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Reverse-Engineering USB Keyboards For Linux Support

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  • Reverse-Engineering USB Keyboards For Linux Support

    Phoronix: Reverse-Engineering USB Keyboards For Linux Support

    For those interested in reverse-engineering USB keyboards (or other input devices), there's a short yet effective guide by Julien Danjour for reverse-engineering a Logitech keyboard in order to provide Linux support...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTEzODU

  • #2
    I've tried this too. I got my K750 last summer and since then I've sniffed the packages using usbmon and figured out pretty much the same things that he had (how and where the information is stored). I just didn't have the experience to write even that libusb program he had. But it's great that someone has. Releasing keyboard's driver didn't seem to be a good idea (on a computer with only one keyboard), but then I figured out that the information is passed to hidraw and it can be read from /dev/hidraw[0-9] file and that can be used without disconnecting keyboard/receiver. Currently it needs root access (maybe some udev rule helps) and I can't know which device is correct without trying (usually /dev/hidraw3 for me). I'd also like to use solarbutton to lauch an app, but it doesn't seem to do anything but send the package that contains the information.

    Edit:
    Okay. There is some great information in that pdf. We just might get a program that does (at least) what Solar App does on Windows.
    Last edited by Tomin; 07-12-2012, 07:20 AM.

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    • #3
      Hopefully soon there will be a way to get the battery level/status from a lot more Logitech mice and keyboards, with luck someone will figure out how to (re)configure the device associations for unifying receivers.

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      • #4
        1) The keyboard is solar powered (really? Or is it solar CHARGED? -- big difference...), hence no need to monitor charge level unless you're consistently living in momma's basement outside of the realm of daylight (in which case you're subhuman and spend more time gnawing on the keyboard than actually typing, so no difference anyway).
        2) Proper place for charge monitoring is directly on the device in question. My wireless mouse has an array of LED's on the side that indicate the charge level.

        Conclusion: This is pointless.

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        • #5
          Michael, the name of the dev is misspelled.

          It should be Julien Danjou (note the absence of r in the end)...

          Of course, according to Muphry's Laws, I should have bade a mistake somewhere...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
            1) The keyboard is solar powered (really? Or is it solar CHARGED? -- big difference...), hence no need to monitor charge level unless you're consistently living in momma's basement outside of the realm of daylight (in which case you're subhuman and spend more time gnawing on the keyboard than actually typing, so no difference anyway).
            Or you are in an office without much light, or you want to make sure the batteries aren't dying (I don't mean running out, I mean dying, like has happened with my solar watch), or you don't use it that often.

            Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
            2) Proper place for charge monitoring is directly on the device in question. My wireless mouse has an array of LED's on the side that indicate the charge level.
            Brilliant. Now go try to convince the designers of all the wireless mice and keyboards that don't have such LEDs.

            I have two wireless mice and a wireless keyboard, none of which have such LEDs. In the past I have had at least 6 other wireless mice and 3 other wireless keyboards, and not one had an array of LEDs. Looking at logitech's page right now, they have 18 wireless mice, only two of which appear to have an array of LEDs, and those two are both $99.

            Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
            Conclusion: This is pointless.
            Right, because there are no other features of logitech mice and keyboards that are available on windows but not Linux that could benefit from such an approach.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TheBlackCat View Post
              Or you are in an office without much light, or you want to make sure the batteries aren't dying (I don't mean running out, I mean dying, like has happened with my solar watch), or you don't use it that often.


              Brilliant. Now go try to convince the designers of all the wireless mice and keyboards that don't have such LEDs.

              I have two wireless mice and a wireless keyboard, none of which have such LEDs. In the past I have had at least 6 other wireless mice and 3 other wireless keyboards, and not one had an array of LEDs. Looking at logitech's page right now, they have 18 wireless mice, only two of which appear to have an array of LEDs, and those two are both $99.


              Right, because there are no other features of logitech mice and keyboards that are available on windows but not Linux that could benefit from such an approach.
              dude, look at that guy's name. It's obvious he's a troll.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Detructor View Post
                dude, look at that guy's name. It's obvious he's a troll.
                Shush. You need to feed the trolls to fatten them up before you devour them.

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                • #9
                  I'm glad the keyboard was made by Logitech and not Sony, otherwise that guy would've been sued for inovating by now.

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                  • #10
                    Some older Logitech wireless devices (from before the Unifying receivers were introduced) are already able to monitor the battery power level through gnome-power-manager. It's good to have support for at least one Unifying device as well - perhaps it won't be too hard to add compatibility with other modern Logitech keyboards/mice as well.

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