Bluetooth not working in Ubuntu 16.04: blocked by rfkill 

I installed Ubuntu on my HP probook 6460b and everything apart from the fingerprint scanner (not really useful) worked out of the box. Lately I was shocked to see that Bluetooth wasn’t working. I tried to go to the settings GUI and click the connection toggle button, but it would toggle right back to the off position, meaning it was not possible to make a connection. Nothing the GUI can help with here. The HP computer was also not visible on my phone’s Bluetooth devices list.

rfkill list
0: hp-wifi: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
1: hp-bluetooth: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: yes
	Hard blocked: no
2: phy0: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no

So from the list Bluetooth is blocked by rfkill, no wonder I cannot connect in the GUI.

rfkill unblock bluetooth
rfkill list
0: hp-wifi: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
1: hp-bluetooth: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
2: phy0: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
3: hci0: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: yes
	Hard blocked: no

After the unblock command I get a new device hci0 that is Soft blocked, but the hp-bluetooth device is unblocked and it doesn’t work from the GUI still.

hciconfig hci0 up
Can't init device hci0: Operation not permitted (1)
:$sudo hciconfig hci0 up
[sudo] password for karibe: 
Can't init device hci0: Operation not possible due to RF-kill (132)

rfkill unblock bluetooth hci0
rfkill list
0: hp-wifi: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
1: hp-bluetooth: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
2: phy0: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
3: hci0: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no

After this everything is working as expected. I do not know why Rfkill is from time to time blocking bluetooth, but now I know how to unblock when I need to use it, and block when I don’t need to use it.

One response to “Bluetooth not working in Ubuntu 16.04: blocked by rfkill ”

  1. Kevin Amadiva

    hahahaha encountered this a few months ago on a board i was working on. That rfkill can be a real pain. But i discovered it quickly since i wasn’t using GUI. furthermore the device was pairing but not connecting. But was able to fix it later on. Bluetooth shenanigan…. ? ?

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