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I've seen some joysticks that only send updates when you move the controls, so you may want to try pushing buttons or moving the joystick.

You can also confirm that you have the correct device with jstest:

jstest /dev/input/js0

This will confirm that the hardware and the Linux driver for your joystick is working, and that you have the right device node. Some mice, keyboards and laptops present a joystick-style software interface, so your joystick may actually be /dev/input/js1 or a higher number. If multiple js files exist, try all of them.