Nintendo Wii U Gamepad Linux Driver Support Still Pursuing Mainline
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 20 October 2021 at 12:00 AM EDT. 4 Comments
HARDWARE --
It's been a half-year since talking about the Wii U gamepad driver that's been in development with mainline ambitions for supporting this wireless gamepad in conjunction with the Nintendo Wii U console. The driver has just been revised to address earlier code review comments, again renewing interest in the effort and possible mainlining in a future kernel version.

The Wii U game console is nearly one decade old for this IBM PowerPC powered device but still is active with some hobbyists for running Linux on the device and other retro gaming purposes. This gamepad Linux driver effort continues to be for those wanting to load Linux on the console and depends upon the wireless gamepad being connected to the console via the DRH internal chip to the Wii U that in turn exposes it as a USB device. There has though been some work towards potentially allowing it to work in the absence of the console.


After not seeing anything since May for this Wii U DRC HID driver code, the "v4" patch series was posted on Tuesday. The driver is still missing support for the microphone, camera, and NFC input but all other functionality should be working. The v4 update addresses earlier code review, and merges all the new functionality into the existing "hid-nintendo" driver. While building the support into the existing hid-nintendo driver, the support would still be configurable at the kernel build-time via a CONFIG_HID_NINTENDO_WIIU switch.

Those interested in Linux on the Wii U can learn more about this gamepad driver work via the kernel mailing list. A downstream Linux kernel version for the Wii U continues to be maintained at linux-wiiu.
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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 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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