SteelSeries Arctis 5 and 7 now supported by Ubuntu!

Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic), Linux Mint 19 and newer releases now officially support the SteelSeries Arctis 5 and 7.

On bionic, the pulseaudio package should at least be updated to 11.1-1ubuntu7.2 to add support for it. Be sure to remove the deb I've created before updating, to prevent a conflict:

dpkg --remove pulseaudio-steelseries-arctis-5

Here is the Launchpad bug which caused the Arctis profiles to be added: #1758736

Please note that the newer 2019 model of the Arctis is not supported, but you can create the file /lib/udev/rules.d/91-pulseaudio-steelseries-arctis-5.rules with the following content to enable support:

ATTRS{idVendor}=="1038", ATTRS{idProduct}=="12aa", ENV{PULSE_PROFILE_SET}="steelseries-arctis-5-usb-audio.conf"

Wednesday, 6 March 2019, 23:06 Bert Hekman

Launch SSH improved keyboard navigation and natural sort

I've added some updates to Launch SSH and bumped the version to 0.1.2. The keyboard navigation has received a small update as the PAGE DOWN, PAGE UP, HOME and END keys are now functional. Also, when a history item is selected and RETURN is pressed, that session is now launched instead of whats in the input box.

Another small new feature is natural sorting in the history. For example if you were to have 20 webservers called web1, web2, all the way up to web20, it would previously sort like this: web1, web10, web11, .... From now on it will be sorted in a more natural way like this: web1, web2, ..., web9, web10, ..., web19, web20.

Finally, I've no longer created a deb installer for Ubuntu artful, but did created one for Ubuntu bionic, which is about to be released today! You can find the installers here:

Thursday, 26 April 2018, 01:03 Bert Hekman

Launch SSH 0.1 released

More than ten years after the final release for Geek Launcher, I've finally put some sort of a spiritual successor together called Launch SSH.

I mainly used Geek Launcher to launch SSH sessions, back in the day when I still used Windows XP a lot. It mostly just invoked PuTTy with the hostname of the machine I wanted to connect to. Quickly launching other types of applications was still useful back then, but has been totally unnecessary for the last few years since Windows 7 came with a useful start menu which could quickly filter through and launch applications.

MacOS has similar functionality with spotlight and Gnome, Cinnamon and KDE (and other desktop environments) on linux also have their own ways of launching applications in a similar fashion.

However, launching ssh sessions was still not as easy as it was using my Geek Launcher and Launch SSH is trying to fix that.

Launch SSH main window

The idea is that you install this package and add a global hotkey in the desktop environment to launch the application. After that you get a window with an input box and a list box which will fill up with hostnames you've connected to recently.

After you've connected to a few machines, the history should fill up. And that's where the efficiency should come from. Because you can navigate quickly through the list using the arrow keys and launch a session using the RETURN key and you can also quickly find the session you want using autocomplete (bound to the TAB key.) Removing items from the history is also easy and can be done using the DELETE key.

This should make starting new SSH session a breeze. Go try it out and tell me what you think. You can find it on my github or download it here:

Thursday, 5 April 2018, 00:52 Bert Hekman

Improve PulseAudio Arctis 5 support

After I got the chat and game output to work on my SteelSeries Arctis 5 on Ubuntu, I tried sending a patch to the PulseAudio maintainers to include it in the distribution by default.

PulseAudio maintainer Tanu Kaskinen pointed out to me that I had to use two separate (custom) output paths. Fixing this caused the outputs to be selected more easily in sound configuration dashboards. For example in the gnome sound configuration screen:

Gnome sound settings with Artcis 5 game output selected
The names steelseries-arctis-5-output-* aren't pretty, but to change that, pulseaudio would need to be recompiled.

I played around with the profile configuration and configured which elements belong to which output. The game output is linked to the PCM element and the chat output is linked to the Com Speaker element. After configuring this correctly I noticed that the chat output volume slider now goes a lot louder than before and they don't interfere with each other.

Some welcome improvements! I've immediately released an updated version of my distributed version:

Download the updated version for debian, ubuntu and linux mint:

Tuesday, 13 February 2018, 20:29 Bert Hekman

SteelSeries Arctis 5 on Ubuntu

A while ago, I bought a new gaming headset, the SteelSeries Arctis 5. One of the main reasons I got is, was the "ChatMix Dial", a physical knob which can mix two audio outputs. Turning it to the left gives you more game sound, turning it to the right gives you more voice chat sound.

Steelseries Acrtis 5 with ChatMix dial

This works fine on Windows. It recogizes the two audio outputs and you can mix between them. On Ubuntu however, it doesn't. The only output it enables is the voice chat output and the microphone work. The game output stays hidden.

A simple solution

I took some time trying to figure out how to fix this and found out that ALSA recognizes the game output, but pulseaudio does not.

Yesterday I found an article about the Arctis 7 headset on Ubuntu by Johan Heikkilä and decided to try out the solutions he'd come up with. His first solution was using this command:

pacmd load-module module-alsa-sink device=hw:1,1

I've had to change the device address to hw:2,1 for mine to work and this added an extra audio device in my sound settings screen that enabled the game audio output.

The main problem with this approach is that once you reboot or unplug and plug in the device, it no longer comes up and you need to enter the command again for it to show up again.

A better (more sophisticated) solution

The second solution Johan added involved adding a pulseaudio profile file, a udev rule and some configuration to go with it. After putting all these files in place, I needed to change the product id in the udev rule from 1260 to 1250 so it matches the Arctis 5 and enables the profile:

ATTRS{idVendor}=="1038", ATTRS{idProduct}=="1250", ENV{PULSE_PROFILE_SET}="steelseries-arctis-usb-audio.conf"

This did something! The game output was now enabled and the sound overall was a bit louder. However, the voice chat output and microphone input now were no longer working.

After that I figured out that the profile expects a mono output for the voice chat, but the Arctis 5 seems to have stereo. After changing that, everything worked.

The result

I've cleaned up the configuration and pushed it to a repository on github, along with a deb file for easy installation on Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, etc.

The repository can be found here:

Download the deb:

After installing, and reconnecting the headset, it should enable the game output by default. In apps like Discord, the voice chat output should also be available to be selected as output:

Discord Arctis 5 settings

Saturday, 6 January 2018, 16:24 Bert Hekman