The PlayStation 5 DualSense Controller has received an all-new “hid-playstation” Linux kernel driver that will aid the way for DualSense to be supported on Linux. These drivers were silently released on patchwork kernel, and it appears they are in the testing stage, accessible for users to download.
The list of patches released on the website does not state the commonly used terms; instead, it mentions a bulk of features in a general term that includes support for battery, touchpad, lightbar, microphone mute, accelerometer, gyroscope, and many others. DualSense‘s input on Linux will be either through USB or Bluetooth.
The patch notes state that the Linux kernel already has “hid-sony” drivers enabling most devices’ support. These newly rolled “hid-playstation” drivers will see various features rolled out from the original for accessibility. This also has its consequences since moving parts from the existing drivers ultimately has basic support. In the patch notes, Sony mentions that new features like “Adaptive Triggers and the VCM Based Haptics” aren’t supported yet. These two features are also one of the most important aspects of DualSense, and Sony states that adding support for these two will require “a large amount of data and complex data structures.”
“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.”
“Not yet supported are new unique features introduced by the DualSense such as Adaptive Triggers and the VCM based Haptics. These features require a large amount of data and complex data structures. It is not clear how to expose these. The current Evdev and FF frameworks are too limiting. We hope to have a dialog on how to expose these over time in a generic way.”
Looking at all the technical terms above, there are few takeaways. Although this does sound neat that you will now be able to Use DualSense on Linux, but so far, all features listed are inherited from DualShock 4. This situation is also similar to Windows, where somewhat support for DualSense is available; however, the “Xinput” isn’t fully utilized. As a result, features like Haptic Feedback and Adaptive triggers aren’t supported properly.