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October 17, 2008 @ 20:40

Bluetooth GPS Fedora howto

 
If you have bluetooth GPS dongle that you have laying around, or can borrow one from somebody, and like driving a bike or a car around then this is the guide for you.
 

You need to have bluetooth wireless chip already installed on your laptop. If you have a laptop or a desktop without bluetooth you can buy and use USB bluetooth dongle.
 

You can check if you have a bluetooth and that it is working correctly using this command:
hcitool dev

 

Then let’s make sure you have bluetooth service running:
service bluetooth status
 

if it is not running just start it with:
service bluetooth start
 

Turn on your bluetooth GPS dongle and find its bluetooth mac address with this command:
hcitool scan
Scanning ...
00:1E:EE:00:11:22 LG KU990
00:02:78:99:FF:00 SJ GPS
00:12:EE:55:00:FF Device01

 

If you find more than one bluetooth device you should know the name of your GPS dongle. My GPS dongle has a “GPS” in its name so it is easy to catch its mac address: 00:02:78:99:FF:00 (SJ GPS)
 

You need to install gpsd and setup bluetooth config files, so let’s first install gpsd:
su -
yum install gpsd gpsd-clients -y

 

Then you need to edit bluetooth config file so that gpsd connects automatically to GPS bluetooth dongle.

gedit / etc/bluetooth/rfcomm.conf
 

and add these lines:
 

rfcomm0 {
# Automatically bind the device at startup
bind yes;

# Bluetooth address of the device
device 00:12:EE:55:00:FF;

# RFCOMM channel for the connection
channel 1;

# Description of the connection
comment "GPS Bluetooth dongle";
}

 

After reboot check if you have /dev/rfcomm0 device with:
ls -al /dev/rfcomm0
 

If after reboot (or you don’t wan’t to reboot) you still don’t have /dev/rfcomm0 then just issue this command:
rfcomm bind rfcomm0
 

Now start gpsd daemon:
gpsd /dev/rfcomm0
 

Now you can start having fun! :)
 

Install gps applications like tangogps, gpsdrive and gpsbabel.
yum install -y tangogps gpsdrive gpsbabel
 

Now just start tangogps and gpsdrive and enjoy…
 

Filed under english, fedora, gps, linux, openstreetmap, tips&tricks

  • http://vwbusguy.wordpress.com Scott Williams

    Excellent write-up. We should post this on http://fedorasolved.org !!

  • http://www.gpsbabel.org Robert Lipe

    In almost every case, GPSBabel can read straight from the rfcomm device when in realtime tracking mode.

    GPSD has a place, but for commodity GPSes hocking up either plain ole NMEA or Garmin PVT, GPSBabel can slurp right from the BT device just fine.

  • http://kernelreloaded.blog385.com valent

    @Scott Williams
    Sure I’ll post it to http://fedorasolved.org

    @Robert Lipe
    I’m using 2-3 GPS apps at the same time so there for my setup gpsd is must because I need to give access to GPS data to more that one app.

  • Eli Hadad

    Great article, with few minutes I could make my GPS work with my Fedora9 on my laptop.
    Thanks,
    Eli

  • bugthing

    Thanks for the article.

    I am using Fedora 10 on an Acer Aspire One with a bluetooth usb dongle and a Holux GPSlim 236.

    The above instructions all go well, except when I reboot their is no /dev/rfcomm0, but when I run ‘rfcomm bind rfcomm0′, it appears, so all good :) (i guess)

    gpsd seems to run ok.

    The problem comes when I run tangogps or gpsdrive, they both report there is not GPS receiver :(

    … any ideas??

  • http://kernelreloaded.blog385.com valent

    @bugthing
    Hi, thank you for your comment.

    Tangogps and Gpsdrive need gpsd deamon running so please start it, read the instructions in my post how to start it once more and if you have further questions don’t be shy, just ask.

  • bugthing

    thanks for the reply…

    I do have the gpsd running. It does not complain so I guess it is happy.

    From further investigation it seems to not be able to read the /dev/rfcomm0.

    When running:
    cat /dev/rfcomm0

    I think the above should spit out some data, but it does not…

    … hold on …

    It is working! :-D

    I think it is because before I did not restart the GPSlim after installing all the gpsd etc.

    thanks alot :)

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  • Jos

    Does this also work with Ubuntu (instead of Fedora)? Jos Muller

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