DualSense Driver to be Included with Kernel 5.12

If you were waiting to get more extensive functionality out of your DualSense controller on Linux outside of Steam, without having to compile the kernel with the patches or resorting to Arch, I’m happy to report that kernel 5.12 will include baked-in support for Sony’s official driver. Installing the driver brings a number of benefits to your controller, including:

  • Battery info
  • Basic vibration support
  • Gyroscope support
  • LED customization
  • The ability to actually mute the mic via the button for it

Unfortunately haptic feedback and adaptive triggers still haven’t made it, but according to the driver maintainer, we may see this later on.

While many news outlets have already reported about the driver itself, they often didn’t tell you how to install it. Well, the good news is that you won’t have to worry about compiling the kernel yourself with the patches to get the driver ahead of time. You can now simply upgrade the kernel once it comes around, provided NVIDIA supports it with their graphics drivers if you’re using NVIDIA hardware.

If you’re on Ubuntu, Pop!_OS, Linux Mint, or some other Ubuntu-based distro, you can follow the guide from It’s FOSS on how to upgrade the kernel, once the first release candidate of kernel 5.12 shows up. Just be aware that upgrading the kernel on Ubuntu is often not recommended, and if you have an NVIDIA graphics card, be sure you’re on the absolute latest driver (460.39 at the time of writing this). Even then, 460.39 may not support kernel 5.12, so be careful.

If you’re on Arch? Well, in case you don’t have the driver installed via the AUR, you should easily be able to upgrade to the latest kernel through pacman.

In other news, kernel 5.12 will apparently have support for the Nintendo 64. Why support for this console from the 90s is being added, that’s anyone’s guess. But if you have the console and have a Flashcart for it, you can use Linux on it, with the measely 4 MB of RAM included.

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