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I am looking for a way to check to see if the bluetooth is enabled or disabled on my laptop via the terminal. Is there a command that I can use to find this information

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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

In addition to checking for the service you can use the command

hcitool dev

that will return all devices turned on.

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I suppose I needed to word my question better. This answer provides me with what I need. With this I can see if my device is on or off based on whether or not it shows up. Thank you for your reply. –  Sai May 31 '12 at 16:03

An alternative is to use the command hciconfig. It will list clearly the interfaces, and you will see by the marker "RUNNING" or "DOWN" what is their current status.

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Just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, You can run this command to see the status of bluetooth

sudo service bluetooth status

after you enter your password, you should see something like

bluetooth is running

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Regardless of whether or not the bluetooth is on i get the same message from that command: bluetooth start/running, process 1132 –  Sai May 31 '12 at 15:55

I think the service command is for controlling the Bluetooth software ie., the application that was installed. The software is of the type "user application" or "user interface" which normally will run when called by a user or sometimes it was configured to run when the system is on. And this later type of application is called "service".

However when an application needs to talk to a piece of hardware it requires another type of software which is what we call a "driver". Each device has its own driver. Normally OS providers provide drivers.

However, in some situations such as the device is so old or so new that the OS providers did not put its driver in the installation disk. In this case the user will not be able to use the device.

I experienced the same. After debugging as suggested here it could be concluded that the driver was missing. The generic driver that was available on my Acer TravelMate P243 with 12.04 was good for my old dongle one but not for the built-in.

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