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A Sony DualShock 4 userspace driver for Linux

Project description

ds4drv is a Sony DualShock 4 userspace driver for Linux.


  • Option to emulate the Xbox 360 controller for compatibility with Steam games

  • Setting the LED color

  • Reminding you about low battery by flashing the LED

  • Using the trackpad as a mouse

  • Custom mappings, map buttons and sticks to whatever mouse, key or joystick action you want

  • Settings profiles that can be cycled through with a button binding



  • Python 2.7 or 3.3+ (for Debian/Ubuntu you need to install the python2.7-dev or python3.3-dev package)

  • python-setuptools

  • hcitool (usually available in the bluez-utils or equivalent package)

These packages will normally be installed automatically by the setup script, but you may want to use your distro’s packages if available:

Stable release

Installing the latest release is simple by using pip:

$ sudo pip install ds4drv

Development version

If you want to try out latest development code check out the source from Github and install it with:

$ git clone
$ cd ds4drv
$ sudo python install


ds4drv has two different modes to find DS4 devices, decide which one to use depending on your use case.

Raw bluetooth mode

Supported protocols: Bluetooth

Unless your system is using BlueZ 5.14 (which was released recently) or higher it is not possible to pair with the DS4. Therefore this workaround exists, which connects directly to the DS4 when it has been started in pairing mode (by holding Share + the PS button until the LED starts blinking rapidly).

This is the default mode when running without any options:

$ ds4drv

Hidraw mode

Supported protocols: Bluetooth and USB

This mode uses the Linux kernel feature hidraw to talk to already existing devices on the system.

$ ds4drv --hidraw

To use the DS4 via bluetooth in this mode you must pair it first. This requires BlueZ 5.14+ as there was a bug preventing pairing in earlier verions. How you actually pair the DS4 with your computer depends on how your system is setup, suggested googling: <distro name> bluetooth pairing

To use the DS4 via USB in this mode, simply connect your DS4 to your computer via a micro USB cable.

Note: Unfortunately due to a kernel bug it is currently not possible to use any LED functionality when using bluetooth devices in this mode.


If you want to use ds4drv as a normal user, you need to make sure ds4drv has permissions to use certain features on your system.

ds4drv uses the kernel module uinput to create input devices in user land and the module hidraw to communicate with DualShock 4 controllers (when using --hidraw), but this usually requires root permissions. You can change the permissions by copying the udev rules file to /etc/udev/rules.d/.

You may have to reload your udev rules after this with:

$ sudo udevadm control --reload-rules
$ sudo udevadm trigger


Configuration file

The preferred way of configuring ds4drv is via a config file. Take a look at ds4drv.conf for example usage.

ds4drv will look for the config file in the following paths:

  • ~/.config/ds4drv.conf

  • /etc/ds4drv.conf

… or you can specify your own location with --config.

Command line options

You can also configure using command line options, this will set the LED to a bright red:

$ ds4drv --led ff0000

See ds4drv --help for a list of all the options.

Multiple controllers

ds4drv does in theory support multiple controllers (I only have one controller myself, so this is untested). You can give each controller different options like this:

$ ds4drv --led ff0000 --next-controller --led 00ff00

This will set the LED color to red on the first controller connected and green on the second.

Known issues/limitations


The DualShock 4 report format is not open and had to be reverse engineered. These resources have been very helpful when creating ds4drv:

Dogecoin DCbQgDa4aEbm9QNm4ix6zYV9vMirUDQLNj

Release history

0.5.1 (2016-04-30)

  • Fixed compatibility with python-evdev 0.6.0 (#70)

  • Fixed spurious input from unconnected devices (#59)

0.5.0 (2014-03-07)

  • Added a --ignored-buttons option.

  • Added signal strength warnings to the log output.

  • Changed deadzone to 5 (down from 15).

  • Switched to event loop based report reading and timers.

  • Mouse movement should now be smoother since it is now based on a timer instead of relying on reports arriving at a constant rate.

  • Fixed issue where keys and buttons where not released on disconnect.

  • Fixed crash when hcitool returns non-ascii data.

0.4.3 (2014-02-21)

  • A few performance improvements.

  • Fixed prev-profile action.

0.4.2 (2014-02-15)

  • Fixed regressions in controller options handling causing issues with device creation and using joystick layouts in profiles.

0.4.1 (2014-02-14)

  • Daemon mode was accidentally left on by default in ds4drv.conf.

0.4.0 (2014-02-14)

  • Added --dump-reports option, patch by Lauri Niskanen.

  • Added support for binding buttons combos to special actions.

  • Fixed crash when multiple controllers where used.

  • Fixed python-evdev version requirement.

  • Fixed pyudev version requirement.

  • Fixed duplicate devices when connecting a USB cable to a already connected Bluetooth device in hidraw mode.

  • Improved mouse movement and configuration, patch by Lauri Niskanen.

  • Changed button combo behaviour slightly. Now triggers when the last button of a combo is released instead of waiting for the whole combo to be released.

0.3.0 (2014-02-08)

  • Added hidraw mode, patch by Lauri Niskanen.

  • Added config file support.

  • Added custom button mapping.

  • Added profiles.

  • Fixed crash when using Python <2.7.4

0.2.1 (2014-01-26)

  • Updated ds4drv.service to read a config file, patch by George Gibbs.

  • --led now accepts colors in the “#ffffff” format aswell.

  • Added status updates in the log, patch by Lauri Niskanen.

0.2.0 (2014-01-24)

  • Added systemd service file, patch by George Gibbs.

  • Added options: --emulate-xboxdrv and --emulate-xpad-wireless.

  • Fixed --emulate-xpad issues.

0.1.1 (2014-01-12)

  • Fixed incorrect dpad parsing.

  • Handle uinput errors instead of printing exception.

0.1.0 (2014-01-07)

  • First release.

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