How do you uninstall, purge and reset all bluetooth settings?

I'm running Ubuntu 14, and my bluetooth is incredibly unreliably. Sometimes, bluetooth devices connect just fine. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes they connect several times so that three duplicate sound profiles show up for one bluetooth headset.

I tried doing sudo apt-get purge bluetooth* and then reinstalling, but that doesn't seem to remove any of the settings files. How do I completely reset all Bluetooth settings short of reformatting my hard drive and reinstalling Ubuntu?


There is probably a better way than digging through the file-system. I'll share what I know. Hopefully somebody smarter knows a better way.

1) Check for duplicate running processes

If you had the same process running multiple times, that could create the conflict that you described and you might be able to stop here.

ps -ax

if you know the process name, then try:

ps -ax | grep <name-here>

2) Make sure that the package is really uninstalled:

If you run the command below, you'll see that it's not installed or you'll see the corresponding files that are still on your system.

dpkg -L <name>

If you had a few package with similar names, you could do the following:

dpkg --l | fgrep <name>

Once you found what the package was, you could then use the first dpkg command to find all of the files associated to it.

3) Reinstalling and then searching

If you wanted to search through the file system directly, you might not find results right away. Because the package might be partially uninstalled with pieces of it left behind, you might have to know exactly what you're looking for or re-install and then actually view all of the directories and files it touches. You might try reading the man pages on find. Just know that it's not hard, but it's also not straight forward like locate.

4) Package maintainer

You could type the following:

apt-cache show <name>

This is neat for two reasons. If there is a package currently installed, it will show the package twice. The top one is available and the bottom one is the installed version. You may find some information that can lead you to the package maintainer.

I'm hoping one of these will get you up and running until you find a nugget or get a better solution.

  • this has nothing to do with bluetooth settings , its vaguely useful for service oriented packages. – Amias Nov 1 '16 at 11:54

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