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Sidewinder X4 Linux Support??

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have been mulling over getting a Sidewinder X4, seems like a nice unit for $42 shipped. But I have also been playing around with the Steam Linux Beta and the thought occurred to me that MS might not provide much in the way of Linux support. So I figured I'd ask what people that game on both are using.

The main features over the current piece or crap I am using would be back lit, volume control, media player controls. Any suggestions?

Anyone with a Sidewinder X4 that uses it with Linux as well, and how compromised are its features?

Thanks
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W10 Desktop
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel 5820k ASRock x99 Extreme 4 GTX-960 GTX-750ti 
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post #2 of 4
Backlighting should be controlled by the board, not OS so you don't need to worry about that. Media controls might work with generic drivers, but if they don't know can just download a linux equivalent program to autohotkey. Then you will be able to manual bind keys to whatever you want them to do (ie vol up/down...etc). You should be able to get everything to work, but it'll probably take a little more effort on your part.

I used to own the x4, but never liked the feel of the keys.
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Went ahead and got the X4. In Linux all the buttons work except the programmable buttons, so all the media buttons and even the calculator button. Back light is fine as well. I have not found a driver that uses the macro keys on Linux yet.

What I did not realize is the QWERTY part of the keyboard is down-sized compared to the generic one I have been using, it's like a netbook keyboard, maybe 90 - 95% normal sizing and distance between keys. This is going to take some getting used to, and switching back and forth between my full sized work keyboard and this one could be interesting.
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W10 Desktop
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Win 10 HTPC
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
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HD 7850 4 x 4G DDR4 128G Corsair SSD WD 1G  
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
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post #4 of 4
Please don't kill me for reviving this Zombie-Thread, but I thought, that my information could help some people. The Sidewinder X4 is working very well under Linux, including the Macro keys. There are several programs to make them work:

X4Daemon by EvilAndi:
http://geekparadise.de/x4daemon/ is a userspace program and will catch the USB protocol. For Arch Users, there is a ready-to-run AUR package: https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/x4daemon/. The original x4daemon can't handle LEDs and profile switching. However, I've written a patch to implement some extra profiles: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1543370&page=4&p=12843158#post12843158. If you're unfamiliar with applying patches and recompiling, just use the original version. EvilAndi surely will update the x4daemon to support profile switching and LED handling.

https://gitorious.org/microsoft-sidewinder-x4 is a kernel module driver by Joshua Cole and BoogeyCz. You will get a kernel module driver, which you can load at startup. However, for some reason, their driver doesn't take over the control of your Sidewinder X4, even if you autoload their module on startup. The hid-generic drivers take control over this device very fast. So, you need to unbind the Sidewinder X4 from hid-generic and bind it to their driver. Again, everything works, except profile switchting. However, you CAN switch profiles via the Linux command-line, by echoing the profile to the "actual_profile" Sysfs file. Simply do a "find /sys -name "*profile*"", to find out, where this file is.

Last but not least:
https://github.com/tolga9009/hid-sidewinder-x4 this is a WIP kernel module driver by me. I'm patching the hid-microsoft.c file, which is included in the Linux Kernel. I currently have all the extra keys working and even profile switching! However, the LEDs aren't working atm. When this is done and reviewed / optimized by the community, I'm gonna send a request to the Maintainer of the Linux HID drivers Jiri Slaby, to get my patch to the upstream Linux kernel. This means for you, that probably by Kernel 3.14 or 3.15, you will have Out-of-the-Box support for your Sidewinder X4 keyboard, without installing any programs. I'm currently working on generating F25 - F30 keys (input.h only defines F1-F24, but we need more extra keys), the LEDs and Sysfs drivers. But thanks to Joshua Cole's, BoogeyCz's and Stefan Achatz' (responsible for Roccat HID kernel modules) sources, this will be easy and solvable. I'll finish the kernel module until Christmas I think. I'm also trying to get my hands on a Sidewinder X6 to get it implemented, too. However, they're EoL, so it's very difficult to get one here in Germany.

Hopefully, this post will help some people to get the Sidewinder X4 working under Linux.
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