An improved Bluetooth experience is expected to feature in the next major release of Linux Mint.

Current versions of the Linux distro ship with Blueberry as the default Bluetooth manager tool, which uses the gnome-bluetooth backend. This handle connections to Bluetooth devices like headphones, headsets, games controllers, smartphones, etc, and the integration of devices within the Cinnamon desktop UI.

But Linux Mint 21 —due for release later this year— is going to use Blueman and the bluez backend.

Why the change?

Well, the short answer is that Blueman works better. Testing by Mint shows it successfully connects to a wider range of devices (audio equipment in particular). And when you’re shipping a desktop OS used by millions you ought to be using what works best, right?

Blueberry on Linux Mint 20.3

However there is a bit more to the story, as Linux Mint lead Clement Lefèbvre explains in his latest monthly update:

“On the development side of things, the latest version of gnome-bluetooth introduced changes which broke compatibility with Blueberry and its main developer isn’t keen on seeing his work used outside of GNOME. Blueman on the other hand welcomed a Mint migration and is open to changes. We’re currently testing Blueman and working on its integration within Linux Mint.

Linux Mint introduced Blueberry back in 2015. Its arrival was a fairly big deal at the time and did a lot to improve the Bluetooth experience within the distro.

However there’s nothing to fear in this switch. Blueman is a solid, well-tested alternative already in use across a diverse range of Linux distributions, including Ubuntu MATE (I think; it’s present on my Ubuntu MATE 20.04 LTS install on my GPD MicroPC and I don’t remember going out of my way to install it).

In all, a positive change Mint fans can look forward to trying later in the year.

blueman bluetooth bluez Linux Mint Linux Mint 21