Sign up ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

I'd appreciate some help with running a Griffin PowerMate USB volume controller on my new 64 bit 12.04 desktop - to control / mute the machine's master volume, & scroll through cbr files.

According to Google & SourceForge, something called Gizmo Daemon / Gizmod was the way to go until a while ago, but I've only found one site on it that's recent - and the method proposed is a bit too much of a leap for me at this point....

I am very new to Ubuntu so ideally I'd really appreciate some clear instructions - and a ready-to-rock package if there's one out there.

Cheers, Dave - an Aussie in Glasgow, Scotland.

share|improve this question
Thanks for that @mateo_salta - I did as suggested, though installation of the failed :( Here's what the end of the text in the installation window came out with : Setting up moc (1:2.5.0~alpha4+svn20120224-1ubuntu1) ... Processing triggers for libc-bin ... ldconfig deferred processing now taking place dpkg: error processing /home/david/hesus-powermate_1.2-0_all.deb (--install): parsing file '/var/lib/dpkg/' near line 11 package 'hesus-powermate': blank line in value of field 'Description' – David May 17 '12 at 22:34

5 Answers 5

For a very long time I had been struggling to get powermate working in Ubuntu, my favourite OS. It was frustrating and finally I got it going and I do want to share with you all how I did. My sincere thanks to all the people from the references. I needed something more definitive, there is none available. Therefore this endeavour.

This is how I got my volume control with Griffin Powermate USB device working in Ubuntu Saucy Salamander 13.10 amd64. Please bear with me and do the following.


  3. (for evrouter)


A. Make a file "/etc/udev/rules.d/10-local.rules" and put the following in the file

# sudo gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/10-local.rules

code line:

SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{product}=="Griffin PowerMate", KERNEL=="event?", NAME="input/powermate"

Save and close

B. Create group called "powermate" add yourself and other users to that group, you can give it a GID of 1001 or some like that. You can do so by editing the file /etc/group

# sudo gedit /etc/group

code line: powermate:x:1001:your-user-name

C. Now edit / make file "/etc/udev/rules.d/40-permissions.rules" and add the following

# sudo gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/40-permissions.rules

code lines:

ATTRS{product}=="Griffin PowerMate" GROUP="powermate", MODE="0666"

Save and close.

D. Download and install evrouter from: or use the repository at

E. Create /etc/evrouterrc (or $HOME/.evrouterrc, I prefer /etc/evrouterrc) with the following:

# sudo gedit /etc/evrouterrc

code lines:

Window ""
"Griffin PowerMate" "" any key/256 "XKey/XF86AudioMute"
"Griffin PowerMate" "" any rel/7/1 "XKey/XF86AudioRaiseVolume"
"Griffin PowerMate" "" any rel/7/-1 "XKey/XF86AudioLowerVolume"

F. Find out the powermate input event number (in mine it is event7), by running the following command.

# evrouter /dev/input/*

In the long output, you should see a line like the following

device  0: /dev/input/event7: Griffin PowerMate

G. Create /usr/local/bin/powermate with:

# sudo gedit /usr/local/bin/powermate

code lines:

evrouter -c /etc/evrouterrc /dev/input/event7

H. If you are a lazy guy like me and would like it to autorun at start up, you can do so by adding the script file to, /etc/rc.local or any such other.

# sudo gedit /etc/rc.local

code line (add before exit 0 line):


Save and close.

Try it and see. Best of luck. I love it now. Hopefully you folks can get it working it too.

share|improve this answer
Worked for me! The only missing command is sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/powermate – defrex Dec 13 '13 at 23:08

A simple way to get it working (tested on xubuntu 15.04):

  1. Install evrouter from here

  2. Create an event mapping file for evrouter with the contents:

    # /somepath/evrouterrc
    Window ""
    "Griffin PowerMate" "" any key/256 "XButton/2"  # click
    "Griffin PowerMate" "" any rel/7/1 "XButton/5"  # scroll >
    "Griffin PowerMate" "" any rel/7/-1 "XButton/4" # scroll <

    You may change the mapping to anythings else ex.: volume control events using: XKey/XF86AudioLowerVolume and XKey/XF86AudioRaiseVolume

    List of Supported mappings

  3. Once your PowerMate is connected simply run:

    sudo pkill evrouter & sleep .1 && sudo evrouter -c /somepath/evrouterrc $(find /dev/input -iname "*powerm*")

    The command:

    1. kills any previously started evrouter commands
    2. sleeps for a 100ms
    3. starts a new evrouter with the specified config file, and looks up the attached powermate device ( should be somewhere at /dev/input/by-id/usb-Griffin_Technology__Inc._Griffin_PowerMate-event-if00)

    Optionally you can put this in a script in your $PATH and then you could launch it using a single command

    If you put evrouterrc to /etc/evrouterrc you can skip the -c /somepath/evrouterrc part of the command

share|improve this answer

You can find an DEB-File on this forum:

It is currently only for older Ubuntu Version but there will be a new version.

share|improve this answer
Will the new version be on the forum, or a different location? – hexafraction Oct 3 '12 at 11:25

On my system, running Kubuntu 12.10, there is a device /dev/input/powermate that I can call up in the same /usr/local/bin/powermate that works correctly; I don't need to worry about the input number. This can be useful for when the input number changes.

share|improve this answer

I made my own program to interface with the Powermate. It requires pulseaudio (the default in Ubuntu), it changes the volume when the knob is turned and you can mute by pressing down the knob. The blue light changes to reflect the current volume.

You can find it here:

Install with:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stefansundin/powermate
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install powermate

If you have the device plugged in already, unplug it and then plug it back in! Then run powermate in a terminal. An autostart entry has been added so this should happen automatically on your next login.

Hold down the knob for one second to activate "movie mode". Operation is the same except the LED stays off.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.