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A Python module that encapsulates access to a Griffin PowerMate USB knob.


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This module encapsulates access to the Griffin USB PowerMate "knob" device 1. The PowerMate is an "assignable controller" in the shape of a knob. The knob can be rotated, pressed and also features a LED at its base that can be used to indicate events to the operator.

This module provides functions to read knob events (rotate/press) and to set the LED brightness and pulse speed (when in "pulse"-mode).

The module interfaces with the device through the powermate Linux kernel driver and will therefore only work on Linux systems.

Both Python 2.7 and Python 3.x are supported.

Getting started

  1. Install using pip:
    $ pip install .
  2. Ensure "powermate" kernel module is loaded in your system. It ships with most modern Linux distros and should insmod automatically when you plug in the PowerMate.
    $ lsmod | grep powermate
  3. Ensure your user can read/write the powermate input device. On Ubuntu, this means adding yourself to the "input" usergroup.
  4. Testrun the example script.
    $ python examples/

This will run a small example program that lets you control the LED behaviour by pressing and/or rotating the knob. The example will use the first Powermate knob it finds; if you have multiple, you may optionally specify the device path to the example, like so:

$ python examples/ /dev/input/by-id/usb-Griffin_Technology_Inc._Griffin_PowerMate-event-if00

(Your device path may differ)


See the documentation in pypowermate/ for details on how to use the module from your own code.


A small number of semi-automated tests can be found in the tests/ subdir. They require a Knob-device plugged in and some interaction to run.

$ python tests/

The tests will use the first found Powermate, should there be several connected at the same time.


This module is licensed under GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL v3). See LICENSE.txt for details.


A Python module that encapsulates access to a Griffin PowerMate USB knob.







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