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the ubuntu way to remote control your pc via bluetooth phones.

August 27, 2007

the reason I’m posting this blog is to remind myself what to do in case I forget the steps that need to be done in order to remote control my machine by using my bluetooth-ed mobile phone (or for yanks „cell phones“).🙂

ok, let’s get started – it might look mega complicated, but in fact it’s a few steps and loads of text explaining why. so don’t panic😉

this is a mini how-to for ubuntu/linux computers, windows and mac users may look out for a proprietary software called „salling clicker„. linux users don’t need to pay money for the same effect😉
ok, so here’s a checklist what you need or already should have:

  1. a bluetooth enabled sony ericsson phone e.g. W300i or V630i. why sony ericsson? because they come with a special application called „remote control“ that you’ll later need.
  2. a bluetooth usb dongle …. can be found here: Amazon.com
    shouldn’t cost you more than a few $, pounds, €, etc…
  3. ubuntu or any linux distribution installed

ok, after this is sorted, we move on to pair our phone with the computer.
first make sure the usb dongle is plugged into your computer and bluetooth is „switched on“ on your phone.

I’m testing this with Ubuntu 6.10 «edgy eft» so if you have a newer release e.g. «feisty fawn» configuration settings might look a bit different.

<EDIT>:

YOU DON’T NEED THESE FOLLOWING STEPS IF YOU’RE USING UBUNTU GUTSY (or even FEISTY) — all of this should be already configured and correctly installed.

Here we go:

First you start a terminal/konsole and install the bluez-utils

sudo apt-get install bluez-utils

next you open the file „/etc/init.d/bluetooth“ in your favourite editor (make sure to be root!)

sudo nano /etc/init.d/bluetooth

and search for „HIDD_ENABLED=“ it’s probably set to 0 and change it to 1. You’ll need that later to successfully connect your phone to your computer. Apart from that nothing needs to be changed, so just hit ctrl+x, save and you’re set.

Now you need to restart your bluetooth services by typing

sudo /etc/init.d/bluetooth restart

</EDIT END>

The next step is to „pair“ your phone with your computer. But how does your computer find your phone? There’s something called MAC Address that your computer needs to identify your phone.
To find out what’s your phone’s mac address is, simply just type this into your terminal/konsole

hcitool scan

Your output will be something like this: 23:57:F2:0R:78:L4 W300i (note this is a made-up MAC address)

The final step is

sudo hidd --connect YOUR MAC ADDRESS

You will be asked for a password both on your computer as well as on your phone. Make sure it’s the same😉
This connects your phone with your pc, asking you to allow using sony ericsson’s remote control feature on the phone.

Now you should be all set, you can use it for an Open Office/Power Point presentation, or controlling your mp3 player (Amarok, XMMS, ….) from your bed, or just simply show off in front of your friends by moving the cursor on the desktop😉

If something doesn’t work, because I may have skipped a step, then you may find this link helpful.

Ubuntu Help
(here you’ll find other remote control plugins/configuration files for your linux machine! amarok.hid , totem.hid, xmms.hid files…..I thought they all work pretty much the same, you might be fine by using the default ones…)

EDIT from the 16th November:

If you’re using the KDE Window manager and enjoy using these KDE applications, like Amarok, Kaffeine, KDE Desktop (you can now even shut down your PC with your phone), then you may find these hid files useful – I did!

http://www.kde-apps.org/content/show.php/Sony+Ericsson+HID+profiles+package?content=60288it works great! It even has a profile for the VLC and Open Office Presenter – you won’t have to configure anything, just transfer them onto your phone, install them and you should be fine!😉

In order to send these .hid files to your computer you need to type this in your terminal/konsole:

gnome-obex-send -d YOUR MAC ADDRESS /path/to/filename.hid

ALTERNATIVES:

If your phone doesn’t support hid (Human Interface Device) files (as far as I know only Sony Ericsson and Nokia phones support HID) then you may want to have a look here:

http://tuxmobil.org/bluetooth_cell_apps.html

There are several applications (mostly java applications) that do the basically the same – note your phone has to support JAVA. I recommend checking out,

If you found an error, or something doesn’t work the way I explained it, then please leave me a comment or shoot me an email to rockprinzess@gmail.com

Enjoy your new remote control!😉

10 Kommentare

  1. Nice description.I am also doing the project in same area.but cant we use Nokia cell-phones for remote control.i.e. for accessing or controling desktop?


  2. hey tej,

    sorry, I have no email address to contact you, I’m not 100% if Nokia phones have the same „remote control“ function, but yeah feel free to try it out and see if it works. so far I’ve only used S.E that had this particular function.

    glad you liked my tutorial!🙂


  3. Hello everyone,

    if you still got „connection refused“ just restart your X-Server and a bluetooth icon will show up on you taskbar.
    After that you should be able to set you password for „adding device“ and all works fine.

    If you still got this message, try to start „bluetooth file sharing app“ and try again.

    Grettings


  4. Hi,,,

    I followed all the steps u mentioned was able to put the password and my SonyEricsson K800i is shown in the Paired bluetooth devices but when ever I try to connect the remote control it gives me the following:
    Bluetooth connection failed…. what could be wrong?
    I have a Laptop with Ubuntu 7.10 installed……

    Appreciate ur help.


  5. Hi,

    1st, thanks a lot for this web site, it really helped me out.
    2nd, I got it to work,, well the reason it did not work with me is that I tried to connect my K800i to the laptop instead of the Laptop to the phone. Then I went through ur posting again, and did exactly what u mentioned..
    >>> sudo hidd –connect YOUR MAC ADDRESS >>>
    And things worked fine.
    I tried my phone as a remote desktop, as a mediaPlayer and as a Presenter. All worked great for me, well the joystick in the desktop is not the best solution, but having the ability to use it is great.

    Wish u all the best and make sure to enjoy ur SonyErisson more and more.🙂


  6. If I have Windows Mobile Phone… What program can help me?


  7. Do you know where can I get salling clicker for ubuntu?


  8. Hi,

    Is there any DOS commend for getting MAC address. In My automation, I need to use bluetooth MAC address. Can some one help me out. Thanks in Advance.


  9. I can’t connect, anybody has an idea why.

    This is what appears after

    sudo hidd –connect XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX
    Can’t create HID control channel: Connection refused


  10. […] reading this helpful article on the subject, i tried different solutions (i.e. bluepad) and got stuck to remuco. It is a small tool to interact […]



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