I got a USB SNES-controller imitation from the Internet a while back for controlling a missile launcher, and recently decided to re-purpose it for controlling a GNU/Linux computer. After all VLC is great, but plugging in a keyboard is not so great!
The gamepad is apparently a USB joystick in disguise. From lsusb:
Bus 003 Device 004: ID 0079:0011 DragonRise Inc. Gamepad
The only packaged program for doing this in Debian was joy2key. It was too cryptic for me to figure out in <5 minutes, so I tossed it. Google turned up xjoypad, jkeys and jscal as suggestions, but QJoypad looked the most promising, and is as simple as a program should be.
To compile it, you need the QT development libraries, and an X library called libxtst-dev
The profile in the screenshot (called “VLC”) controls the mouse, pauses, adjusts volume, and toggles fullscreen. It works well enough for media and web browsing, as long as you don’t need to type anything!
- Can’t set a button to do Ctrl+<key>, only the key on its own.