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Sony to officially support the PS5 DualSense on Linux with a new driver

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Roderick Colenbrander of Sony Interactive Entertainment has sent in a brand new and official Linux driver for the PS5 DualSense for even better out of the box support.

With the newly proposed driver, it enabled the DualSense to function in both Bluetooth and USB modes along with most other features working including LEDs, Touchpad, Motion Sensors and Rumble. However, they make it clear that the Adaptive Triggers and VCM-based Haptics are not yet supported but they hope to "have a dialog on how to expose these over time in a generic way".

Here's how the describe it will work:

DualSense supported is implemented in a new 'hid-playstation' driver, which will be used for peripherals by 'Sony Interactive Entertainment' (PlayStation). Hid-sony will be used for devices for the larger Sony Group. We intend to migrate existing devices over time gradually to hid-playstation. We do not want to cause any regressions and maintain quality. As such moving forward, unit tests are important and we started by providing these through 'hid-tools' including DualSense.

The Linux driver exposes DualSense functionality as a 'compositive device' similar to DualShock 4 in hid-sony, spanning multiple frameworks. First, it exposes 3 evdev nodes for respectively the 'gamepad', 'touchpad' and 'motion sensors'. The FF framework is used to provide basic rumble features. The leds-class is used to implement the Player indicator LEDs below the DualSense's touchpad, while the new 'leds-class-multicolor' is used for the lightbars next to the touchpad.

This will be really nice to make it into the Linux Kernel, as the more we have working out of the box the better. While Steam and SDL2 can already work with it, not everything goes through them of course and it would open up the DualSense to all sorts of other possibilities.

I'll eventually be grabbing myself a DualSense, so I'm keen to see how it feels.

Hat tip to MrPenguin.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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27 comments
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sneakeyboard 28 Dec, 2020
Nice. I'm split on the possibility of this being about Chromebook support but don't forget that Sony still has their "cloud" gaming for old titles (I think Last of Us 1 is there). So if their plan is to Have all PC space (Win/Mac/Linux) supported for their streaming service, then this move makes sense.

I think the driver makes sense overall since Stadia might allow the use of other gamepads.

I agree with @slaapliedje. It's unlikely that Sony based their PS5 software on Linux and not BSD. They've been using BSD for some time now (this includes the psvita) but it's possible to have switched. All I know is that BSD's licensing is easier to work with than Linux.
slaapliedje 28 Dec, 2020
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Quoting: Mountain Man
Quoting: slaapliedjeAnd I know at least for me, if there is some weird gimmick in a controller, I'll probably end up buying it, as I like oddball controllers!
The PS5 controller is certainly a sharp looking piece of gear and attractively priced. The only thing I don't like about it is the placement of the sticks. I think Nintendo and Microsoft got it right with offset joystick placement.
Ha, that's as a divisive thing as what political party you follow. My brain prefers the parallel sticks. Then again, now you can get sticks where you can swap them on the fly (like the eSwap Pro that I own).
t3g 28 Dec, 2020
I'd love to have this free/libre under a BSD, MIT, or GPL license and in the mainline Linux kernel.
slaapliedje 29 Dec, 2020
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Quoting: t3gI'd love to have this free/libre under a BSD, MIT, or GPL license and in the mainline Linux kernel.
From the article it is going to be in the mainline kernel. They say two drivers are made by Sony, hid-playstation for the controllers and hid-sony for other devices. Not sure what those other devices are though.


Last edited by slaapliedje on 29 December 2020 at 5:39 am UTC
win8linux 29 Dec, 2020
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: whizseIntriguing! Pretty cool to see support from Sony themselves, or did they already support the DS4 in a similar way and I missed that fact?

As long as the trigger and haptics stuff lands I'll probably grab one too.
I actually think they did, but they decided to create a new driver for the DS5.

This makes me wonder if they're planning on releasing some native games on their own for Linux. How cool would that be. Otherwise, are they doing it to sell more controllers? I'd buy one if it had great Linux support, yet at the same time it'll probably be a year or more before I buy a PS5.

Edit: This means if I had a PS5 controller and Atari updates the kernel on the Atari VCS, I could use the controller there (the PS4 controller works flawlessly there). Granted I actually do really like the Atari controllers as well.)

It's prolly for their future Android devices like TVs and Xperias. Having support in mainline would mean that AOSP will also have it later on, amongst other benefits from it being in mainline (such as long-term maintenance).
VdoP 29 Dec, 2020
I actually got my hands on a ps5 controller this christmas. I just now realized, that i don't have a bluetooth controller and just ordered one on amazon. I am really intrigued if i can get this thing to work :)
einherjar 29 Dec, 2020
Would be interesting to know, if these controllers do work with the Steamlink.

Actually I think of buying another controller and the Dual Sense look really nice. But will they work with my Steamlink?
robvv 31 Dec, 2020
Quoting: LinasI wonder what the motivation of Sony is?

Selling controllers?
Quoting: LinasHas Sony done anything out of kindness of their heart ever?

Sony has had their "You Can" program in Australia here, to recycle mobile phones and donate the relevant proceeds towards youth cancer... It looks like the program has finished-up now, but I'm skeptical it's the only Community-focused thing Sony has ever done.

If you're specifically referring to the Open Source and Linux Communities, well a quick search online shows that Sony have contributed towards making Open Source software available for renewable energy, they have various Open Source projects for the film industry and they've been especially passionate about making the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) work with some of their mobile devices (in fact, they've probably put more effort into this than all of the other "major" manufacturers!).

And that's just the stuff I could find on DuckDuckGo in the space of two or three minutes; I'm sure there's plenty more.

Granted Sony is far from perfect, but this is not the first time they've done something like this...


Last edited by Cyba.Cowboy on 6 February 2021 at 7:42 am UTC
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Quoting: Cyba.Cowboy
Quoting: LinasHas Sony done anything out of kindness of their heart ever?

Sony has had their "You Can" program in Australia here, to recycle mobile phones and donate the relevant proceeds towards youth cancer... It looks like the program has finished-up now, but I'm skeptical it's the only Community-focused thing Sony has ever done.

If you're specifically referring to the Open Source and Linux Communities, well a quick search online shows that Sony have contributed towards making Open Source software available for renewable energy, they have various Open Source projects for the film industry and they've been especially passionate about making the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) work with some of their mobile devices (in fact, they've probably put more effort into this than all of the other "major" manufacturers!).

And that's just the stuff I could find on DuckDuckGo in the space of two or three minutes; I'm sure there's plenty more.

Granted Sony is far from perfect, but this is not the first time they've done something like this...
Sony doesn't get enough credit for their phones. I bought one as it had a 3d modeler in it before Samsung did, and while I hate stock android, they have provided more updates than Samsung does. And apparently someone ported SailfishOS to it. Too bad I haven't had the time to set it up...
Still waiting for my Librem to appear..
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