Bluetooth auto-connect of simple audio sinks doesn't work - does in elementart OS though

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karsti
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Bluetooth auto-connect of simple audio sinks doesn't work - does in elementart OS though

Post by karsti »

Hi,

I have a bunch of bluetooth headphones (just listen to audio, no microphone) that perfectly pair and work with Linux Mint 19.3 but don't automatically reconnect when turned on (e.g. by taking them out of the charging case).

I always have to open the Bluetooth devices and hit the "connect" button several times until it really connects. This takes up to a minute every time.

Some people might think this is an hardware issue. It is not. Those same bluetooth devices auto-connect on OSX, Windows and elementaryOS. Since elementaryOS is based on Ubuntu/Debian (just like Mint), I don't see how Linux Mint cannot replicate this auto-connect capability.

As a side note: most Linux distributions (Manjaro, Ubuntu, MX, Xubuntu, etc.) don't work, just like Linux Mint.

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Drugwash
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Re: Bluetooth auto-connect of simple audio sinks doesn't work - does in elementart OS though

Post by Drugwash »

Happened to me with one - and only one - pair of headphones out of five: Panasonic RP-HF400B. And at some point looking through the changelog of a new kernel I noticed something related to a better detection of bluetooth headphones. I believe it was one of the 5.3 kernel series because I just tested again a minute ago and it connected directly to A2DP while using kernel 5.3.0-40 (in Mint 19.2 Cinnamon).

For what it's worth I use Blueman because it allows the selection of the active BT adapter when more are installed, something the default BT application cannot do AFAIK.

So, based on my own experience I'd say first try to install latest 5.3 kernel, switch to it and test. If needed, also install Blueman and configure the adapter(s).
Please note the Blueman wizard may freeze when adding/setting up devices and it has to be closed through System Monitor (equivalent of Task Manager in Windows).

Here's a screenshot of Blueman's main window:
Screenshot from 2020-02-12 16-26-56.png

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Flemur
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Re: Bluetooth auto-connect of simple audio sinks doesn't work - does in elementart OS though

Post by Flemur »

Drugwash wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:30 am
Here's a screenshot of Blueman's main window:
Interesting. When I tried that I just got a list of numbers without any other text, so there was no reasonable way to tell what the devices were, and the rest of the GUI wouldn't react...and when restarted it wouldn't show the list anymore.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?

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Drugwash
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Re: Bluetooth auto-connect of simple audio sinks doesn't work - does in elementart OS though

Post by Drugwash »

Maybe I just got lucky. I installed it long ago during the Frankenmint period (a combination of Mint 19.1 and Ubuntu Eoan updates) and it remained there through the upgrade to 19.2. It runs in parallel with the original application/service.
Your issue could be related to certain libraries - missing or incompatible versions - but my knowledge of Linux is next to zero so unfortunately can't troubleshoot this. Maybe a system reboot would help.

If it helps here's a screenshot with the version (2.0.5) and the installed plug-ins:
Screenshot from 2020-02-12 17-51-58.png

karsti
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Re: Bluetooth auto-connect of simple audio sinks doesn't work - does in elementart OS though

Post by karsti »

Thanks guys for the help...I am greatful for all input.

I have Mint 19.3 but the latest kernel is 5.3.0-28 which I have installed and is active. I don't know why you have a newer kernel on 19.2 ?!

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Drugwash
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Re: Bluetooth auto-connect of simple audio sinks doesn't work - does in elementart OS though

Post by Drugwash »

karsti wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:25 am
I don't know why you have a newer kernel on 19.2 ?!
I don't know either. :lol:
Truth is I like to experiment so whenever/wherever possible I enable alpha/beta/experimental/testing/proposed/etc versions of modules, libraries or applications. A helping hand is probably given by gm10's set of tools that I have installed. Here's Kernel Manager, one of those tools:
Screenshot from 2020-02-13 11-16-43.png
In the past I used to have an issue where the audio output would suddenly switch from headphones to speakers at random times while watching a video/movie, and it would switch back in a dozen seconds or so, but not always. It got fixed at some point, either by some library or kernel update.

You can still try installing Blueman, see if it works and makes any difference. If nothing works you may want to list (in first post) the makes and models of those headphones for others to confirm the issue or offer more specific help. The make and model of the BT adapter(s) could also be of use for troubleshooting.

karsti
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Re: Bluetooth auto-connect of simple audio sinks doesn't work - does in elementart OS though

Post by karsti »

I already had Blueman installed. No difference.

Thanks for all your help...I will wait for newer Kernel versions...maybe they will fix it. I will have to check out what Kernel elementaryOS is using, where Bluetooth auto-connect works like a charm.

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Drugwash
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Re: Bluetooth auto-connect of simple audio sinks doesn't work - does in elementart OS though

Post by Drugwash »

There's just one more thing that remained a bit unclear. You say those devices function correctly in other OS versions; does that happen on the very same machine or on other machines? Because there is this (at least theoretical) possibility that the adapter used on the faulty machine could be incompletely/improperly detected by the drivers, even slightly faulty itself or simply not fully A2DP-compliant (an early BT implementation such as 2.x or something), in which case another (external, newer BT version) adapter might work, and Blueman would prove useful in hiding the faulty one.

On my notebook (Samsung R-580) there are two built-in BT adapters: one stand-alone Broadcom and one built into the Intel Wi-Fi. Both are extremely lousy (BT 2.x version). So I bought and connected a third one through USB, a CSR 4.0 mini-dongle. Mint couldn't properly deal with all three, so I physically disconnected the Broadcom (an internal four-wire socket, most likely connected to a USB port), installed Blueman and set the Intel adapter to hidden, so that any devices would automatically connect to the CSR. Everything is alright now.

Hopefully some of this may be helpful to you or someone else, someday. That's about all I can think of on the subject. Good luck in fixing the issue.

karsti
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Re: Bluetooth auto-connect of simple audio sinks doesn't work - does in elementart OS though

Post by karsti »

No. It's the same machine. I just booted in other OS.

elementaryOS I booted from a LiveUSB. I think they use Kernel 5.5.x. So maybe that's the difference. I just need to wait for newer kernels. It was like that for a long time with USB. Linux was not properly supporting all USB sticks for a long time. Then suddenly after Kernel x.x it all worked.

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Drugwash
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Re: Bluetooth auto-connect of simple audio sinks doesn't work - does in elementart OS though

Post by Drugwash »

Well, in gm10's Kernel Manager I think you can enable mainline kernels as well as flavour kernels, so you could perform some tests if you wanted. Maybe you get access to newer kernels, see if that fixes the issue. Otherwise you could just "bark up the Ubuntu tree" asking for support. Either way you would need to provide adapter ID and probably devices data.

karsti
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Re: Bluetooth auto-connect of simple audio sinks doesn't work - does in elementart OS though

Post by karsti »

gm10 kernel manager?

Do I need to install it?

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Drugwash
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Re: Bluetooth auto-connect of simple audio sinks doesn't work - does in elementart OS though

Post by Drugwash »

Yes, it's part of his tools. Please see here.

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