Archive for the ‘News’ Category.

Suspend support for USB driver

This patchset adds suspend and resume support to the USB driver. It also fixes a compiler warning and the link policy regression.


Final Simple Pairing patches

This patchset includes the final patches for the Simple Pairing support and with exactly this set of patches we passed all Bluetooth 2.1 qualification tests.


Something to BITE

Yesterday the 29th of August 2008 was an historical day. BlueZ passed all Bluetooth 2.1 qualification tests for GAP. The bluez-4.2 release and an upcoming 2.6.27-mh1 kernel will pass all qualification tests form the Bluetooth 2.1 specification.

This is a testing that has been done with basically all PICS enabled. It would have been the full set of PICS, but two things have not been implemented by BlueZ right now:

  • L2CAP flow control and retransmission (deprecated by a Core Addendum)
  • RFCOMM support for sending RLS (receiving works)

Let me emphasize on this once more. Besides these two exception, BlueZ has passed all test cases required for a full Bluetooth 2.1 qualification. And this means full Simple Pairing support.

The qualification testing consisted of GAP, L2CAP, SDP, RFCOMM and SPP using the BITE test system. Everybody who has used the BITE before knows how much pain this system is and how broken it is. And every time they manage to break things while fixing others.

Just let me give you an example. So there is one test for checking a device in non-connectable mode (translates to page scan and inquiry scan off and hciconfig hci0 noscan for BlueZ) and with the latest test vectors it was impossible to pass this test. Even putting the device into a shielded box didn’t help. The test system still found it. Hey it even found our device after we took it out of the shielded box. This is one of the perfect example where the test system manfucturere didn’t validate their own system. Hey guys from AT4 wireless, you might wanna just run your test system against BlueZ.

The most famous failing test case is for testing park state support. For a host stack, it is impossible to fail this test since you can’t do anything wrong. You just simply can’t. Let me tell you that in the last 5 years we never passed that test case. So this time with a shielded box and the right star constellation, we finally did. Quite amazing and nobody of us really knows what we did different.

Did you ever tried to pass all (and I really mean all) SDP tests in one go. It is a nightmare and creating the right PIXIT settings for this takes quite some time. The main reason is that the SDP record editor that comes with the BITE is just plain braindead. I have the magic PIXIT values for doing a fully automated test run with BlueZ. However when re-importing them, the tester fails to import the ASCII string values. It just sets them to blank and you have to go into the CSV, read them and then put them in manually (again). Software validation at its glory. I did mention that this test system cost around 130.000 EUR and around 16.000 EUR in yearly fees!

So the bluez-4.2 release has been pushed out together with a bluez-gnome-1.2 to give you the nice Simple Pairing dialogs. The missing kernel patches will follow as soon as I have time to document them properly, but from 2.6.27-rc4 and later the major ones have been merged upstream already. If you are looking for Bluetooth 2.1 capable hardware, then the best bets are currently the EeePC 901 and the MacBooks. Go out and build Bluetooth 2.1 capable devices now.

And before I forget this, the qualification listing for this tests run has not been discussed yet. I will give an update when I know more details.

BlueZ and PulseAudio

It seems Joao Paulo have been pretty busy lately working on GSoC project: bluetooth audio support for PulseAudio, and here is a preview of his work:

As you can see PulseAudio are now able to handle Bluetooth audio devices (A2DP and HSP). There are still some missing features that we want to add, a proper wizard on BlueZ to pair/connect those devices and some bugs which we should take care before releasing the code so don’t expect it to work flawless.

To test it run:

pulseaudio -L “module-bt-device name=<name> addr=xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx profile=<a2dp,hsp> rate=<8000-48000> channels=<1,2>”

kudos to Joao Paulo and Lennart

SCO over USB support

The new btusb driver gets finally SCO over USB support. This allows the usage of mono headsets for VoIP calls.


Qualification FUD

It seems that commercial stack manufactures like to spread FUD (Fear, uncertainty and doubt) about BlueZ and its qualification status. Trying to eliminate the open source competition by telling customers that BlueZ can’t be qualified is just plain bad business practice and these companies are lying to you.

The truth is that BlueZ has been qualified according to the Bluetooth PRD 2.0 (and later) and has been used successful in products. The most prominent example is the Nokia N810 Internet tablet. It is based on the Maemo platform which includes BlueZ as one of its core components. If you don’t believe me, check the official qualification record by yourself.

To help qualifying BlueZ based products we split the qualification into components for the host stack (GAP, L2CAP, RFCOMM and SDP) and profile stack. Companies like Nokia, ACCESS, TomTom and others have sponsored the qualification of BlueZ components that can be re-used by others.

Current known qualification records can be found at the BlueZ qualification page and it is expected that are more products out there are using BlueZ and have successfully passed the Bluetooth qualification.

If there exist any questions when it comes to BlueZ qualification, feel free to mail me. You find my email address in the source code.

Driver updates for 2.6.27

For Bluetooth USB devices, the current driver is called hci_usb. However the new btusb driver is suppose to take over. This update now makes sure that all quirks are also present in this new driver.


The missing piece in the btusb driver is the full SCO support. Oliver Neukum is working on this and I hope we will see an update soon.

Bluetooth 2.1 devices

The Bluetooth 2.1 specification has been released over a year ago and so far no Bluetooth 2.1 device made it to market. However in the past months a couple of devices with Bluetooth 2.1 capable chips showed up. The only problem is that even with these chips built in, the host stacks on these devices are still only implementing the Bluetooth 2.0 specification. Examples of such devices are:

  • Apple iPhone 3G
  • Apple MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air
  • Asus EeePC 901

So in theory all of these devices could support Simple Pairing and Extended Inquiry, but for some reason both companies decided to go the easy way. And I guess there are even more out there since I had a Symbian based Samsung phone in my hands with a Bluetooth 2.1 chips, but no 2.1 features enabled.

All big host stack vendors like Microsoft, Apple, Broadcom and Symbian are working on Simple Pairing support, but only BlueZ has put it out there for public consumption. Seems like everybody is waiting for the others to go first.

So I am most disappointed with Apple here since neither their iPhone 3G nor their new MacBooks make use of the possibilities that their hardware offers.

BD Address:  00:21:E9:xx:xx:xx
Device Name: Marcel’s iPhone 3G
LMP Version: 2.1 (0×4) LMP Subversion: 0x12e9
Manufacturer: Cambridge Silicon Radio (10)
Features: 0xff 0xff 0x8f 0xfe 0x9b 0xff 0×59 0×83

And it is not about which company provided the Bluetooth chip since Apple clearly buys chips from CSR and Broadcom. While on older MacBooks and other Apple machines clearly CSR dominated, they now also go with Broadcom like they have done for their keyboard and mouse products.

BD Address:  00:21:E9:xx:xx:xx
Device Name: Marcel’s MacBook Pro
LMP Version: 2.1 (0×4) LMP Subversion: 0×2187
Manufacturer: Broadcom Corporation (15)
Features: 0xff 0xff 0x8f 0xfe 0x9b 0xff 0×71 0×83

Both iPhones still have a CSR chip in it. The original comes with a 2.0 chip and the 3G version with the 2.1 version of it.

When the Bluetooth 1.2 specification was development, Apple was the first ones to add support for Adaptive Frequency Hopping (AFH) to their products and also provided firmware updates for the chips they used. I expected Apple to push forward with Simple Pairing support, but now I think it is unlikely to happen soon.

BD Address:  00:15:AF:xx:xx:xx
Device Name: Marcel’s EeePC 901
LMP Version: 2.1 (0×4) LMP Subversion: 0x420e
Manufacturer: Broadcom Corporation (15)
Features: 0xff 0xff 0x8f 0xfe 0x9b 0xff 0×79 0×83

The EeePC 901 comes with Windows XP per-installed at the moment. Installing Linux with a 2.6.27 kernel and BlueZ 4.0 on it would make it the first product with Simple Pairing and Extended Inquiry support. So happy hacking.