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You can connect the Nintendo Switch Pro controller to an ubuntu desktop in 2 ways, bluetooth or wired.

Out of the box, the wired connection staight up not works, it is detected but no inputs are registered. The bluetooth version is functional using a generic gamepad driver, but it does not support things like rumble or motion control and it does not allow for the controller to turn itself off after disuse.

It does work flawlessly once you launch Steam however, wich can handle all the features of the pro controller. But it seems like a bit overkill having to launch steam just to be able to use it properly.

Is there a standalone driver for the Pro Controller that does not require me to launch Steam?

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I have! Sorry no one has answered the question sooner. First, install dkms-hid-nintendo:

git clone https://github.com/nicman23/dkms-hid-nintendo<code>
cd dkms-hid-nintendo
sudo dkms build nintendo -v 3.1
sudo dkms install nintendo -v 3.1

This installs a Nintendo HID kernal module onto your installation of Ubuntu or other compatible distro.

Now, install joycond. This will behave as a driver to "sync" your Nintendo Switch controller. (Before you install it, make sure you're no longer in the dkms-hid-nintendo directory)

git clone https://github.com/DanielOgorchock/joycond
cmake . 
sudo make install
sudo systemctl enable --now joycond

Now, you're done. If for any reason joycond failed to build, make sure libevdev-dev is present on your installation. If not, do the following command sudo apt install libevdev-dev.

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  • This worked for me! I installed version 3.2 of dkms-hid-nintendo instead.
    – dusan
    Mar 14 at 16:18

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