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Linux driver for the Xbox One wireless dongle
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medusalix Add FUNDING.yml
Latest commit b6b635a Jan 24, 2020

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xow is a Linux user mode driver for the Xbox One wireless dongle. It communicates with the dongle via libusb and provides joystick input through the uinput kernel module. The input mapping is based on existing kernel drivers like xpad.

NOTE: xow is still at a VERY EARLY stage of development. Do not be surprised if it does not work at all. In case of problems, please open an issue with all the relevant details (dongle version, controller version, logs, captures, etc.) and I will see what I can do.

Supported devices

xow supports both versions of the wireless dongle (slim and bulky one). The following Xbox One controllers are currently compatible with the driver:

Model number Year Additional information Status
1537 2013 Original controller Broken
1697 2015 Added audio jack Working
1698 2015 Elite controller Working
1708 2016 Bluetooth functionality Working
???? 2019 Elite controller 2 Untested

Planned features

Make controller's LEDs and power settings accessible

Ideally, other applications should be able to query/set these things.

Automatic channel selection

The Windows driver goes through all channels and reads MT_CH_IDLE and MT_CH_BUSY to select the best one. I have not figured out what these values are and how they are used to determine the least noisy channel.

Any help/suggestions regarding the planned features is much appreciated.


Feel free to create prebuilt releases of xow for any package repository you like. Ideally, I would like to provide binaries for every major Linux distribution.


Clone the repository (necessary for version tagging to work):

git clone

Make sure that libusb is installed on your machine. You can build xow using the following command:


NOTE: Please use BUILD=DEBUG when asked for your debug logs.

Option 1 (recommended): Install xow as a systemd service (starts xow at boot time):

sudo make install
sudo systemctl enable xow
sudo systemctl start xow

Option 2: Run xow manually:

sudo ./xow

Running xow without make install is not recommended (except for debugging) as it requires root privileges to operate.


  • Buttons/triggers/sticks are mapped incorrectly
    • Try the options listed on this page to remap your inputs.
  • Input from the sticks is jumping around
    • Try the options listed on this page to set your deadzones.
  • Controller does not connect to the dongle

NOTE: Please refrain from opening issues concerning input remapping, deadzones or game compatibility, as these topics are outside the scope of this project.

How it works

The dongle's wireless chip (MT76xx) handles the WLAN connection with individual controllers. The packet format follows Microsoft's undisclosed GIP (Game Input Protocol) specification. Most of the reverse engineering was done by capturing the communication between the dongle and a Windows PC using Wireshark. As no datasheets for this chip are publicly available, I have used datasheets of similar wireless radios for assistance. Special thanks to the authors of Linux' mt76 kernel driver. It would have been impossible for me to create this driver without mt76's source code. If anyone has a greater understanding of the GIP or the weird quirks I had to add to make the driver work (like initGain), please contact me.


xow is released under the GNU General Public License, Version 2.

Copyright (C) 2019 Medusalix

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

The included firmware.bin file, extracted from the Windows drivers, is provided under a special proprietary license.

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