Nuimo SDK for Python on Linux

nuimo, bluez, linux, nuimo-sdk, python
pip install nuimo==0.3.6


Nuimo Python SDK

Nuimo is a universal smart device controller made by Senic.

The Nuimo Python SDK for Linux allows you to integrate your Nuimo(s) into any type of Linux application or script that can execute Python code.


The Nuimo SDK requires Python 3.4+ and a recent installation of BlueZ. It is tested to work fine with BlueZ 5.44, slightly older versions should however work, too.


These instructions assume a Debian-based Linux.

On Linux the BlueZ library is necessary to access your built-in Bluetooth controller or Bluetooth USB dongle. Some Linux distributions provide a more up-to-date BlueZ package, some other distributions only install older versions that don't implement all Bluetooth features needed for this SDK. In those cases you want to either update BlueZ or build it from sources.

Updating/installing BlueZ via apt-get

  1. bluetoothd --version Obtains the version of the pre-installed BlueZ. bluetoothd daemon must run at startup to expose the Bluetooth API via D-Bus.
  2. sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends bluetooth Installs BlueZ
  3. If the installed version is too old, proceed with next step: Installing BlueZ from sources

Installing BlueZ from sources

The bluetoothd daemon provides BlueZ's D-Bus interfaces that is accessed by the Nuimo SDK to communicate with Nuimo Bluetooth controllers. The following commands download BlueZ 5.44 sources, built them and replace any pre-installed bluetoothd daemon. It's not suggested to remove any pre-installed BlueZ package as its deinstallation might remove necessary Bluetooth drivers as well.

  1. sudo systemctl stop bluetooth
  2. sudo apt-get update
  3. sudo apt-get install libusb-dev libdbus-1-dev libglib2.0-dev libudev-dev libical-dev libreadline-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev unzip
  4. cd
  5. mkdir bluez
  6. cd bluez
  7. wget
  8. tar xf bluez-5.44.tar.xz
  9. cd bluez-5.44
  10. ./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var --enable-library
  11. make
  12. sudo make install
  13. sudo ln -svf /usr/libexec/bluetooth/bluetoothd /usr/sbin/
  14. sudo install -v -dm755 /etc/bluetooth
  15. sudo install -v -m644 src/main.conf /etc/bluetooth/main.conf
  16. sudo systemctl daemon-reload
  17. sudo systemctl start bluetooth
  18. bluetoothd --version # should now print 5.44

Please note that some distributions might use a different directory for system deamons, apply step 13 only as needed.

Enabling your Bluetooth adapter

  1. echo "power on" | sudo bluetoothctl Enables your built-in Bluetooth adapter or external Bluetooth USB dongle

Using BlueZ commandline tools

BlueZ also provides an interactive commandline tool to interact with Bluetooth devices. You know that your BlueZ installation is working fine if it discovers any Bluetooth devices nearby.

sudo bluetoothctl Starts an interactive mode to talk to BlueZ

  • power on Enables the Bluetooth adapter
  • scan on Start Bluetooth device scanning and lists all found devices with MAC addresses
  • connect AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF Connects to a Nuimo controller with specified MAC address
  • exit Quits the interactive mode

Installing Nuimo Python SDK

To install Nuimo module and the Python3 D-Bus dependency globally, run:

sudo pip3 install nuimo
sudo apt-get install python3-dbus

Running the Nuimo control script

To test if your setup is working, run the following command. Note that it must be run as root because on Linux, Bluetooth discovery is a restricted operation.

sudo nuimoctl --discover
sudo nuimoctl --connect AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF # Replace the MAC address with your Nuimo's MAC address
sudo nuimoctl --help # To list all available commands

SDK Usage

Discovering nearby Nuimo controllers

The SDK entry point is the ControllerManager class. Check the following example to dicover any Nuimo controller nearby.

Please note that communication with your Bluetooth adapter happens over BlueZ's D-Bus API, hence an event loop needs to be run in order to receive all Bluetooth related events. You can start and stop the event loop via run() and stop() calls to your ControllerManager instance.

import nuimo

class ControllerManagerPrintListener(nuimo.ControllerManagerListener):
    def controller_discovered(self, controller):
        print("Discovered Nuimo controller", controller.mac_address)

manager = nuimo.ControllerManager(adapter_name='hci0')
manager.listener = ControllerManagerPrintListener()

Connecting to a Nuimo controller and receiving user input events

Once ControllerManager has discovered a Nuimo controller you can use the controller object that you retrieved from ControllerManagerListener.controller_discovered() to connect to it. Alternatively you can create a new instance of Controller using the name of your Bluetooth adapter (typically hci0) and Nuimo's MAC address.

Make sure to assign a ControllerListener object to the listener attribute of your controller instance. It will notify you about all Nuimo controller related events such connection, disconnection and user input events.

The following example connects to a Nuimo controller and uses the predefined ControllerPrintListener class to print all controller events:

import nuimo

manager = nuimo.ControllerManager(adapter_name='hci0')

controller = nuimo.Controller(mac_address='AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF', manager=manager)
controller.listener = nuimo.ControllerListener() # Use an instance of your own nuimo.ControllerListener subclass

As with Nuimo controller discovery, remember to start the Bluetooth event loop with

Write to Nuimo's LED matrix

Once a Nuimo controller is connected you can send an LED matrix to its display. Therefor create an LedMatrix object by initializing it with a string. That string should contain 81 characters: each character, starting from top left corner, tells whether the corresponding LED should be on or off. ' ' and '0' signal LED off all other characters power the corresponding LED. The following example shows a cross:

matrix = nuimo.LedMatrix(
    "*       *"
    " *     * "
    "  *   *  "
    "   * *   "
    "    *    "
    "   * *   "
    "  *   *  "
    " *     * "
    "*       *"

You can pass additional parameters to display_matrix() to control the following options:

  • interval: float # Display interval in seconds, default: 2.0 seconds
  • brightness: float # LED matrix brightness, default: 1.0 (100%)
  • fading: bool # Whether to fade the previous matrix into the next one, aka "onion skinning effect", default: False
  • ignore_duplicates: bool # Whether or not send an LED matrix to a Nuimo controller if it's already being displayed, default: False


Please open an issue or drop us an email to


Contributions are welcome via pull requests. Please open an issue first in case you want to discus your possible improvements to this SDK.


The Nuimo Python SDK is available under the MIT License.