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Thread: Howto: Use BlueProximity and your cellphone for security

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  1. #1
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    Howto: Use BlueProximity and your cellphone for security

    What is it?
    • BlueProximity is a clever program by Lars Friedrichs that sets up your computer to lock itself when your phone is out of bluetooth range, and unlock itself when it comes close enought again. You can also also make it turn off and on the monitor, music, change msn status and pretty much everything you can imagine.

    Why do I want it?
    • Ultimate coolness! Nothing is as super cool as just walking up to your computer and watch it come alive without you doing anything. Ok, it can be argued that this is semi-useful, but we will all do it for the coolness factor


    How to do it? {installation}

    If you use Hardy or newer, blueproximity is in the repos, so simply install the usual way and jump to setup instructions:

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install blueproximity
    If you don't have blueproximity in your reps (older ubuntu than hardy), follow these:

    Install dependencies:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install bluez-utils python-gtk2 python-glade2 python-configobj python-bluez
    We need a newer version of the python-support package:

    Code:
    wget http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/p/python-support/python-support_0.7.5ubuntu1_all.deb
    Install it:

    Code:
    sudo dpkg -i python-support_0.7.5_all.deb

    Now lets get the BlueProximity program:

    Code:
    wget http://ovh.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/blueproximity/blueproximity_1.2.4-0ubuntu1_all.deb (from official site)
    
    
    - alternate download link -
    wget http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/universe/b/blueproximity/blueproximity_1.2.4-0ubuntu1_all.deb (from ubuntu universe (hardy?) repositories)
    Install it:
    Code:
    sudo dpkg -i blueproximity_1.2.4-0ubuntu1_all.deb

    Ok, now it is time to set this up:

    Phone settings:
    • Activate bluetooth
    • Scan for your computer and authorize it so you won't need a password


    Blueproximity settings:

    Code:
    blueproximity
    • Scan for devices and select "Use selected device"
    • Then scan channels and select one that comes up as "usable"


    That should be it! Now fiddle a bit with your proximity details, don't set them too low but not to high either. I get pretty good results with the settings below, but this will of course differ according to the placement of your computer.

    Settings

    My settings are:
    • Lock: Distance: 7 | time: 10 - thus it won't lock at once if bluetooth connection gets disrupted, something it seems to do for a second or two.
    • Unlock: Distance: 3 | time: 3 - Unlocks very fast when I get close.


    Turning the monitor off
    It would be more useful if this could turn the monitor on/off as well, right? If you want this enter the BlueProximity preferences, click the locking tab and use this command::
    • Locking Command: gnome-screensaver-command -l && xset dpms force off
    • Unlocking command: xset dpms force on && gnome-screensaver-command -d

    I noticed I had to change the unlock time to 1 to give the monitor time to turn on before I sat down.


    Add the program to your startup list:
    Of course you want to have it starting with Ubuntu. Go system > preferences > sessions. You should be on the "startup programs" tab. Click "Add" and type "blueproximity" (without the "") and a name and description you want.

    This was tested by me on Ubuntu Gutsy with a Samsung D900, and works great. If you try this, please report what phone you got it working with - or not. I don't see this not working because it only really depends on bluetooth from the phone, but you never know. It will be kind of useless if you can't authorize a device on your phone.

    Working phones
    • I removed the phone list because .. well this seem to work with everything


    Scripts
    As some users have alredy pointed out, there are several cool possiblities for this. Many things can be accomplished with simple or more advanced scripts. Despite my very limited knowledge of bash scripts, I attached a simple set of scripts that will do the following:
    • Turn on / off screensaver
    • Turn on / off monitor
    • Check if Amarok is playing and pause - then unpause. If amarok is stopped, this will do nothing.
    • Change your pidgin status to away / available*

    *To get the pidgin status to work you need libpurple-bin. (install: sudo apt-get install libpurple-bin)

    To use them, download the attached scripts archive, unpack it, make them all executable and stick them in /usr/bin*. If you only want some of the functions, edit the bp_lock and bp_unlock files. Then go into BlueProximity preferences - locking tab and put "bp_lock" and "bp_unlock" as locking and unlocking command.
    *command is: sudo cp bp_* /usr/bin

    I'm sure more knowledgeable users can make better scripts, but these does the trick for my use

    Other scripts
    gertvdijk details how to make a start/stop script for rhythmbox
    crocowhile teaches us how to change skype status
    Red_Five shared the mother of all bp scripts!
    Here's the script I use now. It's a single, monolithic script that handles away, available, status update messages, and proximity "poking". I've put in lines for several audio players (GNOME; I don't use KDE), Twitter, Pidgin, and even a line to update my Out of Office status in Exchange via Outlook Web Access.
    monojohnny made a cool script that makes the computer beep when your phone is stolen

    Links


    FAQ
    • What happens if the phone runs out of power?
    • Nothing. You can still unlock your computer the traditional way. You don't need the phone at all.
    • What happens if someone unplugs your usb bluetooth dongle?
    • I tried because someone asked. You'll have to unlock your computer manually. If it is inserted again it will work in a minute or so.
    • Where did the python-support install go?
    • I changed it to a safer and faster method. If you need the other one, plase ask me.
    • It works, but my phone lost sound - I have to manually eneable sound - headset has no sound - other sound problems?
    • Do a "sdptool browse" in the terminal and find the channel marked as "object push". Select this channel in BlueProximity preferences. This should do the trick
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Iceni; September 11th, 2008 at 01:36 PM. Reason: Updating phone list.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Kubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Howto: Use BlueProximity and your cellphone for security

    Just to say that this is a very interesting tutorial. I have approved it and will keep an eye on it.

  3. #3
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Howto: Use BlueProximity and your cellphone for security

    This is pretty cool.Going to try it out.

    One thing though.You need to really stress the importance of switching back to your original repos so as not to hose your system.

    Oh and don't forget you will have to lock the version of python-support or it will get downgraded next time you update.
    Last edited by Anduu; February 21st, 2008 at 07:36 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Howto: Use BlueProximity and your cellphone for security

    Quote Originally Posted by Anduu View Post
    This is pretty cool.Going to try it out.

    One thing though.You need to really stress the importance of switching back to your original repos so as not to hose your system.

    Oh and don't forget you will have to lock the version of python-support or it will get downgraded next time you update.
    Thanks, I added some red color to stress it a bit


    Are you sure about the the need to hold the package? To my (a bit limited) knowledge, apt-get will not downgrade a package?
    Last edited by Iceni; February 22nd, 2008 at 12:38 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Howto: Use BlueProximity and your cellphone for security

    There's no need to tweak sources.list for one package installation. Just download the Hardy version from the packages.ubuntu.com listings. Gdebi will complain about an older version being available in the software channels, but it'll still install just fine. No risk of system-hosing.

    Oh, and I can confirm that the Verizon Moto RAZR V3m works just fine with BlueProximity.

    One other thing: you can put any commands into the lock and unlock text boxes. For example, I created a couple of custom bash scripts to do the locking and unlocking. The lock script activates the screensaver, as well as sets Pidgin to away and pauses Exaile if it's running. The unlock script sets Pidgin to available, hits play on Exaile (again, only if it's running), then pokes the screensaver before deactivating it, to wake the monitors up from sleep. I stuck 'em in ~/bin, made them executable, and set 'em up in BlueProx. Golden!
    Last edited by red_five; February 21st, 2008 at 04:55 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Howto: Use BlueProximity and your cellphone for security

    Quote Originally Posted by red_five View Post
    There's no need to tweak sources.list for one package installation. Just download the Hardy version from the packages.ubuntu.com listings. Gdebi will complain about an older version being available in the software channels, but it'll still install just fine. No risk of system-hosing.

    Oh, and I can confirm that the Verizon Moto RAZR V3m works just fine with BlueProximity.

    One other thing: you can put any commands into the lock and unlock text boxes. For example, I created a couple of custom bash scripts to do the locking and unlocking. The lock script activates the screensaver, as well as sets Pidgin to away and pauses Exaile if it's running. The unlock script sets Pidgin to available, hits play on Exaile (again, only if it's running), then pokes the screensaver before deactivating it, to wake the monitors up from sleep. I stuck 'em in ~/bin, made them executable, and set 'em up in BlueProx. Golden!
    Thanks for the tip, I'll edit it in when I get home on my own computer. I've been messing around a bit with scripts myself, but mostly exploring possibilities so far. Maybe you could share yours, so I could add them to the guide? Would make a nice extra
    Against TCPA | Hell, it's about time! | FORZA FERRARI
    Almost Sober tour 2008

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: Howto: Use BlueProximity and your cellphone for security

    It works with my Nokia N95.

    But when using a bluetooth headset at the same time the sound when talking to someone is very bad, so i cant use this.

  8. #8
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    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: Howto: Use BlueProximity and your cellphone for security

    Hi, awsome program, ive installed it and its detected my samsung u600, can tell its range etc. But it doesnt lock when its out of range.
    In the system tray it does say "simulation mode (locking disabled)", how do i enable it then?

    thanks.

  9. #9
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Howto: Use BlueProximity and your cellphone for security

    enable locking in your screensaver and use the lock command of

    Code:
    /usr/bin/gnome-screensaver-command --activate
    and deactivate with the same as above except with --deactivate

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Re: Howto: Use BlueProximity and your cellphone for security

    Works for samsung g600 and on mint linux

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