Setting up Bluetooth on the Raspberry Pi 3


Thanks to the on-board Bluetooth chip, the RPi3 once again opens up new horizons. Users with older model Rasp Pis shouldn't feel left behind, though. Suitable USB dongles are available at little cost from many commercial dealers. However, the more basic dongles typically support the Bluetooth protocol only up to version 2.1. Fortunately, this can be more than sufficient.

During testing, the Gembird BTD-MINI2 Bluetooth dongle worked well in non-Bluetooth Rasp Pis. Once plugged in, it worked as described in this article just as well as the on-board component on the RPi3. However, the dongle monopolizes one of the four USB ports on the Rasp Pi, so power consumption is somewhat greater than that for the RPi3.

The Author

Bernhard Bablok works at Allianz Managed & Operations Services SE as an SAP HR developer. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music and taking off for bike rides or hikes. He also enjoys learning about anything having to do with Linux, programming, and more recently, mini computers. He can be contacted at

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