Search This Blog

Loading...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How to modify the user-friendly Bluetooth local name

Each Bluetooth device has a user-friendly local name as well as an unique 48-bit hexadecimal device address (eg, C0:F8:DA:9D:CF:DF). The default local name may be too generic, eg, ubuntu-0, to identify you to the rest of the world. This post shows you how to assign a more descriptive local name.

To find out the current local name of the Bluetooth device, execute the following command:

$ hciconfig -a
hci0: Type: BR/EDR  Bus: USB
 BD Address: C0:F8:DA:9D:CF:DF  ACL MTU: 1022:8  SCO MTU: 121:3
 UP RUNNING PSCAN ISCAN 
    <..sniped>
 Link policy: RSWITCH HOLD SNIFF 
 Link mode: SLAVE ACCEPT 
 Name: 'ubuntu-0'
 Class: 0x6e0100
 Service Classes: Networking, Rendering, Capturing, Audio, Telephony
 Device Class: Computer, Uncategorized
 HCI Version: 3.0 (0x5)  Revision: 0x9999
 LMP Version: 3.0 (0x5)  Subversion: 0x9999
 Manufacturer: Atheros Communications, Inc. (69)

The name that other Bluetooth devices will see is ubuntu-0. Suppose you want to rename the device penguin. Execute the following command with root privilege:

$ sudo hciconfig hci0 name penguin

To verify that the name was modified:

$ hciconfig -a
hci0: Type: BR/EDR  Bus: USB
 BD Address: C0:F8:DA:9D:CF:DF  ACL MTU: 1022:8  SCO MTU: 121:3
 UP RUNNING PSCAN ISCAN 
    <..sniped>
 Link policy: RSWITCH HOLD SNIFF 
 Link mode: SLAVE ACCEPT 
 Name: 'penguin'
 Class: 0x6e0100
 Service Classes: Networking, Rendering, Capturing, Audio, Telephony
 Device Class: Computer, Uncategorized
 HCI Version: 3.0 (0x5)  Revision: 0x9999
 LMP Version: 3.0 (0x5)  Subversion: 0x9999
 Manufacturer: Atheros Communications, Inc. (69)

The local name was only temporarily modified to penguin. It will revert back to ubuntu-0 at the next system reboot or the next Bluetooth daemon restart.

To make the change permanent, manually edit the Bluetooth configuration file. The config file is located in /var/lib/bluetooth/ under the sub-directory named by the Bluetooth device address (see below).

$ cat /var/lib/bluetooth/C0\:F8\:DA\:9D\:CF\:DF/config 
name ubuntu-0
pairable yes
class 0x6e0100
onmode connectable
mode connectable

Modify the line name ubuntu-0 to name penguin, and save the file.

$ sudo vi /var/lib/bluetooth/C0\:F8\:DA\:9D\:CF\:DF/config 

Now, your new Bluetooth local name will persist even after a system reboot.

If you are interested in Bluetooth, please see my earlier post:

3 comments:

Bristow said...

Thanks !

Anonymous said...

Do you know if it is possible to change the name of peripherals? Eg, my headset shows up as LG-074-GA, which is obviously the hostname hardcoded into the headset. Can it be aliased? I have tried editing /var/bluetooth/nn:nn:nn:nn:nn:nn:/names, though they get reset back on connection.

Anonymous said...

I have used the following command that seems to update the name in the config file without editing.

dbus-send --system --dest=org.bluez --print-reply hci0 org.bluez.Adapter.SetProperty string:Name variant:string:penguin

in addition to the

hciconfig hci0 name penguin

command.