Bluetooth HID


[edit] Keyboards

[edit] Nokia SU-8W

Of course Nokia's own Bluetooth keyboard plays with Maemo very well, but in some cases, as in Brazilian Portuguese (pt_BR) language, some accents don't work. There's a workaround in [1].

[edit] The Apple Bluetooth Keyboard

Apple's keyboard works out of the box if you set the keyboard type to "Generic 105-key PC" and the layout to "English (USA)".

An extensive discussion about customizing this keyboard for Maemo (adding page-up/page-down, lots more keys and functionality, etc.) may be found here. Much of this information is applicable to other keyboards as well, particularly discussion about xmodmap.

[edit] Cygnet ("Smart") Keyboards

A large number of Cygnet Bluetooth keyboards are currently showing up around eBay for very reasonable prices. The good news is that they are indeed Maemo-compatible. The bad news is that they're not HID keyboards, they're serial keyboards, which means that setting them up is currently a little more work. (We're working on making this easier).

There are two types of Cygnet keyboard, both rebranded Chainpus ("Smart") keyboards:

  • The keyboard currently advertised on the Cygnet website is a rebranded BK-600, a nice clamshell serial keyboard. The key travel is a bit squidgy, but altogether it feels like a very well-put-together unit.
  • There is also another keyboard being sold, branded as Cygnet - it's the BK-300 (currently only available on the Chainpus home page). I got one by mistake - they're gratifyingly thin and tiny, but I didn't like the equally tiny calculator-style buttons, and exchanged mine. It claims to be HID-compatible, so you shouldn't have any problems.

The BK-600 is supported by kbdd (source code), the serial-port keyboard daemon, using the "smartbt" driver. You will need a version of kbdd built for Maemo, and the uinput.ko kernel module. Binaries of both of these for Maemo v1.1 are available at

Both he and I have also succeeded in building them for v2.0, and a similar binary tarball should be posted on that website by the time you read this. Failing which, email the site maintainer, as he is known to have a working version with some extra patches.

[edit] Installing Non-HID Bluetooth Keyboards

Keyboards such as the HP iPAQ Bluetooth Foldable or the Freedom Keyboard will need the kbdd driver for the 770, N800, and N810. (original source here).

[edit] Maemo Devices

N800 and N810 devices have Bluetooth HID out of the box.

The N900 does not officially support Bluetooth HID. However, you can enable Bluetooth keyboards with some hacking: see Fremantle Bluetooth Keyboard Layout.