[SOLVED] (sort of) Installing USB game pads

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[SOLVED] (sort of) Installing USB game pads

Postby qyron » 2019-02-15 21:23

Lately I've been a bit nostalgic over old school SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive games and eventually made up my mind to buy a 6 buttons game pad to use with my emulator (I'm running Mednaffe) but I was stumped to discover my system does not recognize the new hardware.

The hardware didn't came with any drivers; it's a generic plug-and-play thing. I know it is working in good conditions because I booted my machine into the Windows partition and after waiting for a while, the controller installed and responded.

Searching Google I came up with some results but essentially revolving around major consoles (PS, XBox); the kind of controllers I want to use is absent.

I should be able to probe the hardware and check what feedback the system returned about but I admit I just can't linux enough right now in order to get around this situation.

Can anyone spare some advice?
Last edited by qyron on 2019-02-20 21:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Installing USB game pads

Postby sunrat » 2019-02-16 02:10

It helps if you mention which hardware when you ask hardware questions.
Plug it in and get the 8 numeral device ID using lsusb and search that including linux in the search term. If lsusb doesn't show it, you're in for a hard ride.
I have a Logitech wireless XBox controller which works fine with no configuration (usually :D ).
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Re: Installing USB game pads

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-02-16 08:16

qyron wrote:I was stumped to discover my system does not recognize the new hardware

How exactly did you "discover" this?

I would run this command in a root terminal:
Code: Select all
dmesg -w

Then plug the device in and see what the kernel says about it.
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Re: Installing USB game pads

Postby qyron » 2019-02-16 21:23

sunrat wrote:It helps if you mention which hardware when you ask hardware questions.
Plug it in and get the 8 numeral device ID using lsusb and search that including linux in the search term. If lsusb doesn't show it, you're in for a hard ride.
I have a Logitech wireless XBox controller which works fine with no configuration (usually :D ).


lsusb returns that I have

Bus 003 Device 002: ID 0461:4dbf Primax Electronics, Ltd

This is the gamepad.
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Re: Installing USB game pads

Postby qyron » 2019-02-16 21:25

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
qyron wrote:I was stumped to discover my system does not recognize the new hardware

How exactly did you "discover" this?

I would run this command in a root terminal:
Code: Select all
dmesg -w

Then plug the device in and see what the kernel says about it.


The command returns a bucket load of data. Indulge my idiocy: what am I looking for?
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Re: Installing USB game pads

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-02-16 21:36

qyron wrote:what am I looking for?

Any new lines that appear after plugging the device in.

Check the man page to see what the -w option for `dmesg` does, you should never run commands without knowing exactly what they do.
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Re: Installing USB game pads

Postby bw123 » 2019-02-16 23:10

qyron wrote:
Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
qyron wrote:I was stumped to discover my system does not recognize the new hardware

How exactly did you "discover" this?

I would run this command in a root terminal:
Code: Select all
dmesg -w

Then plug the device in and see what the kernel says about it.


The command returns a bucket load of data. Indulge my idiocy: what am I looking for?


Mednafen is tricky to setup, you have a clunky interface and the name of the controller isn;t labled, and IIRC you may have to assign all the buttons manually, or there might be a config file... I never tried mednaffe front-end.

Look up 'linux+test+gamepad' or something on the net, there's probably some simple way to confirm it's working. If it passes the problem is in your mednafen setup. There's a wiki for some versions, check that out.

p.s. using an original wired xbox controller https://www.wikihow.com/Hack-an-Xbox-Co ... PC-Gamepad linux detects it automatically.
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Re: Installing USB game pads

Postby CwF » 2019-02-17 02:54

install package jstest-gtk , if appropriate for your setup.
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Re: Installing USB game pads

Postby qyron » 2019-02-20 10:01

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
qyron wrote:what am I looking for?

Any new lines that appear after plugging the device in.

Check the man page to see what the -w option for `dmesg` does, you should never run commands without knowing exactly what they do.


The list is too long for me to make any sense from it. I honestly tried going through item by item but at some point I lose count.
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Re: Installing USB game pads

Postby qyron » 2019-02-20 10:07

bw123 wrote:Mednafen is tricky to setup, you have a clunky interface and the name of the controller isn;t labled, and IIRC you may have to assign all the buttons manually, or there might be a config file... I never tried mednaffe front-end.

Look up 'linux+test+gamepad' or something on the net, there's probably some simple way to confirm it's working. If it passes the problem is in your mednafen setup. There's a wiki for some versions, check that out.

p.s. using an original wired xbox controller https://www.wikihow.com/Hack-an-Xbox-Co ... PC-Gamepad linux detects it automatically.


I read an article somewhere stating that Mednaffe would somehow wrap/manage automagically the input devices (gamepads, etc), that was why I went for it. Sincerely speaking, I don't even know how many emulators exist in the repos.
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Re: Installing USB game pads

Postby qyron » 2019-02-20 10:08

CwF wrote:install package jstest-gtk , if appropriate for your setup.

I'll try this. Thank you.
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Re: Installing USB game pads

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-02-20 11:55

qyron wrote:The list is too long for me to make any sense from it. I honestly tried going through item by item but at some point I lose count.

Do you not understand what I mean by "new lines"? :?

I will try again: unplug the device, run `dmesg -w` then completely ignore the text that appears, then plug the device in again and only read any new text that appears, it will only be a few lines long.

You really shoul read the man page section about the -w option, I could be telling you to destroy your machine for all you know :roll:
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Re: Installing USB game pads

Postby qyron » 2019-02-20 20:37

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:Do you not understand what I mean by "new lines"? :?

My English skills are still enough to understand straightforward instructions.

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:I will try again: unplug the device, run `dmesg -w` then completely ignore the text that appears, then plug the device in again and only read any new text that appears, it will only be a few lines long.

I've done that and the machine does not return anything new. That was why I tried going line by line: because I wasn't seeing anything new turn up and, as a rule of thumb, I assume I'm doing something wrong. I am more than happy to admit I am not a tech wizard; I'm a curious mind at best that likes to have an extra degree of understanding and control over it's machine.

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:You really shoul read the man page section about the -w option, I could be telling you to destroy your machine for all you know :roll:

Now you're flattering yourself. In all the years I've frequented this place one thing I picked up (if not the only) is that trolling is very ill-received. Plus, I'm paranoid; I check if a command can be potentially hazardous before running it, especially from root access point.
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Re: Installing USB game pads

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-02-20 20:40

qyron wrote:I've done that and the machine does not return anything new

Then the device is not recognised by the kernel and hence not supported by it.
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Re: Installing USB game pads

Postby qyron » 2019-02-20 21:48

Apparently I was too hasty and there is a number of factors adding to complicate this matter, from end-of-life USB ports (I was using the computer case doors, not the motherboard ports), a faulty controller (it appears to turn on and off at random) and a poor quality connection cable (the cable shielding just snapped at a touch) and poor software interface (using jstest-gtk the gamepad is read as a 6-button device and mednaffe only reads 3 buttons) actually using the gamepad seems to be somewhat of a challenge on my system.

I think I'll order a new one and try it again. Hopefully, I'll be luckier...
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