Logitech G13

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The Logitech G13 is a 25-key "advanced gameboard" from Logitech's Gaming series, with the intention of replacing the left half of your keyboard whilst gaming. It uses rubber dome keyswitches for the main 22-keys, mouse-like buttons for the two buttons around the joystick, a joystick (which can be pressed in), four Mode buttons, four option buttons, a menu button, and a backlight toggle. (Official Site)

There are a couple options for drivers, but only one that appears to work well today:

  • Running the official Logitech Gaming Software under Wine. Despite working fine, the software has a Garbage rating on WineHQ, as it can't actually communicate with USB devices. (However, the reports available are quite old, and you may have better luck)
  • g15daemon, despite it's backend (libg15) claiming to support the G13, does not actually support the G13.
  • linux-g13-driver, which can compile if you edit the Makefile (see issue #16), and may work for you.
  • g13 g13-gitAUR is a user-space driver, which seems to work the best out of these.

g13

Installation

Install g13-gitAUR from the Arch User Repository.

This will install the g13d daemon, the pbm2lpbm bitmap converter and a systemd service that runs g13d as user/group "g13". It will also set up rules for udev to identify your G13 device, but the automatic starting and stopping of the service by connecting or unplugging is disabled by default.

Note: To enable the systemd service and have g13d start and stop automatically upon hotplug you will need to uncomment the two bottom lines in /usr/lib/udev/rules.d/91-g13.rules
Note: You will also need to uncomment the uinput line in /usr/lib/udev/rules.d/91-g13.rules, which will set owner and permissions for /dev/uinput on boot, followed by a reboot.

Running

Note: The binary is named g13d, there is already a binary named g13 within gnupg.

After following the steps above, when you reboot and launch g13d (either manually or automatically through systemd), you should receive an image with a "linux inside" logo, "G13", and the GNU logo.

Running manually prints errors on stderr but if you have enabled the service you can take a look at:

$ systemctl status g13

If you receive the error /dev/uinput doesn't grant write permissions, or if your bound keys do not generate any keypresses, running the command below should fix it temporarily, but will revert once you reboot.

# chmod a+rw /dev/uinput
Note: The permanent solution is to uncomment the appropriate line in /usr/lib/udev/rules.d/91-g13.rules, which will set owner and permissions for /dev/uinput on boot.

Configuring

Note: When g13d is run as a systemd service it uses a fifo at /run/g13d/g13-0 instead of the default /tmp/g13-0

g13d is configured in one of two ways, either by writing commands to /run/g13d/g13-0, or preferably by specifying keybindings and commands in a configuration file which is read at launch.

When running g13d manually you can specify a configuration file using the --config parameter, and when running as a service the file /etc/g13/default.bind will be used.

Note: In most cases, specifying your default keybindings in /etc/g13/default.bind is the easiest option. However, please read above about editing /usr/lib/udev/rules.d/91-g13.rules and uncommenting both lines that start and stop the systemd service upon hotplug. You may need to create the /etc/g13 directory if it was not created during initial install.
Tip: An example default.bind file can be found here [1].


Manual commands can also be evoked one at a time by manually writing to /run/g13d/g13-0:

For example, to set the display a purple colour:

$ echo "rgb 177 13 201" > /run/g13d/g13-0

g13 can also handle multiple commands at once:

$ echo -e "rgb 177 13 201\nbind G4 KEY_W" > /run/g13d/g13-0
Tip: g13 can handle multiple commands at once, and will ignore lines starting with #. You can use this to make files full of commands and run cat file > /run/g13d/g13-0 when you're ready to play.

Commands

  • rgb <rrr> <ggg> <bbb>, Set the backlight to an rgb colour, values are expressed in decimal from 0 to 255.

For example, to set the display green:

rgb 0 255 0
  • bind <g13key> <actualkey>, Binds a G13 key. All keys are bound to a by default.

For example, to setup WASD movement:

bind G4 KEY_W
bind G10 KEY_A
bind G11 KEY_S
bind G12 KEY_D

See below for how to configure this.

  • mod <n>, Sets the backlight status of M1, M2, M3, and MR.

<n> is a bitmask. To find the desired state compute the sum of 1 (M1), 2 (M2), 4 (M3) and 8 (MR). For example, to set M1, M3, and MR on, and turn M2 off (1+4+8=13):

mod 13

Keys

Keys to map to (should be self explanatory)
KEY_0 KEY_1 KEY_2 KEY_3 KEY_4 KEY_5 KEY_6 KEY_7 KEY_8 KEY_9 KEY_A KEY_APOSTROPHE KEY_B KEY_BACKSLASH KEY_BACKSPACE KEY_C KEY_CAPSLOCK KEY_COMMA KEY_D KEY_DOT KEY_DOWN KEY_E KEY_ENTER KEY_EQUAL KEY_ESC KEY_F KEY_F1 KEY_F10 KEY_F2 KEY_F3 KEY_F4 KEY_F5 KEY_F6 KEY_F7 KEY_F8 KEY_F9 KEY_G KEY_GRAVE KEY_H KEY_I KEY_J KEY_K KEY_KP0 KEY_KP1 KEY_KP2 KEY_KP3 KEY_KP4 KEY_KP5 KEY_KP6 KEY_KP7 KEY_KP8 KEY_KP9 KEY_KPASTERISK KEY_KPDOT KEY_KPMINUS KEY_KPPLUS KEY_L KEY_LEFT KEY_LEFTALT KEY_LEFTBRACE KEY_LEFTCTRL KEY_LEFTSHIFT KEY_M KEY_MINUS KEY_N KEY_NUMLOCK KEY_O KEY_P KEY_Q KEY_R KEY_RIGHT KEY_RIGHTBRACE KEY_RIGHTSHIFT KEY_S KEY_SCROLLLOCK KEY_SEMICOLON KEY_SLASH KEY_SPACE KEY_T KEY_TAB KEY_U KEY_UP KEY_V KEY_W KEY_X KEY_Y KEY_Z
Keys to map
BD DOWN G1 G10 G11 G12 G13 G14 G15 G16 G17 G18 G19 G2 G20 G21 G22 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 L1 L2 L3 L4 LEFT LIGHT LIGHT_STATE M1 M2 M3 MR TOP STICK_LEFT STICK_RIGHT STICK_UP STICK_DOWN

Since that can be less than explanatory, here's a diagram showing where the keys physically are on the device:

Keypad:
      ______________
     |  160x43 LCD  |
     |              |
      ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
     BD L1 L2 L3 L4 LIGHT_STATE
        M1 M2 M3 MR
G1  G2  G3  G4  G5  G6  G7 
G8  G9  G10 G11 G12 G13 G14
   G15  G16 G17 G18  G19
       G10  G21  G22

Joystick:
 L            STICK_UP
 E  STICK_LEFT  TOP   STICK_RIGHT
 F           STICK_DOWN
 T
               DOWN
Tip: As a jumping off point, you can use default.bind, which has the same bindings as the default profile when using the official software, along with a purple backlight.