Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Control Your Mouse with a Gamepad in Ubuntu

Ubuntu 16

In the world of Ubuntu, there are numerous ways to interact with your system beyond the traditional keyboard and mouse. One such method is using a gamepad as a mouse. This article will guide you through the process of controlling your mouse with a gamepad in Ubuntu.

Quick Answer

Yes, it is possible to control your mouse with a gamepad in Ubuntu. By installing the xboxdrv driver, determining the event associated with your gamepad, creating a configuration file, and launching xboxdrv, you can use your gamepad as a mouse in Ubuntu.

Prerequisites

Before we begin, ensure you have a gamepad that can be connected to your Ubuntu system. This could be through USB or Bluetooth. In this guide, we will be using an Xbox controller, but the process should be similar for other gamepads.

Step 1: Installing xboxdrv

The first step in this process is to install xboxdrv, a driver for Xbox and Xbox 360 gamepads. This driver allows us to map gamepad inputs to mouse movements and clicks.

To install xboxdrv, open a terminal and run the following command:

sudo apt install xboxdrv

This command uses sudo to run the command with administrative privileges, apt is the package handling utility in Ubuntu, install is the command to install a package, and xboxdrv is the name of the package we want to install.

Step 2: Determining the Event of Your Gamepad

Next, we need to determine the event associated with your gamepad. This is a unique identifier that the system uses to interact with the gamepad.

To find this, open a terminal and run the following command:

udevadm monitor --udev

After running this command, plug in your gamepad and observe the output. You should see a line that includes /dev/input/eventX, where X is a number. This is the event number for your gamepad.

Step 3: Creating a Configuration File

Now that we have the event number, we can create a configuration file for xboxdrv. This file will specify how the gamepad inputs should be mapped to mouse actions.

Open a text editor and create a new file called xboxdrv-mouse.ini. In this file, add the following content:

[xboxdrv]
evdev=/dev/input/eventX # Replace X with the event number of your gamepad
silent=true

[ui-axismap]
x1=REL_X:10
y1=REL_Y:-10

[ui-buttonmap]
a=BTN_LEFT
b=BTN_RIGHT

# EOF #

In this file, the [xboxdrv] section contains general settings for the driver. The evdev line specifies the event number of the gamepad, and the silent line suppresses unnecessary output from the driver.

The [ui-axismap] section maps the gamepad’s analog stick to mouse movements. The x1=REL_X:10 line maps the X-axis of the stick to the X-axis of the mouse, and the y1=REL_Y:-10 line maps the Y-axis of the stick to the Y-axis of the mouse. The :10 and :-10 parts specify the speed of the mouse movements.

The [ui-buttonmap] section maps gamepad buttons to mouse clicks. The a=BTN_LEFT line maps the A button to the left mouse click, and the b=BTN_RIGHT line maps the B button to the right mouse click.

Step 4: Launching xboxdrv

With the configuration file ready, we can now launch xboxdrv. Open a terminal and run the following command:

sudo xboxdrv --config xboxdrv-mouse.ini

This command starts xboxdrv with the configuration file we created. The --config parameter specifies the path to the configuration file.

After running this command, you should be able to control the mouse cursor with your gamepad. The left analog stick will move the cursor, and the A and B buttons will act as left and right mouse clicks, respectively.

Conclusion

Controlling your mouse with a gamepad in Ubuntu is a straightforward process thanks to the xboxdrv tool. Whether you’re looking for a more comfortable way to navigate your system or need a solution for accessibility reasons, using a gamepad as a mouse can be a great option.

Remember, this guide used an Xbox controller for demonstration purposes, but the process should be similar for other gamepads. If you’re using a different gamepad, you may need to adjust the button mappings in the configuration file to match your gamepad’s layout.

Can I use a different gamepad instead of an Xbox controller?

Yes, you can use a different gamepad. The process should be similar for other gamepads. You may need to adjust the button mappings in the configuration file to match your gamepad’s layout.

How do I connect a gamepad to my Ubuntu system?

You can connect a gamepad to your Ubuntu system either through USB or Bluetooth. If it’s a wired gamepad, simply plug it into a USB port on your computer. If it’s a wireless gamepad, you’ll need to pair it with your system using the Bluetooth settings.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *