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Thread: HOWTO: Bluetooth headset for Skype in Feisty

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    HOWTO: Bluetooth headset for Skype in Feisty

    The 2.6.20 vanilla kernel no longer includes the module snd_bt_sco (the Ubuntu stock kernel does, but that does not help those of us who must use a custom kernel - see Whoopie's comment below). The Bluetooth Alsa project uses now a userspace program named Plugz to communicate with bluetooth headsets. Although the new implementation works great (when it works), it poses a problem: the bluetooth headset is no longer recognized as a real alsa device. The btsco module and command are deprecated.

    1. Download the Debian package Bluetooth-Alsa from here. Make sure you have all of the dependencies installed. The libsbc0 package is not included in the Ubuntu repositories (the rest are), so follow the link and download it as well. Install the packages.

    2. Due to some bugs, the 2.6.20 kernel must be patched for the headset to work (HiFi will work without the patch). I assume you have the kernel source in /usr/src, and that you symlinked the directory to /usr/src/linux.

    Download the patch attached to this message. Extract it in /usr/src. Apply it:
    Code:
    sudo cat sco-flowcontrol-v3.0.diff | patch -p0 --dry-run
    If the dry run succeeds, repeat the command without the --dry-run switch.
    UPDATE: See post no. 26 in this thread for a patch that seems to work in Gutsy against kernel 2.6.23.

    Compile and install the patched kernel.

    3. Download the a2dprc attachment, and extract it to your home directory. Do the same to the asoundrc attachment (both files).

    Edit the 3 files to include the mac address of your headset in the proper locations. You can find it, after putting it in discoverable mode, by running
    Code:
    hcitool scan
    Now, copy the default asoundrc file:
    Code:
    cp ~/.asoundrc.default ~/.asoundrc
    NOTE: If you already have your own .asoundrc file, add the sections from the one provided to it.

    4. The howto in this thread, which helped me greatly, is outdated. It does help, however, in pairing the headset to your computer. Note that bluepin, bluez-pin and kbluepin are no longer necessary (or, in fact, working). Install from the Ubuntu repositories all that has to do with gnome and bluetooth (mostly gnome-bluetooth and the bluetooth manager). Follow the instructions in that howto and pair the headset (I am sure you can do it now without the KDE components - please add to this guide your method, if you managed to do so).

    5. Now, that the headset is paired, it is time to check the HiFi component. You can find instructions at the Bluetooth-Alsa build page. In my experience, the "Configure vlc" instructions work well.

    Here is where we hit the first bump. Since the headset is not a real Alsa device, you cannot select it in any gui. You must edit config files, as described in that page (and that includes xmms, despite what they claim).

    Before you run your application of choice, remember that you must have a terminal running
    Code:
    sudo a2dpd
    at the same time.

    HiFi is a lousy name. Bluetooth headsets will not manage to give you a good, non-choppy sound, for anything above 96kbps.

    6. Time to test the headset component. First, run the command
    Code:
    headsetd
    You may want to add it to your session startup commands, or create launch scripts to applications using the headset.
    Now, try to record yourself:
    Code:
    arecord -Dplug:pcm.headset test.wav
    Use ctrl-c to stop the recording.

    Let's see if it worked:
    Code:
    aplay -Dplug:pcm.headset test.wav
    If this worked, we can move on to Skype.

    7. Figuring out how to use Skype took me a while. Here we don't even have config files we can change, so we must trick Skype into thinking the default Alsa device is the headset. This is where the .asoundrc.skype comes into play. When you make it into your .asoundrc file, and set Skype to use Alsa, Skype will use your headset (segmentation faults did happen to me, but not often).

    The problem is that with this .asoundrc, the headset is the default for all of your system. This is why I created the skype-headset script attached here (don't forget to edit it to reflect your home folder's name, and to chmod it to executable) - it copies the .asoundrc.skype to .asoundrc, activates the headsetd daemon and launches Skype. When you quit Skype, it restores the default .asoundrc file.

    Use the Skype test contact to see if all works.

    That's it. Please let me know if I forgot anything or if anything is not working.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Roner; October 25th, 2007 at 12:29 PM. Reason: New sco-flowcontrol Patch for Kernel 2.6.23

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    145

    Re: HOWTO: Bluetooth headset for Skype in Feisty

    Hi,

    two remarks:

    1. the snd_bt_sco kernel module is still in the ubuntu kernel. You can use the bluez-btsco package with it.
    2. the mentioned patch is also in the ubuntu kernel. See http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kerne...476bf3c6186938

    So the only thing is to build the userspace tools or use the debian package.

    Best regards,
    Whoopie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    26

    Re: HOWTO: Bluetooth headset for Skype in Feisty

    Thanks for the comment. I had no way of knowing that, due to the fact that my wonderful Socket CF Bluetooth Card is NOT supported by the Ubuntu kernel. It requires a patch which I found and posted here, plus an hciattach command. I found the patch in a discussion of its maker regarding how he is trying to send the patch upstream and fails.

    In any case, I cannot use the Ubuntu kernel, and last time I tried to build it from git, the modules would not compile. So I must use a vanilla kernel, and therefore had no idea about the module and the patch. Ironic.
    Last edited by Roner; October 25th, 2007 at 12:35 PM. Reason: Fixed Link

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    16

    Re: HOWTO: Bluetooth headset for Skype in Feisty

    I tried this method, the headset pairs successfully (I'll post how without kde later) but when trying to play a sound, the headset simply beeps once, plays no other audio and aplay hangs... any ideas?

    p.s. arecord does work, and records pretty well through the headset...
    Last edited by overridex; June 15th, 2007 at 12:50 PM. Reason: more info

  5. #5
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    Apr 2006
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    26

    Re: HOWTO: Bluetooth headset for Skype in Feisty

    I don't know what to tell you. Usually the beep would mean bad pairing, but you say you can record... All hardware is different, and I had no such difficulties. See if erasing the devices from each other's memories and re-pairing helps.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    16

    Re: HOWTO: Bluetooth headset for Skype in Feisty

    Just an update... I tried a friend's bluetooth usb dongle instead of mine and it works instead of doing the beeping issue... not sure why mine won't work, it's a Jabra a320s that doesn't work. The one that works is an Iogear... hmm.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2006
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    Re: HOWTO: Bluetooth headset for Skype in Feisty

    Any luck getting this to work with teamspeak? I tried the aoss wrapper, but while that works for xmms, teamspeak doesn't seem able to access the audio device...

  8. #8
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    Nov 2006
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    Re: HOWTO: Bluetooth headset for Skype in Feisty

    Ok, I actually stepped back and used the "legacy" method described on the bluetooth-alsa build page... I modprobed snd-bt-sco and ran btsco <mac address> then entered the pin in the gnome applet to pair it, and that works well...

    This seems to work easier since I have another alsa device for the headset to choose in apps like ekiga, and it also uses the kernel oss emulation giving me another /dev/dsp device for the headset, which works with teamspeak...

    I'm not sure why it's depreciated for the new way which takes so much more configuring rather than just having a device for the headset...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    16

    Re: HOWTO: Bluetooth headset for Skype in Feisty

    Just a quick note for anyone experiencing the same problem of the single "beep" and no audio playing/audio apps hanging when trying to play something through their headset. I fixed it on my Jabra a320s adapter by adding this to the file /etc/modprobe.d/bluez:

    options hci_usb force_scofix=1

    if you already had the adapter plugged in, you can either reboot or unplug the adapter and run sudo rmmod hci_usb then plug it back in for the option to take effect.

    This fix will probably help for other broadcom based bluetooth dongles as well.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Rio, Brasil
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: HOWTO: Bluetooth headset for Skype in Feisty

    Hi there,
    I'm trying to follow this howto, but when I try to install the bluetooth-alsa package, I got a message complaining about libc6. According to the listed dependencies, I need the >= 2.5-5 version, and seems feisty is using 2.5; I tried to install the 2.5-5 found at debian, but I get a conflict with tzdata...
    I'm a bit confused here, can someone help?
    Thanks!
    ------------------------
    (Insert signature here)

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