Daniel 'MaTachi' Jonsson

How to Get Your Playstation 3 Dualshock 3 Sixaxis Controller to Work on Linux


To see if the controller works, install jstest-gtk (it’s in Ubuntu’s repository). It will list all connected game controllers and show which buttons are pressed and which not.

Install it with:

sudo apt-get install jstest-gtk


My Playstation 3 Dualshock 3 Sixaxis controller worked quite well, sometimes, without any drivers. But it was quite unreliable, and the L2 and R2 triggers wouldn’t get recognized in Euro Truck Simulator 2. A much better solution is to install and run xboxdrv to emulate it as a Xbox 360 controller when you want to play games.

Install xboxdrv:

sudo apt-get install xboxdrv

Start it with:

sudo xboxdrv --detach-kernel-driver

Press the Playstation button on the controller to get xboxdrv start receiving and processing the inputs from the controller. This will print a lot of text in the terminal. If you want to quit it, press Ctrl-c. When it’s running, open Jstest-gtk and see if the controller now shows up as a Xbox Gamepad instead, and if all buttons, triggers and joysticks work.

I connected my controller with a USB cable, so I can’t say if this will work through Bluetooth.

  • Tony

    For games that don’t support gamepads, how do I map the buttons to my keyboard? I’d like to play Mass Effect 2 via PlayOnLinux/Steam but the game does not support gamepads natively so I would like to assign keys. The “mapping” section of jstest program does not allow me to do this. It just lets me change what the mapping of the buttons on the gamepad are…

    how do I do this? Thanks

    • http://shibotto.altervista.org/ Shiba

      You can try AntiMicro.