Basic Mouse Configuration

XFree86 treats mice and keyboards in basically the same way—you define their operation in an InputDevice section of the XF86Config file. A typical mouse configuration looks like this:

Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Mousel" Driver "mouse" Option "Device" "/dev/mouse" Option "Name" "Autodetection" Option "Protocol" "ps/2" EndSection

Note I use the word mouse to refer to any pointing device, be it a mouse, a trackball, a touch pad, or more exotic devices. All of them function identically as far as X is concerned.

The most critical options in this section are as follows:

Option "Device" "/dev/mouse" This option identifies the mouse device file. Frequently, /dev/mouse is a symbolic link to the true mouse device, such as /dev/psaux (for a PS/2 mouse), /dev/usb/mouseO (for a

USB mouse), or /dev/ttySO (for an RS-232 serial mouse). If this option is set incorrectly, X won't start at all or it will start but the mouse won't work.

Option "Protocol" "ps/2" This option sets the software protocol used by the mouse. Most PS/2 and USB mice sold today use the ps/2 protocol or variants of it, such as Microsoft's IntelliMouse extension (imps/2). Older RS-232 serial mice use protocols named after the manufacturers who originated them, such as logitech or microsoft. The protocol type auto often works; this keyword tells XFree86 to auto-detect the mouse type. A mouse configured with the wrong protocol may not work at all, or the pointer may move about in a very erratic fashion. Check for more protocols to try if you have problems getting a mouse to work.

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