Saturday, October 10, 2009

Using Logitech Unifying Receiver on Linux

I recently got a Logitech Performance Mouse MX as well as a Logitech K350 Keyboard. Both these devices use Logitech's new Unifying Receiver, which is a great concept and since the receiver is so small it's ideal for a laptop setup.

Unfortunately if you have two separate devices that both use the unifying receiver the devices need to be paired to a single receiver using software, and of course there's no Linux version of the software.

Once the pairing of the devices with the unifying receiver is complete, however, it doesn't rely on the software to work. What this means is if you're using separate devices with a unifying receiver on Linux you can first configure the devices on Mac or Windows, and then plug the single unifying receiver into Linux and it will work.

A Linux version of the software would be nice but if you have a Mac or Windows computer laying around this is a handy workaround.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hiya,So, with a logitech wireless keyboard and unifying receiver, if I plug into my linux box "as is" (vanilla from the box), the keyboard should work okay??? Yes? No?I am guessing that the keyboard (and mouse for that matter) communicates with the OS as a standard USB keyboard, and that the proprietary bit is with the signals from the keyboard to the unifying receiver...I use Mandriva, Suse, and PCLOS.Presumably, the unifying receiver software should work under WINE or a windows guest in Virtual Box or another virtual machine software. Have you tried this with wine???

Matthew Woodward said...

Yep, one device will work fine right out of the box. For a while I plugged two unifying receivers in, one for the keyboard and one for the mouse, and both devices worked without any issue. The only reason you need to go through the steps in this post is if you want to use one unifying receiver with two devices. Since I do have a Windows box lying around I didn't try it in wine--would be interesting to see if the Logitech software worked under wine.

Anonymous said...

Great! Thanks for the info.(I was hesitant to buy the wireless keyboard from TigerDirect in case it didn't work.)Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Tested with VirtualBox (nonOSE) - it works (but you will need probably a second mouse).Now, my K350 keyboard doesn't generate some events... Searching a way to fix it

glabuzator said...

Awesome tip!I was getting afraid when I first plugged in my new keyboard...It's not woking in virtual box though... I guess my tiny XP install still has a purpose!

Matthew Woodward said...

Yep, luckily it's a set once and forget it thing. :-)VirtualBox unfortunately still kinda sucks with USB stuff, at least in my experience. I have one particular application where being able to use a webcam in an XP VM would be great but it just doesn't work, and I don't use VMs enough that I'm willing to pay for VMWare or another solution. I suppose I could try VMWare Player one of these days but not a burning need. Glad the tip helped.

mhenke said...

Nice tip. I lost my nano receiver (which must have already been paired with my mouse so it worked out of the box with linux) and bought a unifying receiver. Now it'll work on my xubuntu laptop again.

rick777 said...

Thanks for advice Matt.However, silly question, ...but after it's paired will the unifying receiver and Keyboard/Mouse still "remeber" its connections even after the PC is compltely powered-off / Unplugged from any power sources, ...and then of course, power-on PC again, and it should still work right ?Also, how about "post/biitup" interaction. Can you still get into BIOS, for example, hitting the "del" key,..., on wireless keyboard ???Thanks again.

rick777 said...

the above questions I mantioned regarding a LINUX only PC.(assumimg of course, it has been "paired" using Windoze first.:)

Hilary Albutt said...

if you want this to work with one reciver only using linux then you can download the code the logitech guy who wrote the original software, load into the kernel and reboot, sorted. However if your fear that any logitech product wont work out of the box, relax it does just have to use each receiver with each bit of kit. Biut then the whole point of getting the teeny tiny receiver for all your unified devices is a mooot point. Come on LOGITECH wake the hell up and support linux already.

rick777 said...

Hey thanks, that confirmed my fears. regarding one unified for both keyboard and mouse.I couldn't agree more, It's just a keyboard and mouse for gawd sakes. Don't they "want" to sell more of them ???  I will never understand this. If it works in Linux, then it'll work in anything else. I blame MICRO$OFT for all this stupidity though the most, and Logitech, and others are just cowards.:)

compileordie said...

Mouse? UNIX? Is your keyboard broken? Smite the GUI idolater and suffer not a mouse-user to live. Enough lulz though, but if Logitech wrote Mac software, well, I'm pretty sure a command line front-end for linux could take at least fifteen or even twenty more minutes for a Sri Lankan coder paid $2/hour to cook up, including paid coffee (chai? chai-coffee? I might be on to something!) breaks. That's fifty cents that the Logitech shareholders won't be getting in their dividends.

werkshy said...

Here's a little command-line program that puts the receiver in pairing mode. I just tried it and it works.https://groups.google.com/group/linux.kernel/msg/36c53d79832fc3f5?pli=1Paste the code to pair_tool.capt-get install build-essential [ or equivalent for your distro ]gcc -o pair_tool pair_tool.csudo ./pair_tool /dev/hidraw0 [mine was actually at /dev/hidraw3, I tried all the devices until one worked ]Turn the keyboard off and on again, pairing is complete.

Matthew Woodward said...

Very nice! Thanks for sharing.