Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sharing your network via bluetooth on a mac

Fooling around, I ended up with a certain machine running osx 10.5.2 (kalyway..) not being able to use the built-in wired or wireless network card. So I thought I could always try to setup a Bluetooth PAN connection to my trustworthy Mac Mini (G4). Since 10.5, osx is capable of sharing a network connection (including internet..) via bluetooth without any 3rd party software or command line tricks. It's a bit cumbersome to get going, at least if your are connecting to it using another computer running OSX. If you know a shortcut, drop me an e-mail.

Here's how you should be able to get a working network connection from one machine running osx to another one running osx in a few steps..

Make sure you allow Bluetooth PAN by going to your bluetooth settings:

and select advanced:

Go to the client machine and connect the client to the OSX running machine you're configuring the sharing on. Select this connect to network option:

Now go to your network settings back on the osx machine serving the connection and create a new Bluetooth PAN interface. If one exists from a previous attempt, DELETE it, as you need to create a new interface every time you want to share your connection from some reason. At least I couldn't get it to work otherwise. So again: DELETE any old Bluetooth PAN interface using the - sign and create a new one with the + sign. You do not need to change the Configure settings (where it says DHCP), should work out of the box:

Last thing you need to do is to enable network sharing (bridging) by configuring it in the sharing settings:

Make sure it is sharing it to the freshly created Bluetooth PAN connection and you should have a working connection on your client.

I've tested this with an Apple G4 Mini running osx 10.5.4 and Intel clients running 10.5.2 and 10.5.3.

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