Pairing a PS3 Controller with Ubuntu & RetroArch Wirelessly…Not RetroPie Rubbish

While playing around with RetroArch on Ubuntu I have discovered a few things.  Controllers can be a bit finicky to configure.  N64 / GameCube controllers in particular don’t seem to work particularly well in my environment.  A PS2 controller has worked fine albeit with an adapter.  I recently picked up a PS3 controller and cheap Bluetooth adapter (CSR based chip-set ~4 dollars) to replace all the others.  The hurdle was getting it to work wireless over Bluetooth as wired connectivity was simply plug and play.  Use the following to pair a PS3 controller to a stock Ubuntu 16.04+ system without any additional software:

Performed on Ubuntu 18.04 & 19.04

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apt-get install bluez
systemctl enable bluetooth
systemctl start bluetooth
systemctl status bluetooth
bluetoothctl
agent on
default-agent
power on
discoverable on
pairable on
scan on

After executing the preceding commands, i press the “PS3” button (logo’ed button) on the controller and the console prompted me to authorize it.  Simply type “yes” and hit enter, your controller should now be paired.

Note: I originally tried this method with sixaxis / sixad / sixpair etc.  These tools did not work under any conditions, perhaps they are deprecated, I am not certain.

Another note: If you experience difficulties during the pairing process, type “trust ” to authorize the controller with your bluetooth stack.

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Lima

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Lima is the visual nautical indicator for "stop instantly."

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