Connecting a Wii Remote Plus controller with Debian 8 (jessie)

I bought myself a Nintendo Wii Remote Plus controller. Interesting for me are the acceleration data. Since it was not trivial to me, I will show in this post how I have connected a Wii Remote Plus controller with my notebook that runs Debian 8 Jessie.

Nintendo Wii Remote Plus

Connecting the controller via Bluetooth

We need Bluetooth to connect with our controller. Make sure that Bluetooth is enabled. The following is from BluetoothUser. Please run the command bluetoothctl.

[NEW] Controller XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX localhost [default]

The bluetoothctl starts a command prompt for Bluetooth devices and will list all devices. In this case just the controller of my notebook, not the Wii Remote Plus controller.

Scan for new devices

We will scan for new Bluetooth devices with the command scan on. We need to push the button 1 and 2 on the controller simultaneously after running the command scan on.

[bluetooth]# scan on
Discovery started
[NEW] Device YY:YY:YY:YY:YY:YY Nintendo RVL-CNT-01-TR

We should now see the controller as new device. The command devices should have the following output.

[bluetooth]# devices
Device YY:YY:YY:YY:YY:YY Nintendo RVL-CNT-01-TR

Trust the Bluetooth device

We need to trust the controller with the following command.

[bluetooth]# trust YY:YY:YY:YY:YY:YY
[CHG] Device YY:YY:YY:YY:YY:YY Trusted: yes
Changing YY:YY:YY:YY:YY:YY trust succeeded

Connect with the Bluetooth device

We need to push the button sync on the controller simultaneously before running the connect command.

[bluetooth]# connect YY:YY:YY:YY:YY:YY
Attempting to connect to YY:YY:YY:YY:YY:YY
[CHG] Device YY:YY:YY:YY:YY:YY Connected: yes
Connection successful

The controller is connected successfully if the first light-emitting diode on the device is enabled.

Receive data from the Wii Remote Plus controller

The commands of the following section are taken from Left Brain Tinkering: Wii Remote Plus and Linux. We will now receive data from the controller. The simple program xwiishow is pretty nice. The Debian package of xwiimote is a little bit outdated. You can also manually install a newer version of xwiimote. Make sure to run the following commands as root user.

List all connected devices

The following command will list all connected devices.

xwiishow list
Listing connected Wii Remote devices:
  Found device #1: /path_to_the_device
End of device list

Show the data of the device

The program xwiishow shows the data of the controller with very nice ASCII art.

xwiishow 1

The program can be closed with q.

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