Kevin Kempf's Blog

July 14, 2010

Tethering a Blackberry 9630 via Bluetooth to Ubuntu Lucid Lynx (10.04)

Filed under: Blackberry, Linux — kkempf @ 1:44 pm

Lucid Lynx

Aside from the name Lucid Lynx (which I find annoying to remember), I love Ubuntu as a work platform.  I’m proud to say I haven’t had to fire up my Windows VM for weeks.  One pleasant surprise when switching from CentOS (Red Hat) to Ubuntu was the ease in setting up a bluetooth-tethered Blackberry modem. Under CentOS, it was rather awkward and obscure; under Ubuntu it’s all available for you to click on in the task bar.

The Basics

It’s somewhat helpful to know that Ubuntu (and CentOS as I recall) treats a Blackberry modem as a Dial Up Networking modem; in other words, it’s reminiscent of the old dial up days, except you don’t have to hear the modem static.  I’m writing this entry post-install, and therefore it’s entirely possible I’m missing some minor nuances and screenshots.  If so, let me know what they are and I’ll add them.  In particular, I don’t recall how the network connection for Mobile Broadband (Blackberry) shows up; it may be automatic, it may take intervention.


  • You’re using Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx (LTS)
  • You have a Blackberry with the data plan enabled (mine is a 9630; this topic seems generic enough that it should work on any)
  • You have bluetooth available on your PC/Notebook


Bluetooth likes to see things paired before use.  Unless you’ve somehow left the devices wide open, the PC and the device need to pair or handshake a first time, to confirm they aren’t being hijacked.

The first step is to figure out how to make your Blackberry discoverable:

  • Go to options
  • Select Bluetooth
  • Hit the Blackberry button
  • Select Options (again)
  • Ensure Discoverable is set to Yes
  • It may be handy to note the Device Name and Device Address (MAC Address)

Discover the Blackberry from Ubuntu

  • Ensure the Bluetooth Icon is in the bottom right corner of your screen, on the task bar.   If it’s not, possible causes include that the bluetooth service isn’t running, or perhaps you switched off the wireless switch on your notebook?

Set Up Dial Up Networking & Pair the Devices

Left click on the Bluetooth Icon in the bottom right corner of the taskbar, and click the search button.

Select the device you just paired, then right click and hit Add Device

Now it wants to pair; the Blackberry asks you for a PIN; type it in and hit enter.

It now wants that same PIN on your PC (type in the PIN you just entered on the Blackberry):

Now you can right click on the device and hit trust; this adds a shiny yellow star icon to the picture.

Finally, right click on the device and hit Dialup Networking.  I can’t remember if the first time I did it I had to put in the dial in number or it somehow figured it out.  Regardless, here’s what it looks like when it’s running; note that there’s a little green light on the bluetooth icon in the lower right, indicating a bluetooth connection, a desktop alert on the top right telling me that I’m connected to Verizon, and colored blinky lights in the Bluetooth Device window indicating received signal strength (orange), link quality (green) and transmit power level (blue).  Right click again on the device and select disconnect to hang up.

Worth noting, if you right click on the network manager in the bottom right and select edit connections, ensure you have “connect automatically” checked for the Blackberry connection.  To be honest, I don’t remember the details but this removes one extra mouse click when you dial in with the Blackberry.

I thought it may be useful to see what Bluetooth-related packages I’ve got installed via the Ubuntu Software Center

November 30, 2009

Tethering a Blackberry 9630 with Data via Bluetooth in Linux (Verizon Wireless)

Filed under: Blackberry, Linux — kkempf @ 1:54 pm

To begin with, this post is pretty focused, and probably irrelevant to most Oracle DBAs.   I’m going to detail how you use Bluetooth to tether a data capable Blackberry 9630 (via it’s internal modem) to your Linux (RedHat/CetOS) machine running Gnome so that you can use the Blackberry’s modem as your internet connection.  This information is a collection from various sources, most notably here but none of the places really seemed to present the information in a simple, beginning to end, usable manner so that’s what I’ll attempt to do here.

Before you go further, know a few things about tethering a Blackberry.  First, it’s not free.  You have to pay for the data plan from your provider, and I believe it’s to the tune of $40+ per month.  Fortunately for me, my employer takes care of that.  Second, you need to be sure data tethering is enabled on your account before you try to do any of this.  It’s hugely frustrating to go through all of these steps and try to troubleshoot a correct setup, when in reality all that’s wrong is that your wireless provider is denying you access because your account isn’t set up right.  Finally, ensure your PC has a Bluetooth adapter.  Seems like a no-brainer, but in my case I had to install one on my Dell D820 so it’s not a given that all notebooks come with one, much less desktops.

I am no Linux guru.  I would like to think I fall somewhere between a novice and an advanced user.  So that’s the level I’m writing this at.  As usual, if I’m technically wrong in some way, or you have a suggestion on how something could be phrased better, I’m all ears, please leave a comment.  With that, I should state the standard “Proceed at your own risk” clause.  In other words, it worked for me.  Might work for you.  You need to use root a lot.  Be careful.  Very careful.

Check Linux Package Requirements

Before you begin, see if you have the required packages.  From the command prompt:

$ rpm -q ppp

$ rpm -q bluez-utils

If either or both are missing, do a yum install ppp or a yum install bluez-utils to correct this.

Pair the Blackberry to Linux

Pairing is the one-time process of establishing a “trusted” relationship between 2 Bluetooth devices.

Check the “icon tray” in the bottom right corner of your Linux machine.  You should see an icon which looks like this .  If you don’t see it, perhaps the service isn’t running (as root, type service bluetooth status); if you still can’t see it, refer to Bluez.  Right click on the icon, and ensure discoverable is checked.  This allows your PC’s bluetooth adapter to be “seen” by other bluetooth devices, in this case for purposes of pairing them.

Determine your two Bluetooth MAC addresses; for the PC this is easy.  As root:

#hcitool dev

which returns:

hci0    00:1D:D2:E1:2C:EB (your address will be different)

hic0 is the Linux PC’s Bluetooth device, and it’s MAC address is what follows the word hci0.

For the Blackberry, from the main screen, use  Options->Bluetooth, then the menu button, then options.  From the  Bluetooth Options screen, you need to ensure it says discoverable “Yes” and write down the MAC address at the bottom of the screen where it says Device Address: 00:26:FF:B3:33:22 (obviously your address will be different).

To actually pair the devices, from the blackberry go to Options->Bluetooth, then the menu button, then add a device.  Select Search from the next menu.  Select Computer from the next menu (if you get this, my discovery found 3 devices: two blackberries and a computer).  It then asks for a numeric passkey for the computer name.  As far as I can tell, this is a one-time use key which has to be entered on both devices, so I entered 1111 and followed the prompts on my Linux host:

Linux Sees the Blackberry attempting to Pair

Linux Sees the Blackberry attempting to Pair

Enter the passkey

Successful Pairing!

Linux Setups

As root, execute the following command and make a note of the Channel number of your device:

#sdptool search DUN

Inquiring …
Searching for DUN on 00:26:FF:B3:33:22 …
Service Name: Dialup Networking
Service RecHandle: 0x10002
Service Class ID List:
“Dialup Networking” (0x1103)
“Generic Networking” (0x1201)
Protocol Descriptor List:
“L2CAP” (0x0100)
“RFCOMM” (0x0003)
Channel: 3
Profile Descriptor List:
“Dialup Networking” (0x1103)
Version: 0x0100


Using your favorite editor (vi!) edit /etc/bluetooth/rfcomm.conf as root (it would be wise to create a backup of the file first)
You can just paste this in and make edits.  Device is your Blackberry MAC address, channel is derived above, and comment is for your own clarity.

rfcomm0 {
bind yes;
device xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx;
channel 3;
comment "Blackberry 9630";

Restart Blackberry Service

As root, execute the following:

service bluetooth restart
Stopping Bluetooth services:                               [  OK  ]
Starting Bluetooth services:                               [  OK  ]

Launch KPPP

Personally, I prefer a GUI to make my connection.  I honestly don’t recall if kppp is installed by default in a Gnome desktop environment; if it’s not, it’s a part of the kdenetwork package; I believe by installing this you will get kppp available under Applications->Internet from the desktop menu.  When you launch KPPP you will be required to enter the root password.

You’ll need to configure your connection before proceeding.  Hit “Configure…”, then there’s 2 things we need to set up.


Under the accounts tab, hit “New”.  You will want to set up this screen as follows:

Dial Properties

Under DNS

Verizon Specific DNS settings

Note that there are 2 items here which I believe to be Verizon (my wireless provider) specific:

  1. The dial up number #777
  2. The DNS entries shown above

In other words, I can’t speculate on how these will need to be adjusted for another wireless carrier, but I also imagine this is something which they should be able to readily tell you.  When I do a whois against the DNS address I have, it’s clearly Verizons:


OrgName:    Cellco Partnership DBA Verizon Wireless
OrgID:      CLLC
Address:    180 Washington Valley Road
City:       Bedminster
StateProv:  NJ
PostalCode: 07039
Country:    US

NetRange: -
NetHandle:  NET-66-174-0-0-1
Parent:     NET-66-0-0-0-0
NetType:    Direct Allocation
RegDate:    2001-10-01
Updated:    2005-11-16

OrgAbuseHandle: ABUSE716-ARIN
OrgAbuseName:   Abuse
OrgAbusePhone:  +1-800-770-1779

OrgTechHandle: MGE16-ARIN
OrgTechName:   George, Matt
OrgTechPhone:  +1-908-306-7000

# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2009-11-29 20:00
# Enter ? for additional hints on searching ARIN's WHOIS database.


Under the Modems tab, hit “New”.  You will want to set up this screen as follows:

KPPP Configuration

Time to connect

Note: The first time you connect, your Blackberry device should ask you “Accept connection request from <pc name>?  Check  “Don’t ask again” before hitting “Yes” so you don’t have to remember to answer this again later…

KPPP Main Screen

Note Verizon doesn’t require a Login ID or Password…. Hit Connect…

You're cooking!

That should be it!  At this point, it should connect, and stay this way until you kill the connection via the KPPP icon in your icon tray:


Create a free website or blog at