Bluetooth crashes randomly in Ubuntu 9.10

I installed Linux Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) in my Dell Mini 9 (Inspiron 910). Everything works fine, except for the bluetooth support. Occasionally, the bluetooth service apparently dies, and I don't know exactly why. When this happens, I cannot restart the bluetooth service simply with "service bluetooth restart"; even after doing that, the report resulting from "service bluetooth status" is "Bluetooth is *not* running". There are no logs that could give a clue as to what's going on. Since the bluetooth service is down, the bluetooth application (blueman) does not work either.

The bluetooth device in this Dell mini is a USB device identified as:
Bus 005 Device 004: ID 413c:02b0 Dell Computer Corp.
You can check your machine with this command: "lsusb -v |grep Bluetooth"

I figured that the hardware bluetooth device must be switched off (again, for some odd reason), and sure enough, that seemed to be the problem. So the solution I found is:

  1. Turn the hardware bluetooth device on
  2. Restart the bluetooth service
  3. Run my bluetooth application (blueman)
Step by step, this means:

1) Turn the hardware bluetooth device back on. The best way I found to do this is by using the "aircraft manager" application. You can install this with this set of commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:opensource-subakutty/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install aircraft-manager
Now you will have a nice command-line tool, /usr/bin/aircraft-manager-util
To use it:
/usr/bin/aircraft-manager-util BT on (to turn bluetooth on)
/usr/bin/aircraft-manager-util BT status (to check the status of the bluetooth hardware)

2) Once the device is turned on, restart the bluetooth service in Linux:
sudo service bluetooth restart

You can check that the service is indeed running:
sudo service bluetooth status

3) Restart your blueman applet:
killall blueman-applet
blueman-applet &

At this point, the bluetooth application should be fully operational again.


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