Not Just Paranoid

Another site by Pete Maynard

Bluetooth Headphones, Linux, and Sway

Quick steps to get Bluetooth headphones media controls working under Linux and the sway windows manager. This works for Media being played from Firefox.


PlayerCTL is typically found in distributions’ packages. While mpris-proxy is a tool part of the BlueZ Bluetooth stack in the Linux Kernel, so hopefully you’ll have it already.

Sway Key Bindings

Add the following key bindings to your sway config:

bindsym XF86AudioPlay exec playerctl play-pause
bindsym XF86AudioNext exec playerctl next
bindsym XF86AudioPrev exec playerctl previous

Reload the sway config.

Start mpris-proxy

Start mpris-proxy in your terminal:

$ mpris-proxy 
org.bluez appeared
Bluetooth Adapter /org/bluez/hci0 found
player org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.firefox.instance123934 at :1.906 found
Bluetooth Transport /org/bluez/hci0/dev_94_DB_56_53_B7_41/sep5/fd12 found

Test your headset media controls, if it works have the proxy start on boot and you’re done.

You can use sway or SystemD to start the proxy, your choice.

Using Sway

Add this line to your config:

exec --no-startup-id mpris-proxy

System SystemD

Add the following user unit to SystemD:


Description=Forward bluetooth media controls to MPRIS



Reload daemon, enable, start, then check if it worked.

systemctl --user daemon-reload
systemctl --user enable mpris-proxy.service
systemctl --user start mpris-proxy.service
systemctl --user status mpris-proxy.service


29 Mar 2021

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