This library is deprecated in favor of the Adafruit_Blinka_bleio library. See this guide for more information: https://learn.adafruit.com/circuitpython-ble-libraries-on-any-computer

To talk to a Bluefruit LE from your Linux or Mac computer you'll need to make sure you have a Bluetooth 4.0+ low energy (sometimes called Bluetooth Smart) adapter.

For Mac OSX you don't have many options since Bluetooth support is built in to the hardware.  Make sure you're using a device that has Bluetooth 4.0 low energy support.  Most Mac laptops made since ~2012 should have Bluetooth 4.0 low energy support.

For a Linux machine like a Raspberry Pi this CSR8510 Bluetooth 4.0 USB dongle is exactly what you want to use.  In general if BlueZ supports your Bluetooth hardware and it's 4.0 low energy then it should work (but no guarantees, we've only tested with the CSR8510 dongle).

Finally you'll need a Bluefruit LE device to talk to when using the library.  Some of the options include:

  • Bluefruit LE UART or Bluefruit LE SPI friend - These devices connect to an Arduino through a UART or SPI connection respectively and allow the Arduino to expose itself as a BLE UART or other peripheral.
  • Bluefruit LE Micro - This is an all-in-one Bluefruit SPI friend connected to a ATmega32u4 processor (like a FLORA) and is a great option for a small BLE project.
  • Bluefruit LE USB friend - This is a Bluefruit LE UART friend that's connected to a serial to USB converter so it can be accessed by a computer.  This is a good option if you have a computer like a Raspberry Pi that you want to turn into a BLE peripheral.

If you aren't sure which one to pick, consider using the Bluefruit LE SPI friend if you already have an Arduino or a Bluefruit LE Micro if you don't have an Arduino.

Continue on to learn how to install the Python library that will talk to the Bluefruit LE.

This guide was first published on Aug 18, 2015. It was last updated on Aug 18, 2015.

This page (Hardware) was last updated on Nov 24, 2020.