Linux CLI tool to control per-key RGB lighting on MSI laptops.
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Robin Lange 5c68995fba Added support for GE75 1 year ago
msi_perkeyrgb Added support for GE75 1 year ago
utils README for utils/ 2 years ago
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99-msi-rgb.rules Fixed wrong permissions in udev rule 2 years ago
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README.md Added support for GE75 1 year ago
setup.py Version bump : 1.3 -> 1.4 1 year ago

README.md

msi-perkeyrgb

This progam allows to control the SteelSeries per-key RGB keyboard backlighting on MSI laptops such as the GE63VR. It will not work on models with region-based backlighting (such as GE62VR and others). For those you should use tools like MSIKLM.

This is an unofficial tool, I am not affiliated to MSI nor SteelSeries in any way.

Installation

If you are on Archlinux, use this AUR package : msi-perkeyrgb

For Ubuntu or others :

git clone https://github.com/Askannz/msi-perkeyrgb
cd msi-perkeyrgb/
sudo python3 setup.py install
sudo cp 99-msi-rgb.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/

After installation, you must reboot your computer (necessary for the udev rule to take effect, if you don't you will run into permission problems)

Command-line options

usage: msi-perkeyrgb [-h] [-v] [-c FILEPATH] [-d] [--id VENDOR_ID:PRODUCT_ID]
                     [--list-presets] [-p PRESET] [-m MODEL] [--list-models]
                     [-s HEXCOLOR]

Tool to control per-key RGB keyboard backlighting on MSI laptops.
https://github.com/Askannz/msi-perkeyrgb

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -v, --version         Prints version and exits.
  -c FILEPATH, --config FILEPATH
                        Loads the configuration file located at FILEPATH.
                        Refer to the README for syntax. If set to "-", the
                        configuration file is read from the standard input
                        (stdin) instead.
  -d, --disable         Disable RGB lighting.
  --id VENDOR_ID:PRODUCT_ID
                        This argument allows you to specify the vendor/product
                        id of your keyboard. You should not have to use this
                        unless opening the keyboard fails with the default
                        value. IDs are in hexadecimal format (example :
                        1038:1122)
  --list-presets        List available presets for the given laptop model.
  -p PRESET, --preset PRESET
                        Use vendor preset (see --list-presets).
  -m MODEL, --model MODEL
                        Set laptop model (see --list-models). If not
                        specified, will use GE63 as default.
  --list-models         List available laptop models.
  -s HEXCOLOR, --steady HEXCOLOR
                        Set all of the keyboard to a steady html color. ex.
                        00ff00 for green

Features

For per-key configuration, only "Steady" mode (fixed color for each key) is available for now, as I have not figured out the rest of the USB protocol yet. I will add more features later if enough people are interested.

Presets are available for supported models, which emulate vendor-provided SteelSeries configurations.

Compatibility

This tool should probably work on any recent MSI laptop with a per-key RGB keyboard. It has been succesfully tested with the following models :

Model
GE63
GE73
GE75
GS63
GT63
GS65
GS75
GL63

Please let me know if it works for your particular model, so that I can update this list.

Requirements

  • Python 3.4+
  • setuptools
    • Archlinux : # pacman -S python-setuptools
    • Ubuntu : # apt install python3-setuptools
  • libhidapi 0.8+
    • Archlinux : # pacman -S hidapi
    • Ubuntu : # apt install libhidapi-hidraw0

Permissions

IMPORTANT : you need to have read/write access to the HID interface of your keyboard. The included udev rule should take care of that, but here are some instructions just in case :

The HID interface is shown as /dev/hidraw* where * can be 0, 1, 2... (there can be more than one if you have a USB mouse or keyboard plugged in). Find the right one (try them all if necessary) and give yourself permissions with # chmod 666 /dev/hidraw*.

Usage

msi-perkeyrgb --model <MSI model> -p <preset>

(see --list-presets for available options)

or

msi-perkeyrgb --model <MSI model> -c <path to your configuration file>

The configuration file can take any extension, but each line must have the following syntax :

<keycodes> <mode> <mode options>
  • <keycodes> is a comma-separated list of decimal keycodes identifying the keys to apply the desired parameters to.

    • You can find the keycode of a key using the xev utility (part of xorg-xev in Archlinux, x11-utils in Ubuntu) : launch xev from the terminal, press the desired key and look for "keycode" in the KeyPress event.
    • You can specify a range of keycodes, example : 15-23
    • There are a few built-in aliases you can use in lieu of keycodes :
      • all : the whole keyboard
      • f_row: F1-F12 row
      • arrows : directional arrows
      • numrow : numerical row (above letters), including symbols
      • numpad : numerical pad, including symbols, numlock, Enter
      • characters : letters+characters except numrow
    • The Function key (Fn) does not have a keycode, so it is identified by the special alias fn.
    • You can mix keycodes, keycode ranges and aliases. Example : 45,arrows,79-82,fn,18
  • <mode> : RGB mode for the selected keys. For now only the steady mode (fixed color) is available.

  • <mode options> : for steady mode, the desired color in HTML notation. Example : 00ff00 (green)

If the same key is configured differently by multiple lines, the lowest line takes priority.

Lines prefixed with # are ignored.

Examples

All keys white except yellow arrows and orange "Fn" key.

all steady ffffff
arrows steady ffff00
fn steady ffc800

Only WASD keys (for US layout) lit up in red.

25,38,39,40 steady ff0000

How does it work ?

The SteelSeries keyboard is connected to the MSI laptop by two independent interfaces :

  • A PS/2 interface to send keypresses
  • a USB HID-compliant interface to receive RGB commands

On my laptop (GE63VR), the USB interface has the vendor/product ID 0x1038:0x1122. It should be the same for other models, but if it is not, you can specify it yourself with the --id option (see above).

I used Wireshark to capture the USB traffic between the SteelSeries Engine on Windows and the keyboard. Then it was a matter of figuring out the protocol used. Due to a lack of time, I have only been able to reverse-engineer the "Steady" mode for each key. Feel free to improve on this work, I will review pull requests.

The HID communication code was inspired by other tools designed for previous generations of MSI laptops, such as MSIKLM.