The “hid-sony” driver has been available on Linux for a while. According to Phoronix, Sony has released a new “hid-playstation” driver today to include support for DualSense controllers, as well as other PlayStation hardware.
Linux users can now use the DualSense controller in USB and Bluetooth modes. The driver supports the controller’s LEDs, motion sensors, touchpad, battery, lightbar, and rumble. Unfortunately it doesn’t include support for the Adaptive Triggers and Haptic features; the data for these functions is too large and complex. Linux users are hoping that these functions could be implemented in the future, even if it is only in a basic way.
The driver initially has 1,400 lines of code. Amongst this, the kernel aims to move some of the existing support for Sony hardware to the new driver. There will be unit test coverage as older hardware is moved across. The driver is currently being reviewed so isn’t available for general download. Those who want to try it out, though, can try out any of the 13 patches that currently exist.
The Linux support joins official Steam support, although this also has limited functionality; advanced functions like rumble, trackpad, and gyro are not yet supported. While not officially supported, the DualSense controller also works with PlayStation 3, Nintendo Switch, some laptops, and even Microsoft’s xCloud gaming service on mobiles. While the controller works on these platforms, none of the features specific to PlayStation 5 titles will work there.
Developers have been busy trying to use haptic features and the adaptive triggers in their latest titles. The triggers can be used to represent the tension when pulling the trigger of a gun like in HITMAN 3, or pulling the string of a bow in Kena: Bridge of Spirits. Games like Demon’s Souls use haptic feedback so players feel every blow as they hit enemies. If these features can be made to work on Linux, players will be able to transform their experience with many more titles.