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Using Bumble with Android is not about running the Bumble stack on the Android OS itself, but rather using Bumble with the Bluetooth support of the Android emulator.

The two main use cases are:

  • Connecting the Bumble host stack to the Android emulator's virtual controller.
  • Using Bumble as an HCI bridge to connect the Android emulator to a physical Bluetooth controller, such as a USB dongle, or other HCI transport.


Bluetooth support in the Android emulator is a recent feature that may still be evolving. The information contained here be somewhat out of sync with the version of the emulator you are using. You will need version or later.

The Android emulator supports Bluetooth in two ways: either by exposing virtual Bluetooth controllers to which you can connect a virtual Bluetooth host stack, or by exposing a way to connect your own virtual controller to the Android Bluetooth stack via a virtual HCI interface. Both ways are controlled via gRPC requests to the Android emulator controller and/or from the Android emulator.

Launching the Emulator

If the version of the emulator you are running does not yet support enabling Bluetooth support by default or automatically, you must launch the emulator from the command line.


For details on how to launch the Android emulator from the command line, visit this Android Studio user guide page

The -packet-streamer-endpoint <endpoint> command line option may be used to enable Bluetooth emulation and tell the emulator which virtual controller to connect to.

Connecting to Netsim

If the emulator doesn't have Bluetooth emulation enabled by default, use the -packet-streamer-endpoint default option to tell it to connect to Netsim. If Netsim is not running, the emulator will start it automatically.

The Android emulator's virtual Bluetooth controller is called Netsim. Netsim runs as a background process and allows multiple clients to connect to it, each connecting to its own virtual controller instance hosted by Netsim. All the clients connected to the same Netsim process can then "talk" to each other over a virtual radio link layer. Netsim supports other wireless protocols than Bluetooth, but the relevant part here is Bluetooth. The virtual Bluetooth controller used by Netsim is sometimes referred to as Root Canal.

Configuring a Bumble Device instance to use netsim as a virtual controller allows that virtual device to communicate with the Android Bluetooth stack, and through it with Android applications as well as system-managed profiles. To connect a Bumble host stack to a netsim virtual controller instance, use the Bumble android-netsim transport in host mode (the default).

Run the example GATT server connected to the emulator via Netsim

$ python device1.json android-netsim

By default, the Bumble android-netsim transport will try to automatically discover the port number on which the netsim process is exposing its gRPC server interface. If that discovery process fails, or if you want to specify the interface manually, you can pass a hostname and port as parameters to the transport, as: android-netsim:<host>:<port>.

Run the example GATT server connected to the emulator via Netsim on a localhost, port 8877

$ python device1.json android-netsim:localhost:8877

Multiple Instances

If you want to connect multiple Bumble devices to netsim, it may be useful to give each one a netsim controller with a specific name. This can be done using the name=<name> transport option. For example: android-netsim:localhost:8877,name=bumble1

Connecting a Custom Virtual Controller

This is an advanced use case, which may not be officially supported, but should work in recent versions of the emulator.

The first step is to run the Bumble HCI bridge, specifying netsim as the "host" end of the bridge, and another controller (typically a USB Bluetooth dongle, but any other supported transport can work as well) as the "controller" end of the bridge.

To connect a virtual controller to the Android Bluetooth stack, use the bumble android-netsim transport in controller mode. For example, with port number 8877, the transport name would be: android-netsim:_:8877,mode=controller.

Connect the Android emulator to the first USB Bluetooth dongle, using the hci_bridge application

$ bumble-hci-bridge android-netsim:_:8877,mode=controller usb:0

Then, you can start the emulator and tell it to connect to this bridge, instead of netsim. You will likely need to start the emulator from the command line, in order to specify the -packet-streamer-endpoint <hostname>:<port> option (unless the emulator offers a way to control that feature from a user/ui menu).

Launch the emulator with a netsim replacement

In this example, we launch an emulator AVD named "Tiramisu", with a Bumble HCI bridge running on port 8877.

$ emulator -packet-streamer-endpoint localhost:8877 -avd Tiramisu


Attaching a virtual controller while the Android Bluetooth stack is running may not be well supported. So you may need to disable Bluetooth in your running Android guest before attaching the virtual controller, then re-enable it once attached.

Other Tools

The show application that's included with Bumble can be used to parse and pretty-print the HCI packets from an Android HCI "snoop log" (see this page for details on how to obtain HCI snoop logs from an Android device). Use the --format snoop option to specify that the file is in that specific format.

Analyze an Android HCI snoop log file

$ bumble-show --format snoop btsnoop_hci.log