An Xbox 360 Controller

Since the arrival of Steam on Linux we often hear from gamers on the hunt for easier ways to get more control over their Xbox controllers in Ubuntu. 

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS includes the robust xpad kernel driver available by default. For the most part this works well enough out of the box, though users of newer wireless controllers have reported issues with incorrect button mapping and random flashing LED issues.

For more control over gamepad performance, configuration, sensitivity, button mapping and so on, an alternative gamepad driver called ‘xboxdrv‘ is often recommended.

Xboxdrv is considered a superior solution thanks to its wide breadth of device support and the vast amount of configuration options if offers, such as:

  • Simulate keyboard and mouse events
  • Remapping buttons
  • Adjust/configure axes
  • Trigger macros
  • Set the LED status on gamepad

Integrated Ubuntu Xbox Driver

We’ve written about setting xboxdrv up in the past and suffice to say: it’s not the easiest tool to get up and running out of the box. From annoying issues with driver conflicts to outright confusing issues like offering no Unity Control Panel entry for adjusting settings.

Enter reader Rael GC and his repackage of the driver that solves many of these issues (and plenty more!). His modified xboxdrv package — which he’s dubbed ‘Ubuntu xboxdrv‘ — is available for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 13.10 and 14.04 LTS through a dedicated PPA, making installing (and uninstalling) really simple.

To get started with it just open a new Terminal window and enter the following commands:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:rael-gc/ubuntu-xboxdrv
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ubuntu-xboxdrv

After installation completes you may want to reboot your computer to ensure that the new driver takes precedence over the default one. Then, you should be good to go. You can adjust specific settings via the Joystick pane in the Software Centre. 

For further details or to report issues refer to the GitHub page for the project.

Ubuntu xboxdrv on GitHub

Valve has also been working on improving the Xpad driver under Ubuntu. See this post on the Steam Community for further information. 

controllers xbox