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I have installed Bluetooth dongle software and with the help of commands (using a terminal), I want to send and receive files from a smartphone.

How can I pair my devices and send files over Bluetooth using Terminal?

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3 Answers 3

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Send files:

bluetooth-sendto --device=12:34:56:78:9A:BC filename

To know your device name (12:34:56:78:9A:BC), you can issue this command:

hcitool scan

Receive files:

Haven't found it yet, but will let you know if it can be done using terminal

edit:

it looks like it can't be done through terminal. Blueman seems to do the trick but it's in GUI

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  • I have "blueman-sendto" instead of "bluetooth-sendto".
    – scjorge
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 9:06
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I tested this with Ubuntu Bionic Beaver (18.04) and Android Lollipop.

  1. Ubuntu. Install the needed packages:

    sudo apt install bluez bluez-tools
    

    bluez-tools come with the following tools: bt-adapter bt-agent bt-device bt-network

  2. Ubuntu. Turn on the visibility:

    bt-adapter --set Discoverable 1
    
  3. Smartphone. Scan for remote devices to ID your Ubuntu machine.

  4. Ubuntu. Prep for managing incoming requests interactively with:

    bt-agent
    
  5. Pair devices:

    1. Smartphone. Initiate pairing request;

    2. Ubuntu. Accept the request from the bt-agent screen.

  6. Ubuntu. Send files to smartphone with:

    bt-obex -p [remote_mac] [file]
    

    where [remote_mac] is the mac address of the smartphone. For example:

    bt-obex -p F0:6B:CA:A2:C4:69 ~/book.pdf
    
  7. Receive files from your smartphone:

    1. Ubuntu First create a Bluetooth file (obex) server:

      bt-obex -s [path]
      

      [path] is where to download files. For example:

      bt-obex -s ~/Downloads
      
    2. Smartphone. Send the file;

    3. Ubuntu. Accept the request from the bt-agent screen.
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  • 2
    Still, the bt-obex command is non-interactive, asking to type 'y' for each file to be accepted, which can be annoying. However, as it is a command-line tool, you can create a long file yyy.txt containing only lines with the y letter, and then run: cat yyy.txt | bt-obex -s ~/Downloads. Your computer will accept all files over bluetooth without asking!
    – dominecf
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 20:03
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    Alternatively, you could use the yes command
    – vcapra1
    Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 13:38
  • Thanks for this! I also had to install the bluez-obexd package. My received files also ended up in $USER/.cache/obexd/ rather than the specified directory. Commented May 17, 2022 at 5:12
  • I keep seeing bt-obex: obex service is not found Did you forget to run obexd? when running bt-obex commands. I tried starting it with systemctl --user but then it complains that it's already running!
    – matth
    Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 1:49
  • You can also use the name of the phone with -p and find out both name and MAC with bluetoothctl devices
    – xeruf
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 17:58
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This works on my computer:

bluedevil-sendfile -u /org/bluez/hci0/dev_<address with underscores instead of colons> -f <file_with_absolute_path>

For example:

bluedevil-sendfile -u /org/bluez/hci0/dev_00_FF_00_FF_00_FF -f /home/tux/test.pdf

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