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Streamline Your Bluetooth Connections on Ubuntu 18.04

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In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of streamlining your Bluetooth connections on Ubuntu 18.04. We will explore different methods, including using the command line interface (CLI), a Gnome extension, and a simple script.

Quick Answer

Streamlining Bluetooth connections on Ubuntu 18.04 can be achieved through various methods such as using the command line interface (CLI), installing a Gnome extension, or creating a simple bash script. These methods allow for efficient management of Bluetooth devices and can significantly reduce the time and effort required to establish connections.

Using the Command Line Interface (CLI)

The command line interface is a powerful tool that can be used to manage Bluetooth connections. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Start the Bluetooth service: Open a terminal and run the following command to start the Bluetooth service:
sudo systemctl start bluetooth

This command uses sudo to run the systemctl command as the root user, which is necessary for starting system services. The start parameter tells systemctl to start the service, and bluetooth is the name of the service to start.

  1. Find the MAC address of your Bluetooth device: You can find the MAC address by running the bluetoothctl command followed by devices:
bluetoothctl
devices

The bluetoothctl command starts a command-line interface for managing Bluetooth devices. The devices command lists all known Bluetooth devices, along with their MAC addresses.

  1. Connect to the device: To connect to the device, run the following command:
echo -e 'connect YOUR_DEVICE_MAC_ADDRESS \nquit' | bluetoothctl

Replace YOUR_DEVICE_MAC_ADDRESS with the MAC address of your Bluetooth device. The echo command prints the given string, -e enables interpretation of backslash escapes, and | pipes the output into bluetoothctl. The connect command followed by the MAC address tells bluetoothctl to connect to the device, and quit exits bluetoothctl.

  1. Automate the process: You can create a bash script with these commands and automate it to run on startup, thus streamlining the connection process.

Using a Gnome Extension

If you prefer a graphical user interface (GUI), you can use a Gnome extension called “Bluetooth quick connect”. This extension adds a toggle button to the Bluetooth menu for each paired device, reducing the number of clicks required to connect. You can install it from the Gnome extension website.

Using a Simple Script

Another method to streamline your Bluetooth connections is to use a simple bash script. Here’s how:

  1. Create a bash script: Open a text editor and write the following code:
#!/bin/bash

# Run "bluetoothctl" to find the MAC address of your device.
MAC="AB:AB:AB:CD:CD:CD"

if hcitool con | grep -q "$MAC"; then
 echo -e "disconnect $MAC \nquit" | bluetoothctl
else
 echo -e "connect $MAC \nquit" | bluetoothctl
fi

Replace “AB:AB:AB:CD:CD:CD” with the MAC address of your Bluetooth device.

  1. Understand the script: The hcitool con command lists all connected Bluetooth devices, and grep -q "$MAC" checks if the MAC address is in the list. If it is, the script disconnects the device; otherwise, it connects the device.
  2. Run the script: You can run the script to toggle the connection of your Bluetooth device, making the process more efficient.

By using these methods, you can streamline your Bluetooth connections on Ubuntu 18.04, making the process more efficient and less time-consuming. Whether you prefer using the command line, a Gnome extension, or a simple script, there’s a solution that can meet your needs.

Can I use these methods to streamline Bluetooth connections on other Linux distributions?

Yes, these methods can be applied to other Linux distributions as well, as long as they use the same or similar Bluetooth management tools and interfaces.

Will these methods work for Bluetooth devices other than speakers and headphones?

Yes, these methods can be used to streamline connections for any Bluetooth device, including speakers, headphones, keyboards, mice, and other peripherals.

Can I use the Gnome extension on other desktop environments?

The Gnome extension "Bluetooth quick connect" is specifically designed for the Gnome desktop environment. However, there may be similar extensions or tools available for other desktop environments that provide similar functionality.

Can I use the bash script on other Linux distributions?

Yes, the bash script can be used on other Linux distributions that have the necessary Bluetooth management tools installed. However, you may need to modify the script slightly to match the specific commands and syntax used by the Bluetooth management tools on your distribution.

Can I connect multiple Bluetooth devices using these methods?

Yes, you can connect multiple Bluetooth devices using these methods. Simply repeat the steps for each device, providing the respective MAC address or using the Gnome extension to toggle the connection for each paired device.

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