To add Wiimote support on Ubuntu 8.10, start by running the command “sudo apt-get install wminput wmgui lswm” to install the CWiid library and associated software.
If you’re using a desktop machine, you probably don’t have Bluetooth capability. If you run the program “lswm” and see the message “No Bluetooth interface found” then you need to get a Bluetooth adapter, which is a dongle that uses a USB port to add Bluetooth abilities. I bought the IOGear GBU421 because it seems to be well-supported in Linux and only costs about $20. It’s also so tiny that it’s cute. It looks like this:
I told you it was cute. Now put your Wiimote in discoverable mode by pressing the 1+2 buttons at the same time and then within 15-20 seconds, run “lswm” again and you’ll get a Bluetooth identifier back:
Put Wiimotes in discoverable mode now (press 1+2)…
Congrats, your Linux machine can see the Wiimote! Now run the “wmgui” program to get a very nice user interface that will show you the sensor readings on your Wiimote:
That’s really all there is to it. Once your Ubuntu machine can see the Wiimote, you can do all sorts of tricks with it. You could do head tracking, camera tracking, control MythTV with it, etc. Linux/Ubuntu 8.10 handles the IOGear GBU421 plus a Wiimote really well.
Update: I made a video of using a Wii mote with Ubuntu if you’d like to watch: