them, either press the Enter key or click the X when the task is completed. Wait a few seconds to be sure.


Streaming audio to a BT speaker or headphones

There are two main steps - pair your computer's BT adapter with the speaker, and configure ALSA to send its audio across the BT connection instead of through your internal sound card to your wired speakers.

1. Launch PuppyBT from the Network menu or by clicking on the tray icon.
2. Click "Check the local BT device" to confirm that your adapter is working.
3. Turn on the BT speaker.
4. Click "Scan for remote BT devices". After a few seconds, the speaker should be detected. It may take several tries - see the hint below.
5. Click "Pair with discovered device". The standard passkey is 0000.
6. Click "List current pairings" to verify the connection. Leave this window temporarily open.
7. Click "Edit /root/.asoundrc". This is the ALSA sound system's configuration file.
8. Note the top three lines. They define your internal sound card which is currently the default destination.
9. Replace the XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX with the MAC address of the speaker from the "current pairings" window.
Hint: Copy-and-paste the MAC address from the terminal window to the text editor window with the middle-click technique.
10. Save the file and exit.
11. Turn on your wired speakers and play something. The sound should come out the speakers as usual.
12. Click "Audio device > btheadset". This modifies the config file so the BT device becomes the default.
13. Play something.

Hint: Some devices need more time to be detected by Scan. Click Config. This opens the hidden configuration file /root/.puppybt. Increase the value of SCANTIME. Restart PuppyBT.

Hint: If your BT speaker goes to sleep and disconnects, it may stop playing. Power it back up and run Scan until it is re-detected. If a device completely stops working, remove its pairing and re-pair it.


The Config file controls two other settings. The TRAYSTART variable determines whether the Bluetooth tray applet will auto-start. The MOUSESTART variable lets you quickly connect a BT mouse at bootup. If you mess up the config file, just delete it and restart PuppyBT.


Streaming audio with multiple sound cards

If your computer has several audio outputs, you are familiar with the Multiple Sound Card Wizard. To use an alternate internal sound card with PuppyBT, modify the top section of .asoundrc to match your correct card. Look in the file /etc/asound.conf to find the settings. For example:

defaults.pcm.card 1
defaults.pcm.device 3
defaults.ctl.card 1


How to play audio from a web browser on your Bluetooth speaker

Most web browsers do not have built-in audio capability. They rely on plugins like Flash to handle audio. In Linux, the plugin checks with ALSA to locate the default audio device.

In various browsers, HTML5 through btheadset is badly out of sync. However, Flash works OK. To switch from HTML5 to Flash, browse to about:config > media.webm and disable the setting. But HTML5 audio DOES work with the Chrome browser in Tahrpup !


Bluetooth mice

1. Click "BT mouse".
2. Press and release the pairing button on your mouse.
3. When you get the "Device connected" message, close the window. It may take two tries to connect.

Bluetooth keyboards

1. Click "Scan for remote devices".
2. Put the keyboard in pairing mode. (You may need to reverse these steps.)
3. Wait until the keyboard is detected.
4. Click "BT keyboard" and select the keyboard device.


Using your wired speakers as a BT device

PuppyBT has a "Speaker" tool. It lets you send audio from a phone or tablet over BT to the wired speakers of your computer. (Thank you to jamesbond for this.) This feature works OOTB in Tahr64, Xenialpup, and Xenial64.

Speaker can also work with Tahrpup, but requires a different version of dbus. This can be fixed by installing the puppybt_tahrpup_dbus_-1.6.12.pet. Be aware that other programs, like your web browser, also use dbus. There may be side effects from installing a new version. Just to be safe, make a backup copy of your save file/folder before installing the PET.

1. In PuppyBT, set the audio device to "internal". Don't miss this step!
2. Click Speaker. Two terminal windows open.
3. One of them is the "Make local device discoverable" screen. Enter the passkey 0000. Leave the window open.
4. Go to the portable device, run BT discovery and locate your Puppy machine.
5. Pair with it.
6. Set the connection for Media Audio output. Don't miss this step!
7. Play some music.


PuppyBT can do file transfers from a compatible device via Bluetooth. Be aware that this method is SLOW. It is really only appropriate for pulling small JPEG files off a phone when no other method is available. So that's all PuppyBT does.

1a. Start PuppyBT and make the local device discoverable.
1b. Let the remote device locate and pair with it.
1c. If that doesn't work, make the remote device temporarily visible and let PuppyBT do the pairing.
2. Click File Transfer.
3. You may need to confirm the connection on the remote device.
4. All JPEG files are downloaded to the folder /tmp/PuppyBT.


About Internal Bluetooth Adapters

There are two types of internal BT adapters: integrated with the WiFi adapter or included as a separate device. The first type can be tricky because they use the same driver package as the WiFi and may need additional firmware files. Certain Atheros and Intel adapters work this way. Run the dmseg command and check for BT errors. Look here for firmware.

Also, the integrated type can conflict with your WiFi reception and require a special "coexist" driver option. See the discussion here. In some cases, you may actually need to turn this option OFF!


Some new Bluetooth devices are "low-energy". Read here.

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Last edited by rcrsn51 on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 07:17; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 528
Location: PH

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jun 2017, 07:01    Post subject:  

Hi. there is also a fork of PuppyBT it is called pBluetooth http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=109828

You can take that script and run it on top of PuppyBT.
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Posts: 11338
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jun 2017, 07:10    Post subject:  

Thanks for the test report.
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Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 528
Location: PH

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jun 2017, 10:03    Post subject:  

Your welcome @rcrsn. By the way bluetooth tethering was not yet tested because I have no such device with BT tethering.
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