Cannot change bluetooth name

Bug #837196 reported by Никола Павловић on 2011-08-30
This bug affects 62 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
GNOME Bluetooth
bluez (Ubuntu)
Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre
gnome-bluetooth (Ubuntu)
Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre

Bug Description

There is no option to change friendly name in the bluetooth settings.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.10
Package: gnome-bluetooth 3.1.4-0ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.0.0-9.14-generic 3.0.3
Uname: Linux 3.0.0-9-generic x86_64
Architecture: amd64
CasperVersion: 1.279
Date: Tue Aug 30 07:01:31 2011
LiveMediaBuild: Ubuntu 11.10 "Oneiric Ocelot" - Alpha amd64 (20110828)
 PATH=(custom, no user)
SourcePackage: gnome-bluetooth
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

description: updated
Changed in gnome-bluetooth (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Pritam Baral (pritambaral) wrote :

Apparently, the devs upstream have integrated it with systemd and the 'System Info' panel in gnome-control-center. But since ubuntu does not use systemd, this needs looking into.

David Given (david.given) wrote :

Any news on this? Right now my my bluetooth name is localhost.localdomain-0, which is not useful.

Also, given the rather unhelpful response by the Gnome people on wanting bluetooth names that are different from the machine names, I do wonder how machines with multiple bluetooth adapters are going to be handled.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :
Changed in gnome-bluetooth (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Felix (apoapo) wrote :

Any progress? This is quite important imo. My name is totally random :(

This helps as workaround:

sudo hciconfig hci0 name 'Device Name'

Peter Meiser (meiser79) wrote :

If you want to change the bluetooth device name permanently, you have to create a file called /etc/machine-info which should have the following content:


This is hardly a "wishlist" item, I think. This problem affects core bluetooth functionality and thus should be set much higher.

Also, in that upstream bug the gnome dev seems to think a Bluetooth name must always be the same as the system's hostname. (, "No, and we're not interested in supporting that.")

Ignoring for a moment the condescending attitude that is infesting Gnome nowadays, I have a usecase that seems to require being able to change the bluetooth name (unless I overlooked something, feel free to correct me). I have two different Ubuntu installations on the same laptop, one for work, one for private use. They have different names. In earlier versions of Ubuntu I tried just connecting to both with different names via bluetooth, which didn't work. Changing the bluetooth names to be identical on both installations seemed to (mostly) work. It seems that this would no longer be supported.

Felix (apoapo) wrote :

I just read your linked post... and i got really angry. What an arrogance this dev is showing.

There must be an option to change names for: hostname, SAMBA service, hell, even my ICQ and yes..bluetooth! Why should i ever use the same name on multiple services? I can.. yes. I must.. NOT!

Is this patchable? Can ubuntu change the code to add a name changer in the bluetooth settings or is this too much of a hazzle with upstream?

Changed in gnome-bluetooth:
importance: Unknown → High
status: Unknown → Invalid
Steve White (stevan-white) wrote :

This bug is also present in 12.04 Beta.
Please get onto this.

Wagner Volanin (volanin) wrote :

Thank you. The workaround in #6 works like a charm!

Stjepan Brbot (stjepan-brbot) wrote :

For me #6 works fine on Precise as well. This changes bluetooth machine name. Thanks Whoopie.

Robin Sheat (eythian) wrote :

If you get a laptop with an OEM Ubuntu build installed (i.e. one that asks for the configuration when you first boot), the bluetooth name comes out as "oem-0", even though the machine had been given a name during setup. oem-0 is not a very nice name.

So, kind of Triaged for gnome-bluetooth, since it's pretty clear what we're missing is some kind of hostnamed helper for the hostname, which will also affect the bluetooth device name. See

Also, this happens to demonstrate a bug in bluez, since it doesn't appear to follow the settings in /etc/bluetooth/main.conf; where the "rule" for the hostname is set. The values are simply ignored and we should fix that. Seems to me like a pretty simple thing to fix too, if someone wants to hack at bluez :)

Changed in bluez (Ubuntu):
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Medium
Changed in gnome-bluetooth (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
assignee: nobody → Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre (mathieu-tl)
Changed in bluez (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre (mathieu-tl)
Steve White (stevan-white) wrote :

As I understand it, although many people agree it's serious
* invalid according to GNOME Bluetooth ["complain to your distribution", they say]
* triaged according to blues (Ubuntu)
* triaged according to gnome-bluetooth (Ubuntu).

Does this mean, nobody will fix this, because nobody feels responsible for the problem?
If not, what does it mean?

Is there some way the proper people can be alerted, or adequately threatened (whatever is necessary)?


No, it actually means there is nothing to fix I just have missed the updates to the bug.

It's invalid according to GNOME because there is a way to change the system hostname via System Information in the control panel:

As expressed above, there is also a way to change this in bluez itself, so there is effectively no bug in BlueZ -- as such I'll mark the Bluez task as Invalid (there is no bug there), and the gnome-bluetooth task as Won't Fix (we won't change how it is, and there is an alternative method recommended by GNOME already)

Changed in gnome-bluetooth (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Won't Fix
Changed in bluez (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Invalid
Steve White (stevan-white) wrote :

Hi Mathieu,

In my latest distro, Ubuntu 13.10, there is a field for setting the Bluetooth "Friendly Name" in the blueman-adapters panel. I think it works, at least on the system I'm using now. (However, this isn't a fresh installation, and I may have performed some work-around last year.)

But this was very problematic even last year. Something like: you could set the friendly name in one place, but somehow it didn't *take*, so that other devices would still see it as "ubuntu0".

As always, it's immaterial to the user whose fault it is--and enough glitches like this drive users to the competition.

Thanks for your time!

Hristo Erinin (zorlem) wrote :

Hi Mathieu,

With regards to changing the hostname in System Information (or through "Details" in Unity Control Center) - at least on my laptop that is not possible - the field is greyed-out and my hostname is the correct one. Thanks to TJ's comment, the source of the "ubuntu-0" name is clear - it is put there by ubiquity during installation (when the system still has the default hostname - "ubuntu"). The problem is that, once recorded there (and copied from Live install to /target) it is impossible to override it without editing the corresponding files.

At least this is a bug with Ubiquity, but I think that it should be possible to change the device name without editing the config files by hand, so I have opened #1308922 against unity-control-center.

Stephan Henningsen (zta77) wrote :

Of course it should be possible to change. IF a default should be chosen, it should be $HOSTNAME.

The bug still lives in 14.04.

Christian González (droetker) wrote :

This is technically no gnome-bluetooth bug, but a bug in the gnome-system-settings.
But this info here is gone if not linked to the new bug.
So if you don't mind I'll mark this here as duplicate of the new one?
Technically it would be better to assign it to the new package, but the new bug 1308922 has already a very clean description, so IMHO it is better to do it that way.

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