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How to enable Bluetooth in Ubuntu on Inspiron 1320

📅 2013-Oct-05 ⬩ ✍️ Ashwin Nanjappa ⬩ 🏷️ bluetooth, dell inspiron 1320 ⬩ 📚 Archive

The Inspiron 1320 is a multimedia notebook from Dell. Inspiron 13 is its generic name. I found that Bluetooth was working on it in Windows. Bluetooth could be found to be enabled in the BIOS too. But, when I boot into Ubuntu, Bluetooth is not enabled. Its icon is not visible in the Panel.

By chance, I discovered that Bluetooth works in Ubuntu only if you had turned it on in Windows. You can turn it on in Windows by pressing Fn+F2. This brings a Dell dialog, where you can turn on Bluetooth and Wireless. If you turn it on here and reboot into Ubuntu, Bluetooth will be enabled and its icon will appear in the Panel.

However, there is a catch, a big one. I found that if I did this, the wireless interface in Ubuntu would not work! It sucks, I know. I could get the wireless working only if I rebooted into Windows and turned off Bluetooth.

This meant that on this notebook, I could only have one of either Bluetooth or wireless in Ubuntu. Since, wireless is way more important, I found a simple solution: I bought a Bluetooth dongle and stuck it into a USB port on the notebook. The Bluetooth icon appeared back in Ubuntu and I had Bluetooth and wireless 😊

Tried with: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Windows 7 x64