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Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2024 5:03 pm
by warriorofthelight
This isn't a support question - I simply gave up trying to get one of my 3 pairs of bt-headphones to work with my PC on 21.3. I tried 3 different BT-dongles. It's just insane how bad Linux still is with simple things like that. For example, my PXC550 (older Sennheiser ANC) can connect to Linux, but only in like 1 out of 5 attempts. No idea why it works when it does and why not when it doesn't. It needs a new pairing every time. I cannot connect it a second time - have to delete the device and pair again. Then the same story: doesn't work 5, 10 times. Then suddenly it does. And yes, blueman is an improvement over the even worse Blueberry drivers.

Similar thing with Sennheiser Momentum 4. Only worse. I gave that one up immediately - it asks for a pin, I give the pin, it asks for the pin again (the pin is 0000 according to the manual). A cheap aux-to-bt adapter connects to this headphones immediately, no pin, no issues. So it's really not the headphones.
The same devices also work fine on Windows. Or on the iPhone. So they work everywhere, but not on the latest version of Linux... it's not like BT is some exotic tech noone really uses.

I love Linux, but some things are still such a giant PITA. Why is a 20$ device working just as intended in comparison? It can't be that hard.

Ok rant is over. But I really wanted to let someone know. It's just insane.

And yes, I'm an ungrateful, selfimportant, entitled Karen who doesn't appreciate the beauty of Linux and only complains about the negatives. Except I'm not, I love Linux, I donate to the Mint team, but reality must be addressed sometimes, even when it hurts. Especially when it hurts. And it kinda hurts.

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2024 5:11 pm
by JeremyB
Maybe you should start a support topic. I have a pair of Sennheiser ear buds that work on Linux and Windows and a headset that have no issues.

I have a KVM setup that share a Keyboard/Monitor/Mouse/Bluetooth dongle, the Sennheiser ear buds required some extra work to get them working on both the Linux and Windows computers without have to pair when switching, the Soundcore Space One headset supports pairing with multiple devices

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2024 5:18 pm
by warriorofthelight
JeremyB wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 5:11 pm Maybe you should start a support topic. I have a pair of Sennheiser ear buds that work on Linux and Windows and a headset that have no issues.

I have a KVM setup that share a Keyboard/Monitor/Mouse/Bluetooth dongle, the Sennheiser ear buds required some extra work to get them working on both the Linux and Windows computers without have to pair when switching, the Soundcore Space One headset supports pairing with multiple devices
Honestly, I wouldn't even know where to begin. Pairing headphones isn't rocket science. I can do that. I'm in IT. I tried 3 BT dongles. Same issues. I followed some obscure advices from other forums to create entries in never-heard-of config files. Didn't change a thing. I tried 3 different headphones. There are hardly any issues with these on other devices, laptops, iPhones. You pair them, they work.

For now I've solved my problems with this 20$ device I attach to the aux output. Maybe I find the energy and time to do a proper support post, but I'm just too frustrated right now. I've tried for weeks now. I'm done, for now at least.

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2024 5:36 pm
by JeremyB
It could be that you are in an area with a lot of wifi APs

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2024 8:18 am
by warriorofthelight
I don't think so. But even if: I still can connect to all my devices on the same desk on a windows notebook, the iPhone or this 20$ bt to aux adapter. So I don't think this has anything to do with the problem. And as I said: I tried 3 different BT dongles. One with a huge antenna, just in case. Makes no difference.

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2024 11:25 am
by wwblm
I feel bad that you are going through that frustration! I've experienced BT frustration with every platform I use. Fortunate that at the moment Mint 21.3 is the least frustrating of all. Mint 20 was a real PIA but after a few connect disconnects could usually be made to work decently. Have a laptop currently running MX Plasma. Bluetooth was unusable on that. Discovered that it was the default music app that was the problem. Works pretty well with Audacity. OTOH, I have a wireless numeric keypad / calculator that I can not get working with Mint. Works fine with the Mac. The Apple Magic trackpad and every other BT device I have all work fine on Mint.

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2024 5:54 pm
by JeremyB
warriorofthelight wrote: Thu Apr 04, 2024 8:18 am I don't think so. But even if: I still can connect to all my devices on the same desk on a windows notebook, the iPhone or this 20$ bt to aux adapter. So I don't think this has anything to do with the problem. And as I said: I tried 3 different BT dongles. One with a huge antenna, just in case. Makes no difference.
Check results for lsusb with some of those adapters, if some are Cambridge Silicon Radio- that is part of the problem and I gave up on them many years ago. I have a few old IO Gear bluetooth adapters gbu321-gbu521, an edimax bt8500 and a couple I can't remember but I haven't had issues with any of them

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2024 4:16 pm
by warriorofthelight
Two are indeed "Cambridge Silicon Radio, Ltd Bluetooth Dongle (HCI mode)". It's one from TP Link and one from LogiLink, both highly recommended by many on the net for Linux. They are probably the same thing with different labels. Another is "Realtek Semiconductor Corp. Bluetooth 5.3 Radio", that's the one with the antenna, some no name device. But I have the same issues with all three of them.

Can't find any info which chip is in the edimax bt8500. Looks pretty much the same to me as the tplink and the logilink...
gbu521 not available anymore, nothing on gbu321....

So to summarize: still a nightmare ;)

Might try the bt8500 and return it in case...

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2024 5:11 pm
by JeremyB
Post the USB ID's of the non CSR dongles and I can see what I can find

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2024 3:41 am
by warriorofthelight
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0bda:a729 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. Bluetooth 5.3 Radio

That's the only non-CSR I have right now.

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2024 6:34 am
by JeremyB
If you are using kernel 5.15 check in terminal

Code: Select all

mokutil --sb; uname -r
Secure Boot needs to be disabled, then in terminal

Code: Select all

sudo apt install git dkms
git clone https://github.com/jeremyb31/bluetooth-5.15.git
sudo dkms add ./bluetooth-5.15
sudo dkms install btusb/4.1
Reboot

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2024 11:07 am
by mediclaser
It probably is a kernel issue. My PC was having this issue under Linux Mint, but bluetooth became stable under Debian 12 that comes with a newer version 6.1.x kernel.

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2024 3:07 pm
by warriorofthelight
Thanks for your help Jeremy.
JeremyB wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 6:34 am If you are using kernel 5.15 check in terminal

Code: Select all

mokutil --sb; uname -r
Secure Boot needs to be disabled, then in terminal

Code: Select all

sudo apt install git dkms
git clone https://github.com/jeremyb31/bluetooth-5.15.git
sudo dkms add ./bluetooth-5.15
sudo dkms install btusb/4.1
Reboot
Seems I updated the kernel to 6.5...

Code: Select all

$ mokutil --sb; uname -r
SecureBoot disabled
Platform is in Setup Mode
6.5.0-27-generic

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2024 3:08 pm
by warriorofthelight
mediclaser wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 11:07 am It probably is a kernel issue. My PC was having this issue under Linux Mint, but bluetooth became stable under Debian 12 that comes with a newer version 6.1.x kernel.
I run 6.5.0-27 ...

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2024 4:51 pm
by JeremyB
ok

Code: Select all

sudo apt install git dkms
git clone https://github.com/jeremyb31/bluetooth-6.5.git
sudo dkms add ./bluetooth-6.5
sudo dkms install btusb/4.1
Reboot

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2024 5:30 am
by warriorofthelight
Hi Jeremy,

just to clarify what that github code even is... you seem to be a (or "the"?) developer for bt in Linux? If so, first of all I want to apologize to you for the harsh words regarding BT. I realize that the resources that go into BT on Linux are not the same as on other platforms. And I'd not be surprised if it all depends on one or a few people.... so whatever I said isn't meant as a personal criticism, but an expression of my frustrations. I didn't pay as much attention before because there wasn't much need for me to tinker with BT, but that changed recently.

So regarding the initial question, what is it that you provided here? And will that be part of a kernel update in the near future? DKMS means it will stay part of the kernel even after updates, right? But if I switch to a different kernel altogether (new Mint edition or other reasons...) that won't be the case?!

Thanks for your efforts and help. Greatly appreciated.

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2024 6:21 am
by JeremyB
I am not a dev for BT, just someone who got familiar with the code years ago due to my own issues with BT. The code should work on any 6.5 kernel but I don't know if it would work on 6.4 or 6.6 because of changes to other parts of the kernel. The DKMS will automatically compile the code when a new kernel is installed. Even if the code does work it may not make it into newer kernels

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2024 6:48 am
by warriorofthelight
ok thanks. and what does it fix? just so i know what I am doing and what to consider regarding adapter models.... I'm or was a dev myself so I'm also curious.

Re: Bluetooth on Linux is still a nightmare

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2024 7:35 am
by JeremyB
My change added your devices USB ID to the realtek code as some don't function under the generic code