Skype, Linux, Alsa & Bluetooth

Skype, Linux, Alsa & Bluetooth

January 2, 2010 12:02 2 comments
5 Kudos
Today I've been finally able to make my bluetooth headset working fine with Skype.
First of all I want to say that Skype for Linux quite sucks on what should be its main purpose: audio communications.

Check out your kernel configuration. Running "lsmod" here is my module configuration related to audio/bluetooth:

In particular you should make sure to have bt-sco enabled in your kernel.

Now you should gather information about your device, in particular you need its bluetooth MAC address:

Write somewhere this xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx address, you’ll need it in a while.

Next step is to pair your bluetooth device with your computer.
I use gnome-bluetooth to manage bluetooth devices on my system so feel free to use anything that works for your system.
Look up for your device, start pairing it and issue the PIN (usually 0000 for handsets).


Once everything seems working fine, let’s configure ~/.asoundrc (Notice that this file should be placed in your user homedir).
Well, open that file (or create it) with your favorite text-editor:

This will tell your audio tools that exists another control named “bluetooth” that points out to the device address “xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx” (your bluetooth headset).

This should be enough, fire up skype and choose “bluetooth” for incoming and outcoming audio flows.

Note: Some issues you might encounter:
Please make sure you run skype from a terminal to collect more informations

  • This error shows up:

    Actually you might ignore this message. However, if you followed Bluez HOWTO/AudioDevices and you put something like

    in your ~/.asoundrc, then I can tell you that I had this issue before. I just removed this “workaround” and I simply used the “normal” configuration.

  • On Gentoo amd64 is possible that you get some errors regarding not found lib32 libs. This is “normal” (shouldn’t be, but happens). Just unmask and use app-emulation/emul-linux-x86-soundlibs-20091231. This ebuild contains lib32 alsa-bluetooth libraries you need.
  • JackTheVendicator

    I’m having lots of problems with the same headset and a broadcom based dongle… which kernel version are you using?

  • elbryan

    2.6.32 if I recall correctly.

    The dongle you’re using is an usb one?