HOW-TO:Set up PS3 BD Remote

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This HOW-TO explains how to set up the remote control for the Sony PlayStation 3 to use with XBMC for Linux. You'll need a Bluetooth dongle and of course the remote control. All these information can be found here at the forum.


1 Installation

1.1 BlueZ

Note: Newer versions of bluez have been released which appear to have this patch already. I didn't need to patch 4.63 to get BD working on ubuntu 10.04

Note: Kitlaan now has patches up to Bluez-4.69, and the patch is required for 4.64 - 4.69

The latest versions of the patch are available at:

sudo apt-get purge bluez
sudo apt-get install libdbus-1-dev libglib2.0-dev python-dbus python-gobject
cd ~
tar xvfz bluez-4.91.tar.gz
cd bluez-4.91
patch -p1 < ../bluez_ps3remote_4.91.diff
./configure && make
sudo checkinstall --fstrans=no --install=yes --pkgname=bluez --pkgversion "4.91-patched"

When starting bluetoothd, check /var/log/syslog to make sure the config files are read. If bluetoothd searches for them at /usr/etc, you'll have to create symlinks:

sudo ln -s /etc/bluetooth/input.conf /usr/etc/bluetooth/input.conf
sudo ln -s /etc/bluetooth/audio.conf /usr/etc/bluetooth/audio.conf
sudo ln -s /etc/bluetooth/serial.conf /usr/etc/bluetooth/serial.conf

Or, using kitlaan's PPA:

sudo apt-get purge bluez
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kitlaan/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install bluez

1.2 Kernel module

Check if the uinput module is running:

lsmod | grep uinput

If that's not the case:

sudo modprobe uinput
echo uinput >> /etc/modules

1.3 Pairing

Please note that the pairing script requires that the dbus-python and pygobject python modules are installed. They are normally installed on a default 9.04 Jaunty. (If you need them added, apt-get install python-dbus and python-gobject.)

cd ~
tar xvfz ps3pair.tar.gz
cd ~/ps3pair
sudo python

Now press START+Enter on your PS3 remote for at least 7 seconds, then it should detect the remote. Then run


to verify that the remote is paired (and connected). If list-devices is not installed into /usr/share, check the bluez source tree, it should be in there. Also, running

cat /proc/bus/input/devices | grep emot

should show the remote. If it does not show up, you may not have the uinput module loaded.

Then customize the file "/etc/bluetooth/input.conf" for button mappings and timeout values (Example here). At this point, the remote should connect (and auto-disconnect after a timeout, if configured). The d-pad is probably the best way to test it within xbmc. If you have a terminal active, pressing the number buttons should type the number.

Note: - The pairing scripts are not required by some distro's - just install Blueman and set up your BD remote as an input service and trust the device - this way you dont explicitly need to pair the device - it simply becomes a keyboard extension. The input.conf below will take care of key mapping.

1.4 Example input.conf

A more advanced bluetooth input.conf is probably lurking in the depths of this thread, however here's an example to get you started. The first thing you'll need to change in this is your BD Remote's hardware address (i.e. change 00:1E:3D:B6:12:7E to your remote's address)

# input.conf - kitlaan custom
# Configuration file for the input service

# This section contains options which are not specific to any
# particular interface

# Set idle timeout (in minutes) before the connection will
# be disconnect (defaults to 0 for no timeout)

# This section contains options that are specific to a device
# Set a custom idle timeout (in minutes) for this device

# This section is the PS3 Remote keymap.  It is loaded when bluez starts.
# Use 'uinput.h' from bluez sources or '/usr/include/linux/input.h' for
# a list of possible KEY_* values.
[PS3 Remote Map]
# When the 'OverlayBuiltin' option is TRUE (the default), the keymap uses
# the built-in keymap as a starting point.  When FALSE, an empty keymap is
# the starting point.
#OverlayBuiltin = TRUE
0x16 = KEY_E              # EJECT
0x64 = KEY_A              # AUDIO
0x65 = KEY_Z              # ANGLE
0x63 = KEY_T              # SUBTITLE
0x0f = KEY_DELETE         # CLEAR
0x28 = KEY_GRAVE          # TIMER
0x00 = KEY_1              # NUM-1
0x01 = KEY_2              # NUM-2
0x02 = KEY_3              # NUM-3
0x03 = KEY_4              # NUM-4
0x04 = KEY_5              # NUM-5
0x05 = KEY_6              # NUM-6
0x06 = KEY_7              # NUM-7
0x07 = KEY_8              # NUM-8
0x08 = KEY_9              # NUM-9
0x09 = KEY_0              # NUM-0
0x81 = KEY_F7             # RED
0x82 = KEY_F8             # GREEN
0x80 = KEY_F9             # BLUE
0x83 = KEY_F10            # YELLOW
0x70 = KEY_I              # DISPLAY
0x1a = KEY_S              # TOP MENU
0x40 = KEY_M              # POP UP/MENU
0x0e = KEY_ESC            # RETURN
0x5c = KEY_C              # TRIANGLE/OPTIONS
0x5f = KEY_TAB            # SQUARE/VIEW
0x5e = KEY_SPACE          # CROSS
0x54 = KEY_UP             # UP
0x56 = KEY_DOWN           # DOWN
0x57 = KEY_LEFT           # LEFT
0x55 = KEY_RIGHT          # RIGHT
0x0b = KEY_ENTER          # ENTER
0x5a = KEY_F1             # L1
0x58 = KEY_F2             # L2
0x51 = KEY_F3             # L3
0x5b = KEY_F4             # R1
0x59 = KEY_F5             # R2
0x52 = KEY_F6             # R3
0x43 = KEY_HOMEPAGE       # PS button
0x50 = KEY_INSERT         # SELECT
0x53 = KEY_HOME           # START
0x33 = KEY_R              # SCAN BACK
0x32 = KEY_PLAY           # PLAY
0x34 = KEY_F              # SCAN FORWARD
0x30 = KEY_PAGEUP         # PREVIOUS
0x38 = KEY_STOP           # STOP
0x31 = KEY_PAGEDOWN       # NEXT
0x60 = KEY_COMMA          # SLOW/STEP BACK
0x39 = KEY_PAUSE          # PAUSE
0x61 = KEY_DOT            # SLOW/STEP FORWARD
0xff = KEY_MAX

2 Troubleshooting

2.1 Pairing

After pairing, running
cat /proc/bus/input/devices | grep emot
doesn't list your device, and you've got uinput loaded
lsmod | grep uinput
  • Install blueman
    sudo apt-get install blueman
  • Open System->Preferences->Bluetooth Manager.
  • If your device is listed (it should be), right click it and select Input service.
  • Go to a terminal and try pushing some buttons on the remote, it should work.
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