Comparison of USB Bluetooth adapters in Linux


In this post I’m going to compare compatibility of multiple USB Bluetooth adapters and Linux (current stable Debian). And also jot down what are their basic parameters.

bluetooth dongles bluetooth dongles

The reason is – when I went to get myself one, I found very little info which ones work out of the box and which ones don’t. And being old enough to remember the trouble with Linux vs. hardware in the ’90s, I chose not to assume that they would just work.


When I say below works out of the box, I mean that bluetoothctl scan on was able to discover a device after simply plugging the dongle in. That’s about the extent of my rigorous testing.

Without further ado —

Brand Version idVendor, idProduct Works ootb1 Notes
Edimax BT-8500 5.0 7392, c611 Yes!2 Serial and MAC laser etched.
Trust Manga 18187 4.0 0a12, 0001 Yes. No external markings but logo.
Digitus DN-30210-1 4.0 0a12, 0001 Yes. No external markings.
Asus USB-BT400 4.0 0b05, 17cb Unclear3 Serial affixed with adhesive.


So if I had to pick just one Bluetooth USB adapter for Linux (having bought a whole slew of them4), I’d go with the Edimax BT-8500.

Not only does it support BT 5.0 (with backward compatibility with BDR/EDR – the so called Bluetooth Classic), but also has Serial+MAC markings laser etched on the housing, and clearly states Linux support on manufacturer’s website (which on Debian stable does work out of the box).

It doesn’t get better than that, does it?

  1. “out of the box”, hello iOS users.

  2. Not only that, but manufacturer’s website clearly mentions that. Just imagine.

  3. dmesg: bluetooth hci0: firmware: failed to load brcm/BCM20702A1-0b05-17cb.hcd. I’m sure that’s fixable. But it’s a nuisance; -10 points for Slytherin.

  4. Some from, some from Mainly because decided to “upgrade” their fast shipping option to take about a week.