I'm trying to use the built-in bluetooth device of my Lenovo Thinkpad E320. It seems to be hard blocked, but i can't find any possibility to unblock it.

rfkill list returns:

0: tpacpi_bluetooth_sw: Bluetooth   
Soft blocked: yes   
Hard blocked:yes

cat /proc/acpi/ibm/bluetooth returns:

status:     disabled
commands:   enable, disable

I tried to enable it by:

  • Pressing Fn+F9 (Radio controll)
  • echo enable | tee /proc/acpi/ibm/bluetooth
  • rfkill unblock bluetooth
  • Trough the BIOS. But it's not mentioned at all

None of the actions influenced the ouputs above.

  • 1
    I believe you've left off the quotes around enable in echo enable | tee /proc/acpi/ibm/bluetooth. It should be echo 'enable' | sudo tee /proc/acpi/ibm/bluetooth IIRC,
    – nanofarad
    Aug 26, 2012 at 19:55
  • Still no success... (with quotes)
    – Non
    Aug 26, 2012 at 20:31
  • 3
    Some people activated bluetooth in a dual booted windows. After a reboot it worked in linux too.
    – Non
    Aug 26, 2012 at 20:42
  • I have the same issues and can temporarily get it working disabling the bios settings related to Bluetooth, restarting and then re-enabling them again. However unfortunately this reverts back as soon as I suspend the laptop and then I have to repeat the whole process over again. Not really what I'd expect from an Ubuntu certified laptop. :-/
    – Gerry
    Jan 3, 2014 at 15:28

4 Answers 4


after 5-10 bios resets to re-enable bluetooth during the last two years I decided to investigate this issue again. looks like there is a bluetooth switch emulation in the thinkpad_acpi module. turn this on via module options et voila -> working bluetooth!

echo options thinkpad_acpi dbg_bluetoothemul=1 bluetooth_state=1 | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/thinkpad_acpi.conf

reboot && block/unblock bluetooth as needed:

rfkill unblock all
  • Depending on the laptop version, it may be necessary to instead set the WLSW emulation option instead, using dbg_wlswemul=1 wlsw_state=1. This forces a master-level wireless switch to be emulated as always being on, which could otherwise disable all wireless use in thinkpad_acpi driver. Thank you very much for this answer, as it was the final piece that led me to a working solution. Jun 6, 2021 at 21:39

I was also facing the same problem before. I had the parallel installation of Windows. For working of blue-tooth, if I needed to start the blue-tooth option, I enable it with F9 function key of Windows. Then it starts working in Linux. If you have Windows installation there just check this case.


I resolved it by resetting BIOS settings. Be careful if you use EFI boot - it will erased and you will need to recover it.


Press Fn plus various keys on the first row from F1 to Delete. In my case, Fn+Insert worked.

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