Steam Controller Kernel Driver Is Landing In The Linux 4.18 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 20 May 2018 at 07:05 AM EDT. 12 Comments
The Linux 4.18 kernel will feature the initial Steam Controller kernel driver that works without having to use the Steam client or using third-party user-space applications like the SC-Controller application.

A few months back we reported on a kernel driver being worked on for the Steam Controller by an independent user/developer outside of the gates of Valve. In part through reverse-engineering, Rodrigo Rivas Costa has been working on this native Steam Controller Linux kernel driver that works for both USB cable and wireless modes of the Steam Controller and is a proper HID driver.

After months of work and rounds of review, HID subsystem maintainer Jiri Kosina has now queued this Valve Steam Controller driver into his HID-next tree for Linux 4.18. This HID driver will expose the Steam Controller as a virtual mouse, virtual keyboard, and custom HID device(s). In turn this should allow the Steam Controller to work happily with any Linux application.

This thousand lines of code kernel driver will still behave correctly when the Steam Linux client is launched as to not interfere with its own controller handling. On Linux 4.18+, the new driver will be built when HID_STEAM is set.

The Linux 4.18 merge window will open up around mid-June when this new HID driver will land while the Linux 4.18 stable kernel should debut by September. Linux 4.18 is what should make it into the Ubuntu 18.10 and Fedora 29 releases this autumn.
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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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