Nintendo Wii's Guitar/Drums Will Work On The Linux 4.19 Kernel Plus Totem & Surface Dial

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 20 August 2018 at 04:45 PM EDT. 1 Comment
Going back to 2011 there's been a Nintendo Wii remote "Wiimote" driver in the Linux kernel but this unofficial hardware driver hasn't worked with some of the devices that can interface with the Wiimote like devices for Rock Band and Guitar Hero. In 2018, that's now changed with the in-development Linux 4.19 kernel.

The Nintendo Wii offered guitar and drums that could be attached to the Wiimote for playing games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. While the Wii has been discontinued for several years now, an interested developer with some of these old Wiimote devices managed to get the guitar/drums support working and based upon some never-mainlined patches from a few years ago but updated to work with the latest kernel/HID interfaces.

With just under 500 lines of code to the Linux kernel's Wiimote HID driver, the guitar and drums attachment for the Wii are now working. This code is going to the mainline kernel as part of the Linux 4.19 HID subsystem pull request.

Much more interesting and practical than the Wii additions to the Linux kernel in 2018 is support for the Dell Totem and Microsoft Surface Dial devices now being supported with Linux 4.19. Kudos to Red Hat on the improvements for that work albeit user-space components still need to see work for properly leveraging this new form of input devices.

Other HID work for Linux 4.19 includes various Wacom driver fixes, palm rejection support, low voltage handling in the i2c-hid driver, and other improvements. Some of the ID additions include support for the touchpads on the HP x2 10-n000nd and Toshiba Click Mini L9W.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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