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Python Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) and GATT Library

Project description

pygatt - Python Module for Bluetooth LE Generic Attribute Profile (GATT).

This Module allows reading and writing to GATT descriptors on devices such as fitness trackers, sensors, and anything implementing standard GATT Descriptor behavior.

pygatt provides a Pythonic API by wrapping two different backends:

  • BlueZ (requires Linux), using the gatttool command-line utility.
  • Bluegiga’s BGAPI, compatible with USB adapters like the BLED112.


Despite the popularity of BLE, we have yet to find a good programming interface for it on desktop computers. Since most peripherals are designed to work with smartphones, this space is neglected. One interactive interface, BlueZ’s gatttool, is functional but difficult to use programmatically. BlueZ itself obviously works, but the interface leaves something to be desired and only works in Linux.


  • Python 2.7.5 or greater, or Python 3.5 or greater
    • Python 2.7.3’s struct library has a bug that will break PyGATT - 2.7.5
      or greater is recommended.
  • BlueZ 5.18 or greater (with gatttool) - required for the gatttool backend only.
    • Tested on 5.18, 5.21, 5.35 and 5.43
  • GATTToolBackend requires Linux (i.e. not Windows compatible)


Install pygatt with pip from PyPI:

$ pip install pygatt

The BlueZ backend is not supported by default as it requires pexpect, which can only be installed in a UNIX-based environment. If you wish to use that backend, install the optional dependencies with:

$ pip install "pygatt[GATTTOOL]"

Install the latest development version of pygatt with pip:

$ pip install git+


The documentation for pygatt consists of:

  • This README
  • The code in the samples directory
  • The Python docstrings in the code itself.

The BLEDevice and BLEBackend base classes are the primary interfaces for users of the library.

Example Use

The primary API for users of this library is provided by pygatt.BLEBackend and pygatt.BLEDevice. After initializing an instance of the preferred backend (available implementations are found in pygatt.backends, use the BLEBackend.connect method to connect to a device and get an instance of BLEDevice.

import pygatt

# The BGAPI backend will attempt to auto-discover the serial device name of the
# attached BGAPI-compatible USB adapter.
adapter = pygatt.BGAPIBackend()

    device = adapter.connect('01:23:45:67:89:ab')
    value = device.char_read("a1e8f5b1-696b-4e4c-87c6-69dfe0b0093b")

Note that not all backends support connecting to more than 1 device at at time, so calling BLEBackend.connect again may terminate existing connections.

Here’s the same example using the GATTTool backend. It’s identical except for the initialization of the backend:

import pygatt

adapter = pygatt.GATTToolBackend()

    device = adapter.connect('01:23:45:67:89:ab')
    value = device.char_read("a1e8f5b1-696b-4e4c-87c6-69dfe0b0093b")

Notifications Example

This example uses the gatttool backend to connect to a device with a specific MAC address, subscribes for notifications on a characteristic, and prints the data returned in each notification.

import pygatt
from binascii import hexlify

adapter = pygatt.GATTToolBackend()

def handle_data(handle, value):
    handle -- integer, characteristic read handle the data was received on
    value -- bytearray, the data returned in the notification
    print("Received data: %s" % hexlify(value))

    device = adapter.connect('01:23:45:67:89:ab')



While debugging software using pygatt, it is often useful to see what’s happening inside the library. You can enable debugging logging and have it printed to your terminal with this code:

import pygatt
import logging


Can’t find BGAPI device in Windows

You may need to explicitly specify the COM port of your BGAPI-compatible device in windows, e.g.:

adapter = pygatt.BGAPIBackend(serial_port='COM9')

If you provide the COM port name, but still get an error such as WindowsError(2, 'The system cannot find the file specified.'), try changing the COM port of the device to a value under 10, e.g. COM9.


Releasing to PyPI

For the maintainers of the project, when you want to make a release:

  • Merge all of the changes into master.
  • Update the version in
  • Update the CHANGELOG.mkd
  • Tag the commit and push to GitHub (will need to push to a separate branch of PR first since master is a protected branch).
  • Travis CI will take care of the rest - it will build and deploy tagged commits to PyPI automatically.


Copyright 2015 Stratos Inc. and Orion Labs

Apache License, Version 2.0 and MIT License. See LICENSE.

Release History


Same as 4.0.4. Re-released to fix PyPi upload.


  • Improvement: Remove Bluetooth specification PDFs, refer to to avoid copyright issues.
  • Improvement: Add wait_for_response option to subscription methods


  • Fix: Regression with receiving indications with GATTTOOL backend
  • Fix: Regression with subscribing to characteristics with GATTTOOL (need to use writes, not commands) (#234)
  • Improvement: Don’t require sudo for removing bonding (#234)


  • Improvement: Wait longer for characteristics discovery with BGAPI backend (#201)
  • Fix: Protect against invalid BGAPI packets
  • Fix: Fix parsing fields from BGAPI connection status
  • Fix: Robust to non-UTF8 characters in hcitool scan results
  • Fix: Log correct connection flags from BGAPI response


  • Feature: Add char_read_long for reading characteristics longer than a single packet (#206, #177)
  • Feature: Add command to change MTU (GATTTool only) (#182)
  • Feature: Allow registering callbacks for device discovery events. (#176)
  • Feature: Support fetching BLE device MAC address (#150)
  • Improvement: Add better serial port error handling for BGAPI. (#162)
  • Improvement: Expand and allow overriding pexpect search buffer for gatttool output to support devices with many characteristics without negatively impacting performance (#209)
  • Improvement: Wait before re-opening BGAPI serial port to improve detection on Windows. (#162)
  • Improvement: Add support for Python 3.7
  • Fix: Use ATT write (not command) by default for char_write
  • Fix: Wait longer for ATT write according to BlueGiga spec
  • Fix: Fix BGAPI device detection (#154)
  • Fix: Stop leaking file descriptors when erasing BLE bonds with GATTTool backend (#188)
  • Fix: Typos (#173)
  • Drop official support for Python 3.4, 3.5 and 3.6.


  • Improvement: Officially support Python 3.6.
  • Improvement: Permit use of non-standard characteristics in reserved range (#140)


  • Fix: Reliably auto-reconnect after restarting BGAPI device. Fixes a bug in first attempt at auto-reconnection, only worked in some environments. (#144)
  • Fix: Remove spurious “no handler for logger” warnings (#143)
  • Fix: Use enum-compat instead of enum34, to fix installation in Python 3.4+
  • Feature: Limit search window size for GATTTool backend, to avoid high CPU usage for long running connections. (#123)
  • Feature: Add support for write commands to BGAPIBackend (#115)


  • Improvement: Convert documentation to RST for better PyPI integration.


  • Fix: Support platforms without termios (Windows)
  • Feature: Add char_read_handle to GATTTool backend.
  • Improvement: Warn if hcitool requires a sudo authentication.
  • Improvement: Allow BGAPI device more time to reboot for more reliable discovery.
  • Improvement: Interpret “invalid file descriptor” as a disconnect event.
  • Fix: Correctly handle service class UUIDs that aren’t 16 bytes.
  • Improvement: Support BLE devices with any UTF8 character.
  • Improvement: Make gatttol prompt timeout configurable.
  • Improvement: Gracefully stop lescan to avoid leaving the adapter in a bad state.
  • Improvement: Allow custom timeout for discovery on GATTTool backend.
  • Fix: Make sure responses to char reads on BGAPI backend are from the requested handle.
  • Improvement: Raise and exception if trying to instantiate the GATTTool backend in Windows.
  • Improvement: If no BGAPI device attached, abort immediately.
  • Fix: Use user’s configured HCI device for connection and scanning in GATTTool backend.


  • [API Change] The BGAPIBackend.connect method now takes the same address_type argument as the GATTTool backend [BGAPI].
  • [API Change] The address_type argument on both backends now requires a value from a new enum, pygatt.BLEAddressType, instead of a string.
  • Made Python 3 support a priority for both GATTTOOL and BGAPI backends.
  • Improve reliability of BGAPI backend by re-setting device for each connection.


  • Added all standard GATT characteristics. [BGAPI]
  • Move gatttool monitor to a background thread for increased performance. [GATTTOOL]


  • Feature: Allow unsubscribing from notifications.
  • Improvement: Allow more time to discover characteristics. [GATTTOOL]
  • Improvement: Allow using gatttol backend without root. [GATTTOOL]
  • Improvement: Standardize type of UUID so comparison always works (str vs unicode)
  • Fix: Fix packaging so the version on PyPI can be installed.
  • Fix: Fix Python 3 compatibility.

Thanks to Ilya Sukhanov and Alexey Roslyakov for the changes in this release!


  • New API with support for multiple BLE adapters.

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