Steam Controller Linux Kernel Driver Updated To Work Happily With The Steam Client
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 22 March 2018 at 05:53 AM EDT. 14 Comments
HARDWARE --
Last month we reported on a kernel driver being worked on for Valve's Steam Controller but it wasn't coming from Valve developers but rather an independent member of the community. That hid-steam driver continues to be hacked on.

To date Valve has just been supporting the Steam Controller on Linux via the Steam client with handling the controller's behavior in user-space. There have also been some independent user-space programs to come about too for manipulating the Steam Controller, but this has been the first time a proper Linux kernel driver has been worked on for this popular gaming controller.

Part of the issue with the hid-steam driver in the earlier patches has been that the driver would break these user-mode drivers like the Steam client. With the sixth revision to these patches, mouse/keyboard emulation is provided by the kernel driver but if there are any HID raw clients connecting, the kernel driver will stop with its "lizard mode" behavior. And then once any HID raw clients from user-space disconnect, the kernel driver will resume with making the Steam Controller act as a mouse/keyboard.

This user-mode client detection should thus allow this kernel driver to be useful when the Steam client isn't active while not break any functionality for gamers when playing games. More details on this work-in-progress Steam Controller kernel driver via the v6 patch series. Hopefully the remaining action items will be buttoned up soon so this driver can be on its way to mainline.

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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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