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Whenever I turn on my laptop, the Bluetooth applet shows up on the system tray, and Bluetooth is enabled. I rarely ever use it however, and I'd like it to be disabled by default, to avoid battery consumption.

Is there a way for that?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

These instructions will show you how to stop a program loading during start up, but this does not completely disable bluetooth.

To disable bluetooth, try these scripts at the Ubuntuforums.

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I believe this doesn't disable Bluetooth - just prevents the applet from starting. – Sathya Feb 4 '10 at 14:44
    
Sathya is right. I updated my answer. – Iain Feb 4 '10 at 14:52
    
Thanks, the script works perfectly. – Malabarba Feb 4 '10 at 18:59

This solution works on my Ubuntu 12.04 and I guess it also depends on the bluetooth stack the distribution is using. The following two commands are used to soft block/unblock the bluetooth. They are in sync with the Blueman Applet. I haven't tested other applets.

sudo rfkill block bluetooth

sudo rfkill unblock bluetooth

You can check the current status of your devices with: rfkill list

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