USB Bluetooth Adapter 4.o LE in Linux Mint 13?


How do I get Linux Mint 13 Maya to see the Bluetooth USB Adapter, 4.0 LE?

Device is an Acer netbook.

Thanks in advance.


Hi Donn,

Thanks for posting! Open source drivers which recognize our USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter have been backported to the service releases of kernels 3.0.34 and later (basically June 2012 kernels or later). Mint 13 was released in May, so depending on what updates have been released, you may not be quite on a recent enough version yet.

Could you run “uname -a” from the command line, and post back with what version you’ve got? And are there any kernel updates available from Mint?



Hi Bernie,

I’ve got kernel “3.2.0-23 generic”


Hi Donn. Thanks for the quick reply! Yep, that’s it.

Support for this adapter (whose USB VID is 0x0a5c (Broadcom) and VID 0x21e8) has been backported as far back as kernels:

* 3.0.34…
* 3.2.20…
* And is present in all kernels 3.4 and higher

So 3.2.0 is unfortunately not going to have it - it predates it by a few months.

For distros which release kernel upgrades frequently, they’d probably be updated by now.

Linux Mint 13 is relatively conservative about updating kernels (which I actually like as a distro strategy – stability is better than coolness), but it means they tend to stick with the kernel version from the initial release, which in the case of Linux Mint 13 is that 3.2.0 version which predates this adapter.

There are ways to update, though, apparently. E.g. see…

Or you could re-build the btusb kernel module with support for this built in – but that’s quite involved.

Probably the more straightforward way: Linux Mint 14 upgrades to Linux kernel 3.5, which has support for this adapter built in. So that’s another good way to get the support, if it could work for you.

Sorry I don’t have better news on the 3.2.0 kernel. With the background above, hopefully you’ll have a good alternative.

Please let us know if there are any particular questions we can answer! Thanks again for posting so we’d go back through the Linux logs and dig this up - this info is useful to others. Thanks!



I held my breath (Linux newbie) and tried the bash script at, and apparently bollixed the machine. It won’t reboot to anything.

Off to my brother in law, who is a Linux Wizard, and he’ll probably stick a newer distro on it.

I bought the USB Bluetooth dongle for my Windows machine, and it works fine there, so there’s no loss.

Thanks for the help.


Hi Donn - Thanks for mentioning that! I removed that option from the earlier post, so no one else will get caught by that. Yes - going to the newer distro is probably the most straightforward way. Thanks!


Bernie, did uname -a and got:
Linux shitstorm 3.13.0-29-generic #53 etc…
so I think my Kernel is pretty current. My laptop DOES already have bt, but I want to add the usb dongle as it has much better capabilities. I’m not sure what to do, I’ve plugged it in, turned off the old BT, and nothing happens.


Hi Joshua - If you have any Windows machines around, I’d just double-check that it works there. Email us at with output from our debug tool and we can take a shot at helping. Here’s how: Thanks!