NZXT Kraken Driver Queued For Introduction In Linux 5.13

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 26 March 2021 at 03:53 PM EDT. 3 Comments
Last week we noted how a kernel driver for NZXT's Kraken AIO liquid cooling devices was under review for the mainline kernel. Shortly after that point the driver did get successfully picked up for hwmon-next and thus should be appearing in the upcoming Linux 5.13 cycle.

For those with an KZXT Kraken X42 / X52 / X62 / X72 all-in-one liquid cooling setup, Linux 5.13 should be mainlining this community-maintained driver. This driver was developed via reverse-engineering the NZXT Kraken USB protocol. This has been years in the making with the NZXT Kraken support for Linux with this "nzxt-kraken2" kernel driver previously maintained out-of-tree as part of the Liquidctl project.

Jonas Malaco of the Liquidctl project managed to get it reviewed and queued into the hardware monitoring subsystem's hwmon-next area ahead of the Linux 5.12 kernel.

This kernel driver allows for monitoring the Kraken's fan and pump speed as well as coolant temperature, exposed via sysfs to user-space. The fan and pump control is not exposed by this kernel driver but needs to be handled by the existing user-space software on Linux with the same going for LED controls too. Those user-space programs like GKraken can still interact directly with the USB-based coolers using the hidraw interface for allowing such controls. More details in the prior article.

The nzxt-kraken2 driver is about 250 lines of code and can be seen via this commit in hwmon-next.
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