Cyborg V.7 and R.A.T. 7 on linux

So about a year ago I bought some new kit since my old keyboard and mouse were pretty much in the crapper. I'd been searching online for some cool, yet functional, stuff and ended up buying these little gems:

Both look pretty cool and work like a charm, or at least if you're running windows, install the drivers and dick around a bit. Linux however is, as usual, another story since it's apparently very hard for hardware vendors to write a driver for Linux. Having said that, it's not as bad as it seems, both are in the basics just normal input devices so they're support but with some limitations.

Let's start with the keyboard, obviously the normal keys work, and so do the special audio specific keys. As a matter of fact, because the cool stuff (aka game mode) is handled within the keyboard, this works perfectly as well. And the best feature of all is the fact that game mode disables the "Windows key"!

So what doesn't work then? Well you have 12 additional macro keys (C1 to C12) on the sides of the keyboard. Since Cyborg decided it was fun to require a driver for this, you're pretty much screwed under Linux (tho I did find a solution for this...). Then there is the cute volume bar on the keyboard which unfortunately also requires a driver to actually control this so, again you're fucked under Linux. However for normal usage this keyboard really works just fine under Linux, unless you want the macro keys and the volume bar to work. But again more on this later.

And what about the R.A.T. you ask? Well that works like a charm except for the fact that the (shitload of) extra buttons aren't mapped by default. Which is actually easily resolved by telling Xorg to map them. There's a bunch of instruction floating around on the Internet but obviously I chose to do my own mapping. 

Just open "/etc/X11/xorg.conf" and add the following section and off you go:

Section "InputClass"
   Identifier "R.A.T."
   MatchProduct "Saitek Cyborg R.A.T.7 Mouse"
   MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
   Option "Buttons" "17"
   Option "ButtonMapping" "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 0 0 0 16 17"
   Option "AutoReleaseButtons" "8 13 14 15"
   Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5 10 11"

Concluding this is cool stuff and if you're considering buying it, do it! And if you're on Linux and you can live without the specials (for now), it's also definitely worth it.

More to come!

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