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You may want to hold off on Linux Kernel 5.3 and systemd 243 if you use a gamepad

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Did you do a big system upgrade recently and notice you're having gamepad issues? You're not alone. Time to downgrade perhaps.

To be clear this might only be an issue for the more bleeding-edge distributions which update more often, or those of you who are doing some manual updates to their system. The distributions that update more slowly like Ubuntu are likely unaffected right now.

First we have systemd version 243 released around September 3rd, this appears to be causing problems with Steam Input. A Valve developer jumped into the comments there, to note that the update seems to have broken Steam's udev rules to support gamepads—ouch. The systemd developers have been responsive trying to fix it, so hopefully it won't be too long before the issue is solved there.

Another problem is the more recent release of the Linux Kernel 5.3, which appears to have a regression with the DualShock 4 over Bluetooth not working. As of yet, no Kernel developer has commented on that report.

Hat tip to Vash63.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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26 comments
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Avehicle7887 16 September 2019 at 9:40 pm UTC
Seems I'm in luck this time around, my systemd is a bit old (232) and my gamepad is so crappy that it doesn't work with almost none of my games regardless of which kernel I use, I have to use Antimicro to game with it.

On the other hand however, I upgraded to 5.3 this morning and everything went smooth, the nvidia driver also works fine with it. Also worth pointing out that this release contains a fix for system hangs when using Vulkan on Intel HD with Kabylake (7xxx CPUs).


Last edited by Avehicle7887 on 16 September 2019 at 9:41 pm UTC
razing32 16 September 2019 at 10:04 pm UTC
F.Ultra
hallieballieI really do not understand why systemd is so great, it is an annoying system to deal with.

When you need to debug form a rescue environment, it is very difficult to see what went wrong, to access logging is science these days.

The time with init scripts was heaven, now we are in hell.

When you need to debuf from a rescue environment with the old init scripts you would be lucky if you where able to find any form of logs at all. On a systemd system though everything can be found with journalctl, even things that daemons wrote to stderr or stdout are caught.

As a server admin, systemd is the single best thing that have happened to Linux since the kernel.

I do like the features of systemd but I also think some of the detractors make sense.
It has a feature creep and seems to expand into a lot of things.
14 17 September 2019 at 2:03 am UTC
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FaalhaasEven after that, some games did not detect my buttons, so I even reinstalled the OS. Now it's working with modprobe.
Reinstalled! Yikes!

I guess I haven't used my controller for over a month. I've been on systemd 243 for quite a while now.

Which OS distributed linux 5.3 already? Arch is pushing out 5.2.14 at the moment.
slaapliedje 17 September 2019 at 4:11 am UTC
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I'm running Debian Sid here, and only have systemd 242 and kernel 5.2.9. Just tested the Steam Controller. Don't have uinput loaded, but it still worked in Atari Vault.
Vash63 17 September 2019 at 11:10 am UTC
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14
FaalhaasEven after that, some games did not detect my buttons, so I even reinstalled the OS. Now it's working with modprobe.
Reinstalled! Yikes!

I guess I haven't used my controller for over a month. I've been on systemd 243 for quite a while now.

Which OS distributed linux 5.3 already? Arch is pushing out 5.2.14 at the moment.

No idea if any OSes have distributed it to their core repos but I'm on Arch and I tested it a few hours after it released by compiling my own build.
14 17 September 2019 at 1:19 pm UTC
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Vash63
14
FaalhaasEven after that, some games did not detect my buttons, so I even reinstalled the OS. Now it's working with modprobe.
Reinstalled! Yikes!

I guess I haven't used my controller for over a month. I've been on systemd 243 for quite a while now.

Which OS distributed linux 5.3 already? Arch is pushing out 5.2.14 at the moment.

No idea if any OSes have distributed it to their core repos but I'm on Arch and I tested it a few hours after it released by compiling my own build.
Are you the Vash6318 from the Battlefield 1942 days that's on my Steam friends list? Fancy seeing you here!
bradgy 17 September 2019 at 2:18 pm UTC
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FaalhaasThis new systemd messed me up as well. I have to do a sudo modprobe uinput to get the Steam Controller working in-game.

Even after that, some games did not detect my buttons, so I even reinstalled the OS. Now it's working with modprobe.

Was one of those games Rocket League by any chance? The modprobe command didn't seem to do anything to get my steam controller working again.
F.Ultra 17 September 2019 at 5:18 pm UTC
razing32
F.Ultra
hallieballieI really do not understand why systemd is so great, it is an annoying system to deal with.

When you need to debug form a rescue environment, it is very difficult to see what went wrong, to access logging is science these days.

The time with init scripts was heaven, now we are in hell.

When you need to debuf from a rescue environment with the old init scripts you would be lucky if you where able to find any form of logs at all. On a systemd system though everything can be found with journalctl, even things that daemons wrote to stderr or stdout are caught.

As a server admin, systemd is the single best thing that have happened to Linux since the kernel.

I do like the features of systemd but I also think some of the detractors make sense.
It has a feature creep and seems to expand into a lot of things.

Yeah, boo on software that innovates and creates new useful features ;). What those detractors never recognise is that the "feature creep" is not in systemd the init daemon but systemd the project (that consists of independent applications, all of which are completely optional) where the aim is to create a common plumbing layer for Linux (aka system admins can expect to have access to the same set of tools regardless of system).

Few people complained when the GNU project forked all the unix tools back in the day and implemented their own set of useful extensions, most people only notice that when they happen to use some system that don't use the GNU versions (like Solaris or the BSD:s) at which point many feel constrained and crippled by the lack of those extensions (the countless times I've cursed when administrating some Solaris machines...).
Faalhaas 17 September 2019 at 5:30 pm UTC
bradgy
FaalhaasThis new systemd messed me up as well. I have to do a sudo modprobe uinput to get the Steam Controller working in-game.

Even after that, some games did not detect my buttons, so I even reinstalled the OS. Now it's working with modprobe.

Was one of those games Rocket League by any chance? The modprobe command didn't seem to do anything to get my steam controller working again.

No, it was Celeste. But I messed around a bit with the controller config, before I found out systemd was trolling.
Houtworm 17 September 2019 at 9:00 pm UTC
I run Kernel 5.3.0 and Systemd 243.0, My controllers are all working just fine with Steam and anywhere else actually. I use Xbox One S controllers and Dualshock 4 controllers I use them all using Bluetooth.
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