Automatic Pairing of Airpods with Ubuntu

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2 mins read

Pairing Airpods with non-Apple devices is generally a bit tricky. With Linux, it's got a few minor quirks that I have had to manually sort out for optimal usage.

Making sure it pairs

I have Airpods Pro 2nd Generation that I wanted to pair with my laptop running Ubuntu 20.04. First step is to edit /etc/bluetooth/main.conf and change set ControllerMode to bredr. You can change it to dual again after it pairs but otherwise seems like it wouldn't work.

Disable auto-reconnect

I frequently change pairing between my phone and my laptop and by default Ubuntu will try to reconnect back to the device if the pairing changes, unless you manually turn off bluetooth which is less than ideal if you have other devices connected as well. You can disable this behaviour by setting reconnection attempt to zero but editing this line ReconnectAttempts=0.

Keyboard shortcut for paring AirPods

This one is my favorite and saves time by pairing the ipod by just assigning a custom keyboard shortcut. First you need the MAC address of your AirPods by running bluetoothctl devices. Next, you can write a custom shell script that optionally activates your bluetooth and after a short 1 second connects to your AirPods.

rfkill unblock bluetooth && sleep 1s && bluetoothctl connect [insert bluetooth address here]

That's it 🤙 Then you can assign it a custom keyboard shortcut (I have Ctrl+Shift+Alt+A assigned) to automatically connect to your AirPods!