Bluetooth Dial Up Networking with PCLinuxOS

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  • Relevant to PCLinuxOS 2010 KDE.
  • As of March 10, 2011 PCLinuxOS seems to have replaced KBluetooth with BlueDevil.
  • If you are using a fully updated install of PCLinuxOS you will no longer have KBluetooth.
  • Please be careful while applying the sections mentioning KBluetooth. It will be updated soon.
  • Bluedevil is due for an update to 1.2 which might bring unknown changes to the interface. Also Cambridge Silicon Radio bluetooth adapter might be supported in the upcoming Linux 3.* kernels.

Contents

Bluetooth Dial Up Networking (Bluetooth DUN) is a method of accessing the internet using your cellular/mobile phone network and a bluetooth connection between your computer and mobile.

Introduction

This describes a method used to connect with the default PCLinuxOS 2010 KDE install or with BlueDevil installed. It requires a bit of fiddling with the command line. This would be a good opportunity for those who are not very comfortable with the command line to get cozy with it.

Criteria

POSITIVE:

  • PCLinuxOS 2010 KDE.
  • Working Linux compatible bluetooth adapter. Eg. Broadcom, Bluesoleil etc. It could be either an external USB bluetooth dongle or an internal laptop bluetooth.

NEGATIVE:

  • Linux incompatible bluetooth adapter. Eg. Cambridge Silicon Radio that comes with HP Mini 110-3027TU netbook. (This particular bluetooth adapter is detected but does not work with Linux yet)

Preparing your phone

  • You need to make sure that you have what is called a full internet connection or tethering enabled connection for this to work. Those who have WAP only connection won't be able to use this method although they would still be able to access the internet on their handsets.
  • Once you have your phone configured using settings received from your operator, launch your phone internet browser and open your favourite website in it just to make sure that your internet connection is working on your phone first.
  • Now switch on your phones bluetooth. Make sure that it is set to discoverable / visible mode so that your computer can see it.
  • Give your phone a unique bluetooth name. (You will be able to do it under your phone's bluetooth settings.)

Preparing your computer

  • Get the bluetooth adapter powered up and visible - This means you need to either press the bluetooth button on your laptop or plug in an external USB bluetooth adapter on your desktop. Or in that rare scenario where your laptop's internal bluetooth is one of the incompatible ones, plug in an external compatible USB bluetooth adapter.
  • KBluetooth Tray Icon
    Start KBluetooth. It will place a bluetooth icon in your system tray. (KBluetooth is old and being replaced by BlueDevil. But as of writing this guide, it is still the one that ships with the .iso so I have mentioned it. Once you have internet connection up and running you can go and install BlueDevil from the repositories.)

Pairing your phone with computer

Pairing is the process of establishing a connection between your phone and computer which is trusted.

  • Click on the KBluetooth icon in your system tray to bring up a menu. Select 'Device Manager' > 'New'. A new window will pop up. Please wait for sometime while scanning takes place and your phone appears in the box.
    KBluetooth Menu
    KBluetooth Bluetooth Device Wizard
    KBluetooth Bluetooth Device Manager
    KBluetooth BDW Select Your Device

  • Click on your phone name inside the box.
  • Note down the address of your phone displayed by the device manager in the format xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx.
  • Click NEXT and follow the prompts to enter a PIN number.
  • Enter the same PIN number on your phone too when prompted.
    NOTE: Take this opportunity to set your computer as trusted under the phone's bluetooth settings. This will reduce the number of prompts you will face from your phone.

Now your phone has been paired with your computer.

Command line trickery

To ensure success you need to be root during these operations. So:

  • Open Konsole. (It is available here PC Menu > Applications > More applications > Terminals > Konsole) You will be greeted by a black window with white letters showing something similar to the following prompt with a blinking cursor after the '$' sign:
[username@computername ~]$
  • Type 'su' hit ENTER. Type in your root / administrator password and hit ENTER. Now the window color scheme should have changed to black window with red letters.
  • Type 'hcitool scan' and hit ENTER. You will see an output like "hci0 xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx". Note down this xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
  • Type 'sdptool browse' and hit ENTER. You will see a long output with multiple sections. Look closely by scrolling up and down for a section named 'Dial Up Networking'. Under this section you will find a line mentioning a 'Channel: y' where y is a number. Note down this number.
  • Konsole Rfcomm Commmands
    Now type 'rfcomm bind rfcomm0 xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx y' and hit ENTER where xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx is the address of the phone you had noted down earlier and y is the channel number. Ideally you should not see any output now.
  • Type 'rfcomm' and hit ENTER. You should see an output such as this:
rfcomm0: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx channel y clean
  • You may now either minimize or close Konsole.


KPPP

KPPP is the KDE application that will handle dialing of our internet connection.

  • It can be launched through PC Menu > Applications > Internet > Internet Dial-Up Tool. (KPPP)
  • Alternatively it can be launched from the command line of Konsole as follows:
[user@machinename ~]$ kppp

In KPPP we need to create an account first before we can connect. So launch KPPP using any of the above 2 suggested methods and do the following:

  • Click Configure > Accounts > New. This will launch the Create New Account wizard.
    • Click New > Manual setup.
    • Enter any name of your choice for this connection in the Connection name field.
    • Click Phone number > Add and enter the phone number to be dialed.
      NOTE: This varies among service providers. For eg. in India for IDEA and AirTel the number is *99***1#. Alternate numbers to be tried are *99#, #777. Here *99***1# and *99# seem to be for GSM networks and #777 for CDMA networks.
  • Click Modems > New. Here set Modem name to any name of your choice and Modem device to /dev/rfcomm0
  • Click Miscellaneous and select/tick Dock to panel on connection.
    NOTE: Technically this is not required. But this allows KPPP to get out of the way once it is connected. It stays in the system tray as a tiny icon showing some animation during data transfer.
  • Now Click OK and get back to the main KPPP screen. Here enter the user name and password if provided by your network operator or else enter any gibberish of your choice since KPPP refuses to dial without something in these fields.

That completes your configuration part of KPPP.

Now click CONNECT and hope you will get connected.

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