Sorry for the delay in responding. But after various posts on the ubuntu site also, this is what I got. You have to configure it in ZSNES! HAHA!! I actually hade emailed the man responsible for originally creating the code s for controllers at logitec, and he let me know that just about every controller tody is already in the codes. I even had reloaded Mint fresh a couple of times. Then after some posts asking again, a simple response. You have to configure it from WITHIN ZSNES! Use your mouse, to navigate the menu at the top, and when you get the configure screen, when it says press for up down left right, a, b, x, y, buttons, just use the controller. Simple It only took me a week and a half, and two controllers to figure out that was all I had to do, no code, no terminal, no files, no tar.gz. Just tell ZSNES what buttons you want to use.
I hope this helps anyone else who is having the same problem. I feel a little silly because it was so simple in the end. But, I am playing my games now.
The older you get the more rules they are going to try and get you to follow. You just gotta keep on livin man! L-I-V-I-N!