[Tfug] Wireless Mice (and some wired mice) and xorg.conf

Ken Nelan, s.f.o. kjnelan at msn.com
Wed Jun 4 23:26:19 MST 2008

(I hope it's okay to send stuff like this.  Please let me know if it is not correct form.  It is also a bcc to mulitple forums.  Thank you.)

I am recently a new convert to Linux though I have been using it for years off and on; not really serious, but at the same time eager to move into the free os world.

More than anything else however, I have loved the challenge of getting things to work through time and patience and ceiling climbing (its a new sport, I promise).

Recently after installing Ubuntu 8.04 on my desktop, laptop and ceiling (at least claw marks if not the cd's from the botched writes), I came across a problem that had plagued me since my first days with linux: a wireless mouse that doesn't work well.

Specifically, the wheel scroll thingy and the back and forward button thingys never seemed to work at the same time and the scroll would always go to heck in a hand basket.

I even found a bug report at: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gtk+2.0/+bug/124440 describing the same problem with similar mice.

I found the same problem with a standard wired mouse as well, but the answer bugged the heck out of me, but I think I may have found a solution.  One that a great many people seemed to have over looked.  It's the number of actual buttons on a mouse.  Today's mice have more than 3 and 5 buttons.  They more often than not have 7,9 or more buttons.

Putting the correct number of buttons in the xorg.conf seems to resolve all issues with scroll lines, back and forward clicks and so forth.  ( at least it did for me and only after weeks of frustrating trial and error.)

I used the following xorg.conf modification on all of these mice: Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 5000, GE Optical Mouse WK2803 (usb mosue), Dynatech Wireless Mouse, No name off the shelf mouse.  With the exception of the Microsoft mouse, all had 7 buttons (Right, Left, Back, Forward, scroll up, scroll down, press scroll button in = 7).  The Microsoft mouse had 9 buttons (Right, Left, Back, Forward, scroll up, scroll down, press scroll
button, move scroll button left, move scroll button right, = 9)

(my xorg.conf now looks like this)(mines located at /etc/X11/):

Section "InputDevice"

        Identifier      "Configured Mouse"

        Driver          "mouse"

        Option          "CorePointer"

        Option          "Device"                "/dev/input/mice"

        Option          "Protocol"              "ExplorerPS/2"

        Option "Buttons" "7" <-- for my Microsoft mouse, I changed this to 9 and everything worked properly.

        Option          "ZAxisMapping"          "4 5"

        Option          "ButtonMapping"         "1 2 3"

        Option          "Emulate3Buttons"       "false"


The side to side actions and the depression on the scroll wheel may not work correctly unless they are properly mapped, but I don't know many people who use those anyway.  (I can learn not to use them for now).

I hope this helps anyone out there who may have had or is currently having a similar problem with no scroll or no back or forward (side buttons) clicking on their mice.

Peace to All,

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