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10.4: Create a Bluetooth Mac-to-Mac network Network
Tiger only hintThe following is based on a comment by sparcleosx on June 25th to this hint that explains how to share an Internet connection to a Palm. This new hint will explain how to connect (network) a Mac to another Mac via bluetooth. I hope it's a step forward to allow internet sharing to another Mac in Tiger, and, as usual, use at your own discretion...

In the "Server" Mac (I used a G4 iBook with 10.4.3):
  • In case you are running Hotsync Manager, stop it (open it, and select Disable).

  • In the Bluetooth System Preferences pane, change the Bluetooth-PDA-Sync serial setting from modem to RS-232.

  • In the Network System Preferences pane, in Bluetooth PDA Sync, change the modem to Null modem, 115200 speed.

  • In a Terminal, enter the following:
    $ sudo /usr/sbin/pppd /dev/tty.Bluetooth-PDA-Sync 115200 \
    noauth local passive proxyarp asyncmap 0 silent persist :
    Here you see the address, which makes it possible not to use natd, since it's in the same network as the Mac is. So the firewall knows where to sent it to -- no routing problems etc. Pick any free address in your private range. For instance, if you are using the following ... firewall:, Mac:, you can enter, assuming it's not used elsewhere on your network.

    If you want to be sure you did it right, open the system.log file on the Mac (tail -f /var/log/system.log), and you should see something like this (line breaks added for a narrower display):
    Jun 25 10:33:57 hostname pppd[679]: 
      pppd 2.4.2 (Apple version 229) started by username, uid 0
    Jun 25 10:33:57 hostname pppd[679]: 
      Connect: ppp0 <--> /dev/tty.Bluetooth-PDA-Sync
  • In Terminal, write sudo sysctl -w net.inet.ip.forwarding=1, which should give the following feedback: net.inet.ip.forwarding: 0 -> 1

  • In Terminal, write sudo ifconfig ppp0 up.
Now your Mac should be able to receive packets over the pppdaemon (ethernet interface ppp0) and forward them to the default router, which might be your firewall, or your uplink to your ISP.

Next, on the client Mac (I used a G3 iBook running 10.4.3):
  • Open the Bluetooth System Preferences panel, go to the Sharing tab, Add a Serial Port Service, make it type RS-232, and enable the "Require pairing for security" checkbox.
  • Go to the Device tab, select the Server device, and click Edit Serial Ports. Add a serial port, select Port Type: RS-232, and enable Show in Network Preferences.
  • Go to the Network System Preferences panel, select the new Bluetooth PDA service, and click Configure. Go to the Modem tab and select Null Modem 115200, then uncheck "Wait for dial tone before dialing."
  • Open Internet Connect (in Applications), select the Bluetooth-PDA service, and click Connect, and it should start a connection.
Even at this point, the other Mac won't appear in the Finder under Network. You have to select the Go menu and then the Connect to Server option, write the other computer's IP, and voila! You have a Bluetooth PAN connection.
  • Currently 3.00 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (4 votes cast)

10.4: Create a Bluetooth Mac-to-Mac network | 6 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Create a Bluetooth Mac-to-Mac network
Authored by: sjk on Dec 29, '05 10:44:26AM

Do you have any examples of how/when/why this would be useful? Seems to me its primary (or only?) value is when no other networking options are available but maybe I'm missing something else. Thanks.

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10.4: Create a Bluetooth Mac-to-Mac network
Authored by: lalcan on Dec 30, '05 06:06:05PM

Well, it certainly is needed only if you don't have any other networking options, but if you want a wireless network, you don't need a large coberture or super-speed (i've seen transference speeds of up to 30Kbps via bluetooth) and your Mac doesn't have an airport card, bluetooth usb adapters are quite cheaper. ;-)

Also, someone somewhere surely knows how to make internet sharing work with this bluetooth network, hopefully we'll get it working someday...


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10.4: Create a Bluetooth Mac-to-Mac network
Authored by: sjk on Dec 31, '05 05:27:01PM

Thanks for confirming my hunch that it serves a useful purpose for a specific situation.

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10.4: Create a Bluetooth Mac-to-Mac network
Authored by: themacuser on Jul 04, '06 01:53:33AM

I know one situation. Passive scanning on 2 machines with KisMac, (airport cards in use, so no ad-hoc), and needing a network to share the GPS via GPSD.

And suppose I don't want to use an ethernet cable, or otherwise can't - there's enough cables in the car already

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10.4: Create a Bluetooth Mac-to-Mac network
Authored by: portwally on Jan 14, '07 05:35:07AM

Hi, thanks for this hint.

The network connection is fine. Needed it because I forgot my WLAN adapter at home.
The only thing which is not working is the access to the internet on the host computer.
Do you have any ideas on that?


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10.4: Create a Bluetooth Mac-to-Mac network
Authored by: atirage on Jan 14, '07 05:45:59AM

Dosen't work for me. What did I do wrong? I fowoled step by step the instructions. I have an error : "Could not negotiate a connection with the remote PPP server"

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