OpenBSD Journal

bluetooth status?

Contributed by jose on from the inquiring-minds dept.

bt writes: "I was recently checking out which explains how to make bluetooth work on FreeBSD. Googling revealed nothing related to bluetooth support on OpenBSD. Does anyone know if anyone is working on that? Is there any timeframe?

I checked how difficult is porting the FreeBSD stuff. The first problem I see is that it is NETGRAPH based, and as far as I know there is no NETGRAPH support in OpenBSD... However there is a NetBSD port of NETGRAPH so it shouldn't be very difficult to port it to OpenBSD. Any comments/ideas?"

Anyone know of any skunkworks projects regarding bluetooth on OpenBSD?

(Comments are closed)

  1. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Netgraph is bloated and unacceptable

  2. By Anonymous Coward () on

    I didn't know that netgraph had already been ported to netbsd.

    I was looking to see the bluetooth status in *BSD a few months ago and found FreeBSD's implementation pretty good. The developer, Max, is very helpful and pretty knowledgable. Sadly, he's announced that he may not be able to do more development on a regular basis:

    I can atest that the code works. He keeps making improvements as well, but the base functionality has been good for my needs.

    I wanted to know about OpenBSD and NetBSD as well, because I prefer OpenBSD over the others (not flamebait, just stating my preference). I found this in the NetBSD lists:

    It led me to believe netgraph hadn't been ported to NetBSD. Apparently I'm wrong. I do agree with some people's opinion that a fresh bluetooth codebase should be made without netgraph. I don't know where to start, though. Bluetooth probably isn't too high on the OpenBSD dev priority list so for those of us without decent coding skills we'll probably need to see what NetBSD does and try to port it over. In the mean time, I highly recommend FreeBSD's implementation.

  3. By Craig Miller () on mailto:craig<at>

    I was looking into porting this too and so I emailed the FreeBSD author to see if anyone else had approaced him. He said that noone had approached him about an OpenBSD port. He also said that he would like to remove the Netgraph underpinnings and anything else that makes it less portable.

    Sounds like there is sufficient interest to get things rolling, and we can probably work with the author to do it without Netgraph the first time.

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      I really doubt there is enough interest for this. Bluetooth is, after all, a very tiny market. It's not because a few people are interested in Bluetooth as a development project that there are actually any users for it. I'd say it's a waste of effort. There are far more important things to work on. But that's just IMHO of course.

      1. By Glimt () on

        There is enough interest if one person wants to do it.

  4. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Bluetooth is terrific, it's a very nice technology, but there is almost no market acceptance [yet] never the less, netgraph is not acceptable in OpenBSD which means no bluetooth support. We'll see how things evolve and then...

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      Not entirely true, in the mobile phone market, Bluetooth has caught on - and outside of the USA, the mobile phone market is quite large.

      I'm yet to be convinced that Bluetooth will move past being a mere infra-red replacement but Bluetooth is more touted to be your "Personal Area Network" - specifically low lower, low range, low cost - it it there's a lot of potential here for this niche.

      A key selling point is the idea of a "single chip solution at $5/chip" - and the chips are indeed quite impressive with inbuilt antenna manufactured into the chip. I'm speaking from experience working in a development team that produced one of the first bluetooth chips/stacks 3-4 years ago. Look at for the way that Bluetooth development solutions are targetted.

      The Bluetooth nice is below what 802.11x is aimed at (e.g. 802.11x has too much power / other requirements to ever make it into a $5/chip device and is clearly aimed at higher data rate, higher security, etc). They are complementary (although, I'm sure that if the industry had organised it properly, it could have developed a scalable standard that could work both at low power Blueooth and also work at higher rates demanded by LAN - but such is life!). You need to look at these protocols as having technology niche's.

      I think there's a potential role for Bluetooth in OpenBSD, especially as OB is used quite heavy as an AP or embedded multimedia style device. It can't be avoided and should be supported, but it's not as critical as (say) I think 802.11g support is.

      1. By grey () on

        There is already at least one developer who is going to be working on ath support (802.11a/b/g + hostAP driver). Pending hardware donations (reports are that some cards are on their way already); one thing that needs to be done is to reverse engineer the binary HAL layer from the FreeBSD driver so that OpenBSD can easily support multiple hardware architectures (the FreeBSD driver at release only supported x86), and well - still try to maintain product support within its goals.

        So, in all likelihood - we'll have an ath driver pretty soon; bluetooth could possibly benefit from people such as you who have an interest and background in the technology already.

        To the person interested in firewire support; as others mentioned - there is already some preliminary support. And I know that itojun had some commits quite a while ago related to IP-over-firewire.

        Even USB still needs some work - to those who can't donate programming skills, I'd recommend that you contact developers with hardware donations or loans, as often that can be a real help to support efforts. A lot of developers could use non-x86 platforms too (e.g. sparc64, or perhaps more intriguing amd64), when they get a new toy - there's often some incentive to make it work. :-)

        Remember, check out

        I try to donate at least a few pieces of hardware a year, and not always something that's explicitly listed. Shipping can sometimes be a problem, or if you're ordering brand new hardware, I'd recommend having it in hand first as it can be tough to get it shipped to developers directly sometimes (usually due to vendors trying to be overly cautious about CC fraud). I like to think that it might help a bit.

  5. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Bluetooth would be nice.


    (looks around franticly, not really wanting this to devolve into "what about this", but quickly and easily gives in)

    Dammit, I want Firewire for x86!!!

    I've been waiting on firewire for years!

    I wanted to donate firewire hardware to acclerate development, but got persuaded to give USB hardware since that might allow focus on firewire support once USB support was absurdly solid.

    I dream of IP over firewire, firewire cameras, fast video interfaces, great disk transfers....all on a secure platform.

    *shiver* Exciting stuff. Firewire plus SMP, and having found an OBSD supported frame buffer API, I can ditch a lot of this crappy other OS crap that's plaguing me. Heck, the only thing I dream more about is sex.

    Firewire. FIREWIRE!!! WAHHH!!! (smack) *thud*

    Ok, I'm better now. Really. I'd write the code myself, except I'm a spoon fed programmer (iow, not very competent--hell, the PNG spec confuses me).

    1. By tedu () on

      firewire hard drives should work i think. you have to build a kernel with support though.

    2. By Anonymous Coward () on

      My firewire cd-rw works properly, you know...

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