The joystick driver for Linux provides support for a variety of joysticks and similar devices. It is based on a larger project aiming to support all input devices in Linux.
The mailing list for the project is:
send “subscribe linux-input” to firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe to it.
For basic usage you just choose the right options in kernel config and you should be set.
For testing and other purposes (for example serial devices), there is a set
of utilities, such as
usually packaged as
evtest, and so on.
inputattach utility is required if your joystick is connected to a
6.2.2. Device nodes¶
For applications to be able to use the joysticks, device nodes should be created in /dev. Normally it is done automatically by the system, but it can also be done by hand:
cd /dev rm js* mkdir input mknod input/js0 c 13 0 mknod input/js1 c 13 1 mknod input/js2 c 13 2 mknod input/js3 c 13 3 ln -s input/js0 js0 ln -s input/js1 js1 ln -s input/js2 js2 ln -s input/js3 js3
For testing with inpututils it’s also convenient to create these:
mknod input/event0 c 13 64 mknod input/event1 c 13 65 mknod input/event2 c 13 66 mknod input/event3 c 13 67
6.2.3. Modules needed¶
For all joystick drivers to function, you’ll need the userland interface module in kernel, either loaded or compiled in:
For gameport joysticks, you’ll have to load the gameport driver as well:
And for serial port joysticks, you’ll need the serial input line discipline module loaded and the inputattach utility started:
modprobe serport inputattach -xxx /dev/tts/X &
In addition to that, you’ll need the joystick driver module itself, most usually you’ll have an analog joystick:
For automatic module loading, something like this might work - tailor to your needs:
alias tty-ldisc-2 serport alias char-major-13 input above input joydev ns558 analog options analog map=gamepad,none,2btn
6.2.4. Verifying that it works¶
For testing the joystick driver functionality, there is the jstest program in the utilities package. You run it by typing:
And it should show a line with the joystick values, which update as you move the stick, and press its buttons. The axes should all be zero when the joystick is in the center position. They should not jitter by themselves to other close values, and they also should be steady in any other position of the stick. They should have the full range from -32767 to 32767. If all this is met, then it’s all fine, and you can play the games. :)
If it’s not, then there might be a problem. Try to calibrate the joystick, and if it still doesn’t work, read the drivers section of this file, the troubleshooting section, and the FAQ.
For most joysticks you won’t need any manual calibration, since the joystick should be autocalibrated by the driver automagically. However, with some analog joysticks, that either do not use linear resistors, or if you want better precision, you can use the jscal program:
jscal -c /dev/input/js0
included in the joystick package to set better correction coefficients than what the driver would choose itself.
After calibrating the joystick you can verify if you like the new calibration using the jstest command, and if you do, you then can save the correction coefficients into a file:
jscal -p /dev/input/js0 > /etc/joystick.cal
And add a line to your rc script executing that file:
This way, after the next reboot your joystick will remain calibrated. You
can also add the
jscal -p line to your shutdown script.
6.3. Hardware-specific driver information¶
In this section each of the separate hardware specific drivers is described.
6.3.1. Analog joysticks¶
The analog.c driver uses the standard analog inputs of the gameport, and thus supports all standard joysticks and gamepads. It uses a very advanced routine for this, allowing for data precision that can’t be found on any other system.
It also supports extensions like additional hats and buttons compatible with CH Flightstick Pro, ThrustMaster FCS or 6 and 8 button gamepads. Saitek Cyborg ‘digital’ joysticks are also supported by this driver, because they’re basically souped up CHF sticks.
However the only types that can be autodetected are:
2-axis, 4-button joystick
3-axis, 4-button joystick
4-axis, 4-button joystick
Saitek Cyborg ‘digital’ joysticks
For other joystick types (more/less axes, hats, and buttons) support you’ll need to specify the types either on the kernel command line or on the module command line, when inserting analog into the kernel. The parameters are:
‘type’ is type of the joystick from the table below, defining joysticks present on gameports in the system, starting with gameport0, second ‘type’ entry defining joystick on gameport1 and so on.
No analog joystick on that port
2-button n-axis joystick
Two 2-button 2-axis joysticks on an Y-cable
Two 2-button 2-axis gamepads on an Y-cable
Thrustmaster FCS compatible joystick
Joystick with a CH Flightstick compatible hat
CH Flightstick compatible with two hats and 6 buttons
4/6-button n-axis gamepad
8-button 2-axis gamepad
In case your joystick doesn’t fit in any of the above categories, you can specify the type as a number by combining the bits in the table below. This is not recommended unless you really know what are you doing. It’s not dangerous, but not simple either.
CHF Buttons X and Y
CHF Hat 1
CHF Hat 2
Pad Button X
Pad Button Y
Pad Button U
Pad Button V
Saitek F1-F4 Buttons
Saitek Digital Mode
Joy2 Axis X1
Joy2 Axis Y1
Joy2 Axis X2
Joy2 Axis Y2
Joy2 Button A
Joy2 Button B
Joy2 Button C
Joy2 Button D
6.3.2. Microsoft SideWinder joysticks¶
Microsoft ‘Digital Overdrive’ protocol is supported by the sidewinder.c module. All currently supported joysticks:
Microsoft SideWinder 3D Pro
Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback Pro
Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback Wheel
Microsoft SideWinder FreeStyle Pro
Microsoft SideWinder GamePad (up to four, chained)
Microsoft SideWinder Precision Pro
Microsoft SideWinder Precision Pro USB
are autodetected, and thus no module parameters are needed.
There is one caveat with the 3D Pro. There are 9 buttons reported, although the joystick has only 8. The 9th button is the mode switch on the rear side of the joystick. However, moving it, you’ll reset the joystick, and make it unresponsive for about a one third of a second. Furthermore, the joystick will also re-center itself, taking the position it was in during this time as a new center position. Use it if you want, but think first.
The SideWinder Standard is not a digital joystick, and thus is supported by the analog driver described above.
6.3.3. Logitech ADI devices¶
Logitech ADI protocol is supported by the adi.c module. It should support any Logitech device using this protocol. This includes, but is not limited to:
Logitech CyberMan 2
Logitech ThunderPad Digital
Logitech WingMan Extreme Digital
Logitech WingMan Formula
Logitech WingMan Interceptor
Logitech WingMan GamePad
Logitech WingMan GamePad USB
Logitech WingMan GamePad Extreme
Logitech WingMan Extreme Digital 3D
ADI devices are autodetected, and the driver supports up to two (any combination of) devices on a single gameport, using a Y-cable or chained together.
Logitech WingMan Joystick, Logitech WingMan Attack, Logitech WingMan Extreme and Logitech WingMan ThunderPad are not digital joysticks and are handled by the analog driver described above. Logitech WingMan Warrior and Logitech Magellan are supported by serial drivers described below. Logitech WingMan Force and Logitech WingMan Formula Force are supported by the I-Force driver described below. Logitech CyberMan is not supported yet.
6.3.4. Gravis GrIP¶
Gravis GrIP protocol is supported by the grip.c module. It currently supports:
Gravis GamePad Pro
Gravis BlackHawk Digital
Gravis Xterminator DualControl
All these devices are autodetected, and you can even use any combination of up to two of these pads either chained together or using a Y-cable on a single gameport.
GrIP MultiPort isn’t supported yet. Gravis Stinger is a serial device and is supported by the stinger driver. Other Gravis joysticks are supported by the analog driver.
6.3.5. FPGaming A3D and MadCatz A3D¶
The Assassin 3D protocol created by FPGaming, is used both by FPGaming themselves and is licensed to MadCatz. A3D devices are supported by the a3d.c module. It currently supports:
FPGaming Assassin 3D
MadCatz Panther XL
All these devices are autodetected. Because the Assassin 3D and the Panther allow connecting analog joysticks to them, you’ll need to load the analog driver as well to handle the attached joysticks.
The trackball should work with USB mousedev module as a normal mouse. See the USB documentation for how to setup a USB mouse.
6.3.6. ThrustMaster DirectConnect (BSP)¶
The TM DirectConnect (BSP) protocol is supported by the tmdc.c module. This includes, but is not limited to:
ThrustMaster Millennium 3D Interceptor
ThrustMaster 3D Rage Pad
ThrustMaster Fusion Digital Game Pad
Devices not directly supported, but hopefully working are:
ThrustMaster Attack Throttle
If you have one of these, contact me.
TMDC devices are autodetected, and thus no parameters to the module are needed. Up to two TMDC devices can be connected to one gameport, using a Y-cable.
6.3.7. Creative Labs Blaster¶
The Blaster protocol is supported by the cobra.c module. It supports only the:
Creative Blaster GamePad Cobra
Up to two of these can be used on a single gameport, using a Y-cable.
6.3.8. Genius Digital joysticks¶
The Genius digitally communicating joysticks are supported by the gf2k.c module. This includes:
Genius Flight2000 F-23 joystick
Genius Flight2000 F-31 joystick
Genius G-09D gamepad
Other Genius digital joysticks are not supported yet, but support can be added fairly easily.
6.3.9. InterAct Digital joysticks¶
The InterAct digitally communicating joysticks are supported by the interact.c module. This includes:
InterAct HammerHead/FX gamepad
InterAct ProPad8 gamepad
Other InterAct digital joysticks are not supported yet, but support can be added fairly easily.
6.3.10. PDPI Lightning 4 gamecards¶
PDPI Lightning 4 gamecards are supported by the lightning.c module. Once the module is loaded, the analog driver can be used to handle the joysticks. Digitally communicating joystick will work only on port 0, while using Y-cables, you can connect up to 8 analog joysticks to a single L4 card, 16 in case you have two in your system.
6.3.11. Trident 4DWave / Aureal Vortex¶
Soundcards with a Trident 4DWave DX/NX or Aureal Vortex/Vortex2 chipset provide an “Enhanced Game Port” mode where the soundcard handles polling the joystick. This mode is supported by the pcigame.c module. Once loaded the analog driver can use the enhanced features of these gameports..
6.3.12. Crystal SoundFusion¶
Soundcards with Crystal SoundFusion chipsets provide an “Enhanced Game Port”, much like the 4DWave or Vortex above. This, and also the normal mode for the port of the SoundFusion is supported by the cs461x.c module.
6.3.13. SoundBlaster Live!¶
The Live! has a special PCI gameport, which, although it doesn’t provide any “Enhanced” stuff like 4DWave and friends, is quite a bit faster than its ISA counterparts. It also requires special support, hence the emu10k1-gp.c module for it instead of the normal ns558.c one.
6.3.14. SoundBlaster 64 and 128 - ES1370 and ES1371, ESS Solo1 and S3 SonicVibes¶
These PCI soundcards have specific gameports. They are handled by the sound drivers themselves. Make sure you select gameport support in the joystick menu and sound card support in the sound menu for your appropriate card.
Amiga joysticks, connected to an Amiga, are supported by the amijoy.c driver. Since they can’t be autodetected, the driver has a command line:
a and b define the joysticks connected to the JOY0DAT and JOY1DAT ports of the Amiga.
1-button digital joystick
No more joystick types are supported now, but that should change in the future if I get an Amiga in the reach of my fingers.
6.3.16. Game console and 8-bit pads and joysticks¶
These pads and joysticks are not designed for PCs and other computers Linux runs on, and usually require a special connector for attaching them through a parallel port.
See Parallel Port Joystick Drivers for more info.
6.3.17. SpaceTec/LabTec devices¶
SpaceTec serial devices communicate using the SpaceWare protocol. It is supported by the spaceorb.c and spaceball.c drivers. The devices currently supported by spaceorb.c are:
SpaceTec SpaceBall Avenger
SpaceTec SpaceOrb 360
Devices currently supported by spaceball.c are:
SpaceTec SpaceBall 4000 FLX
In addition to having the spaceorb/spaceball and serport modules in the kernel, you also need to attach a serial port to it. To do that, run the inputattach program:
inputattach --spaceorb /dev/tts/x &
inputattach --spaceball /dev/tts/x &
where /dev/tts/x is the serial port which the device is connected to. After doing this, the device will be reported and will start working.
There is one caveat with the SpaceOrb. The button #6, the one on the bottom side of the orb, although reported as an ordinary button, causes internal recentering of the spaceorb, moving the zero point to the position in which the ball is at the moment of pressing the button. So, think first before you bind it to some other function.
SpaceTec SpaceBall 2003 FLX and 3003 FLX are not supported yet.
6.3.18. Logitech SWIFT devices¶
The SWIFT serial protocol is supported by the warrior.c module. It currently supports only the:
Logitech WingMan Warrior
but in the future, Logitech CyberMan (the original one, not CM2) could be supported as well. To use the module, you need to run inputattach after you insert/compile the module into your kernel:
inputattach --warrior /dev/tts/x &
/dev/tts/x is the serial port your Warrior is attached to.
6.3.19. Magellan / Space Mouse¶
The Magellan (or Space Mouse), manufactured by LogiCad3d (formerly Space Systems), for many other companies (Logitech, HP, …) is supported by the joy-magellan module. It currently supports only the:
models; the additional buttons on the ‘Plus’ versions are not supported yet.
To use it, you need to attach the serial port to the driver using the:
inputattach --magellan /dev/tts/x &
command. After that the Magellan will be detected, initialized, will beep, and the /dev/input/jsX device should become usable.
6.3.20. I-Force devices¶
All I-Force devices are supported by the iforce module. This includes:
AVB Mag Turbo Force
AVB Top Shot Pegasus
AVB Top Shot Force Feedback Racing Wheel
Boeder Force Feedback Wheel
Logitech WingMan Force
Logitech WingMan Force Wheel
Guillemot Race Leader Force Feedback
Guillemot Force Feedback Racing Wheel
Thrustmaster Motor Sport GT
To use it, you need to attach the serial port to the driver using the:
inputattach --iforce /dev/tts/x &
command. After that the I-Force device will be detected, and the /dev/input/jsX device should become usable.
In case you’re using the device via the USB port, the inputattach command isn’t needed.
The I-Force driver now supports force feedback via the event interface.
Please note that Logitech WingMan 3D devices are _not_ supported by this module, rather by hid. Force feedback is not supported for those devices. Logitech gamepads are also hid devices.
6.3.21. Gravis Stinger gamepad¶
The Gravis Stinger serial port gamepad, designed for use with laptop computers, is supported by the stinger.c module. To use it, attach the serial port to the driver using:
inputattach --stinger /dev/tty/x &
where x is the number of the serial port.
There is quite a high probability that you run into some problems. For testing whether the driver works, if in doubt, use the jstest utility in some of its modes. The most useful modes are “normal” - for the 1.x interface, and “old” for the “0.x” interface. You run it by typing:
jstest --normal /dev/input/js0 jstest --old /dev/input/js0
Additionally you can do a test with the evtest utility:
Oh, and read the FAQ! :)
Running ‘jstest /dev/input/js0’ results in “File not found” error. What’s the cause?
The device files don’t exist. Create them (see section 2.2).
Is it possible to connect my old Atari/Commodore/Amiga/console joystick or pad that uses a 9-pin D-type Cannon connector to the serial port of my PC?
Yes, it is possible, but it’ll burn your serial port or the pad. It won’t work, of course.
My joystick doesn’t work with Quake / Quake 2. What’s the cause?
Quake / Quake 2 don’t support joystick. Use joy2key to simulate keypresses for them.