Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

Using a PS3 Controller with Ubuntu

Ubuntu 5

In the world of gaming, the PlayStation 3 (PS3) controller has earned a reputation for its ergonomic design and versatile functionality. But did you know you can use it with your Ubuntu system as well? This article will guide you on how to connect and use a PS3 controller with your Ubuntu system.

Quick Answer

Yes, it is possible to use a PS3 controller with Ubuntu. You can connect it via USB or Bluetooth, or even compile the driver from source. Each method has its own advantages, so choose the one that suits your needs and enjoy gaming on Ubuntu with your PS3 controller.

Prerequisites

Ensure that your Ubuntu system is updated. You can do so by running the following command:

sudo apt-get update

This command updates the package lists for upgrades and new packages.

Connecting the PS3 Controller via USB

Step 1: Connect the Controller

Begin by connecting your PS3 controller to your Ubuntu system using a USB cable.

Step 2: Test the Controller

To test if the controller works automatically, you can use the jstest-gtk tool. If it doesn’t, you need to install xboxdrv.

Step 3: Install xboxdrv

You can install xboxdrv from the Ubuntu Software Center or by using the following command:

sudo apt-get install xboxdrv

The xboxdrv driver allows the system to recognize the controller as an Xbox 360 controller.

Step 4: Start xboxdrv

Start the xboxdrv driver with the command:

sudo xboxdrv --detach-kernel-driver

The --detach-kernel-driver option forces the detachment of the kernel driver.

Step 5: Activate the Controller

Press the PlayStation button on the controller. Your computer should now receive its input and simulate it as an Xbox 360 controller.

Connecting the PS3 Controller via Bluetooth

Step 1: Install sixad

To connect your PS3 controller via Bluetooth, you need to install the sixad package. You can do this by adding the QtSixA PPA with the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:falk-t-j/qtsixa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install qtsixa

Step 2: Pair the Controller

Connect the controller to your computer via USB and use the command sixpair to pair the controller with your computer.

Step 3: Establish Bluetooth Connection

Disconnect the controller from USB and use the command sixad -s to connect it via Bluetooth. Press the PlayStation button on the controller to establish the Bluetooth connection.

Compiling from Source

If the above methods do not work for you, you can compile the driver from the source.

Step 1: Install Prerequisites

Install the necessary prerequisites with the following command:

sudo apt-get update &&
sudo apt-get install git dialog build-essential pyqt4-dev-tools libusb-dev libjack-dev libbluetooth-dev python-dbus checkinstall -y

Step 2: Clone the qtsixa Repository

Clone the qtsixa repository from GitHub with the command:

git clone https://github.com/falkTX/qtsixa.git

Step 3: Compile the Source Code

Navigate to the qtsixa directory with the command cd qtsixa and compile the source code with the command make.

Step 4: Install the Compiled Package

Install the compiled package with the command:

sudo checkinstall

Conclusion

Connecting a PS3 controller to your Ubuntu system can enhance your gaming experience. Whether you choose to connect via USB or Bluetooth, or compile from the source, each method has its own advantages. Choose the one that suits your needs and enjoy gaming on Ubuntu with your PS3 controller.

Remember, the solutions mentioned above may have different levels of compatibility depending on your Ubuntu version. It is recommended to try different methods and see which one works best for your specific setup.

How do I know if my Ubuntu system is updated?

You can check if your Ubuntu system is updated by running the command sudo apt-get update. This command updates the package lists for upgrades and new packages.

Can I connect a PS3 controller to Ubuntu via USB?

Yes, you can connect a PS3 controller to Ubuntu via USB. Simply connect the controller to your Ubuntu system using a USB cable and follow the steps mentioned in the article.

What if my PS3 controller doesn’t work automatically when connected via USB?

If your PS3 controller doesn’t work automatically when connected via USB, you may need to install the xboxdrv driver. You can do this by using the command sudo apt-get install xboxdrv.

How do I start the `xboxdrv` driver?

To start the xboxdrv driver, use the command sudo xboxdrv --detach-kernel-driver. This command forces the detachment of the kernel driver and allows the system to recognize the PS3 controller as an Xbox 360 controller.

Is it possible to connect a PS3 controller to Ubuntu via Bluetooth?

Yes, you can connect a PS3 controller to Ubuntu via Bluetooth. You need to install the sixad package and follow the steps mentioned in the article to pair and establish a Bluetooth connection.

What if I can’t connect my PS3 controller to Ubuntu via Bluetooth using the mentioned method?

If you can’t connect your PS3 controller to Ubuntu via Bluetooth using the mentioned method, you can try compiling the driver from the source. The article provides step-by-step instructions on how to do this.

What are the prerequisites for compiling the driver from the source?

The prerequisites for compiling the driver from the source include git, dialog, build-essential, pyqt4-dev-tools, libusb-dev, libjack-dev, libbluetooth-dev, python-dbus, and checkinstall. You can install these prerequisites using the command mentioned in the article.

How do I install the compiled package after compiling from the source?

After compiling the driver from the source, you can install the compiled package using the command sudo checkinstall. This command will create a package and install it on your Ubuntu system.

Which method should I choose to connect my PS3 controller to Ubuntu?

The method you should choose to connect your PS3 controller to Ubuntu depends on your specific setup and preferences. You can try different methods mentioned in the article and see which one works best for you.

Are the solutions mentioned in the article compatible with all versions of Ubuntu?

The solutions mentioned in the article may have different levels of compatibility depending on your Ubuntu version. It is recommended to try different methods and see which one works best for your specific setup.

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