How To: Use a Wired XBox 360 controller in Linux

Just in-case ya wanna, and because it took me ages to get it working the other week….

To check if the driver is there when you plug the controller in use:

lshal | grep X-Box

If the device is detected you’ll see something like:
info.product = ‘Microsoft X-Box 360 pad’  (string)
input.product = ‘Microsoft X-Box 360 pad’  (string)


Now… The left analog stick will grab the mouse cursor – it’s a known bug. Excellent thread on it (where I eventually found solution):

If you’re using KDE, you can look in System Settings | Joystick (sudo apt-get install joystick if that option isn’t available) to see if you can get input/move stuff, if you can only move cursor w/ left analogue but buttons don’t register (joystick should be /dev/input/js0 btw) then you need to grab: sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-joystick

In Gnome, there isn’t a joystick app available with the default install, so just run jstest (part the above installed joystick package) from the command line to see if the joystick’s registering.

To stop the mouse cursor being grabbed by the joystick, edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf and add the following lines near the beginning:

Section “ServerFlags”
Option “AutoAddDevices” “False”

Also, for calibration don’t use jscalibrator or jstest – they just frack things up (in my experience) – use the kde system settings one. This obviously assumes you have KDE installed, which I do… so good stuff ;)

MAME on! =D

Bonus xmame hint: If a game will run close to full speed and you want to give it a bit off a boost – turn off automatically adjust frameskip and set it to 0 to speed things up – should hit full whack. Those frameskip adjusting algorithms are cpu intensive.

Update: I’ve switched from KDE to Gnome, and in Jaunty 9.04 64-Bit you can just plug the controller in and it’ll work without grabbing the mouse cursor and knackering stuff to the point you need to tweak your xorg.conf. Jolly good.

How To: Swap between Soundcards in Linux

Slap the following into a terminal:

asoundconf set-default-card [name of card]

But how do I find out the TRUE NAME of any soundcards are currently recognised so I can fully PWN them I hear you cry? Why that would be:

aplay -l [lower case “L”, not “1”]

And if you want to see what output formats are supported by all recognised cards (Stereo [2], 4.0, 4.1, 5.1 etc etc) use:

aplay -L

Just don’t forget that the new default card will only be used for things opened after you issue the command, so to swap and get sound in a browser already running you’d need to restart it.

Also, if you want to test your speakers, use the cryptically named command “speaker-test”, i.e.:

speaker-test -l1 -twav -c6

Switch descriptions (–help for more): 1 loop, use an inbuild sample of a lady saying “Front left, Front Right, Center” etc, and use 6 channels (i.e. 5.1 sound – front left/right, back left/right, center and subwoofer (LFE))

Happy days…

Update: GUI version? How about asoundconf-gtk.. Lovely job.


As Sage Francis would put it – I’m back to destroy decoys and be the -real- McCoy…. Yeeeaaahhhhh BHOY ;)

Had planned on writing my own CMS and did get a bunch of work done on it… it’s just that there’s always a thousand other things to do, and writing a CMS is pretty low on the list of priorities. So, instead of just leaving empty, I’ve finally buckled and installed WordPress. Total install time including tweaking the config to talk to the MySql server – 15 mins. Gotta say – the installation process is impressively slick. Slap 4 fields in a config file, upload, run the install where you just name your blog and enter an email – that’s IT. Pretty slick…

I took down the php-nuke portal here maybe, what? A year ago? 9 months ago? So as far as updates go… there’s far too much to wibble on about in one bash, suffice to say – I jacked in EADS, moved to Australia and am bloody loving it :)

Family portrait w/ Andrea behind the camera

The only tricky bit is getting a job when you’ve only got a working holiday visa and can only work for a company for 6 months at a shot. Am looking around at contract work in Melbourne, but it’s not the easiest thing to get in the current clime with all the economic meltown, erm, melting down. Will persevere and get something in the end, or end up a dual British/Australian citizen and get the six month handcuffs off. Either way, I’m quietly optimistic.

What kind of stuff am I going to sling up on here? Well…

  • Tech stuff — any and every
  • Linux bits, pieces, fixes n’ the like..  — oh yes… ya gotta love the linux
  • Gaming shenanigans — ’nuff said
  • Pic-a-chuz — and any interesting/funny type junk I come across
  • Pipe schmokin’  amputee pr0n — and lots of it

So the same as before then? Er, that’s a yes. If I really wanted to write big-ass articles about turnips or whatnot, I’m prolly better of submitting them to Turnip Monthly than shoving them here.

More digital scrap-pad than anything else, hopefully we’ll end up with some interesting/amusing and (possibly) useful scraps of knowledge chipped from the block of the interweb and/or stolen from YouTube comments.

Let the games commence!