Roccat Linux Support Keeps Coming
Written by Michael Larabel in Gaming on 5 September 2011 at 08:20 AM EDT. 19 Comments
Roccat, the European manufacturer of various gaming peripherals like keyboards and mice, actually has rather good Linux support for their hardware.

Last year I talked about how there were open-source Linux drivers for Roccat gaming mice. Not only was there open-source support available, but it was living in the mainline Linux kernel. This great Linux support comes from an experienced developer working with Roccat to improve their Linux support. This developer, Stefan Achatz, has written the kernel drivers plus open-source user-space utilities.

This Linux support continues coming, including for their new Roccat ISKU keyboard. Patches landed (on the mailing list) just last week for the ISKU keyboard driver.

The kernel driver then exposes the keyboard profile, firmware information, support for deactivating certain keys, support for "easy zone" keys, support for setting macro keys, the backlight intensity of the keyboard, and other features.

This ISKU driver will likely be merged into the Linux 3.2 kernel while the other Roccat drivers have already been living in the mainline kernel. The open-source user-space utility for these Roccat drivers is available from SourceForge.

Linux drivers (open or closed-source) for gaming peripherals like these mice and keyboards with various extra functionality is rather rare. There's been reverse-engineering efforts to provide similar support for Logitech and Razer devices, but the work isn't actively maintained and it's just left up to the community and the devices that have been reverse-engineered.

It's just a pity that Roccat devices remain mostly in the European market with limited availability in North America and other markets.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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