Configuring my 5-button mouse in X Windows

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Contents

Problem

I want to make use of the two additional buttons on my 5 button mouse (Trust 450L, MI-2500X, MI-2540D or http://www.trust.com/15373).

Solution

Caveat

After changing the button mapping with the solutions below, I haven't been able to emulate a middle mouse button using the "Emulate3Buttons" xorg functionality.

Ubuntu 8.10/9.04/10.04

To:

  • switch `forward' and `back' buttons (8, 9);
  • switch `forward' and `middle' buttons (9, 2);

add this command to {System | Preferences | Startup Applications | Add } or { System | Preferences | Sessions | Startup Programs | Add }:

Name:    xmodmap
Command: xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 9 3 4 5 6 7 2 8"
Comment: Switch buttons 2, 8, 9.

NOTE: If you just want to switch `forward' and `middle' buttons (9, 2), use the command:

xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 9 3 4 5 6 7 8 2"

Ubuntu 8.04

Firefox 3

Firefox 3 designates buttons 6 and 7 to horizontal scrolling, whereas Firefox 2 does not.

Make sure the active Mouse section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf contains something like this:

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier  "Configured Mouse"
    Driver      "mouse"
    Option      "CorePointer"
    Option      "Device"        "/dev/input/mice"
    Option      "Protocol"      "ExplorerPS/2"
    Option      "Buttons"       "7"
       # Use `forward' button (id 9, nr 5) as an additional `middle' button (id 2,  +nr 2)
    Option      "ButtonMapping"     "1 2 3 8 2"
        # Simulate `middle' button by clicking simultaneous `left' and `right' buttons
    Option      "Emulate3Buttons"   "true"
EndSection


Firefox 2

Make sure the active Mouse section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf contains something like this:

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier  "Configured Mouse"
    Driver      "mouse"
    Option      "CorePointer"
    Option      "Device"        "/dev/input/mice"
    Option      "Protocol"      "ExplorerPS/2"
    Option      "Buttons"       "7"
        # Use `forward' button (id 7, nr 4) as an additional `middle' button (id 2, nr 2)
    Option      "ButtonMapping"     "1 2 3 2 6"
    #Option      "ButtonMapping"     "1 2 3 7 6"
        # Simulate `middle' button by clicking simultaneous `left' and `right' buttons
    Option      "Emulate3Buttons"   "true"
EndSection

SuSE 10.0

Specify the following lines to xorg.conf:

    #  Issue 'xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 2 3 6 7 4 5" in your startup script to map
    #+ scroll buttons 6 & 7 to locations 4 & 5 where applications expect them.
Section "InputDevice"
    Driver       "mouse"
    Identifier   "Mouse[1]"
        # Do not connect to /dev/mouse0, otherwise it will conflict with Wacom
    Option "Device"       "/dev/psaux"
        # This protocol supports a scroll wheel
    Option "Protocol"     "ExplorerPS/2"
        # Adding this maps wheel scrolling events to mouse buttons 6 & 7
    Option "ZAxisMapping" "6 7"
        # Adding this enables the extra buttons on the Trust 450L
    Option "Buttons"      "7"
EndSection

Put this into the global xinitrc (usually in /usr/X11/lib/X11/xinit/):

    # Switch mouse wheel button positions 6 & 7 with extra buttons 4 & 5
xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 2 3 6 7 4 5"

See also

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ManyButtonsMouseHowto
Useful Ubuntu wiki page how to configure a mouse with many buttons
http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Advanced_Mouse
Detailed howto for setting up a mouse under different versions of X with all buttons functional
Colas Nahaboo X mouse wheel scroll page (dated ~2002)
Collection of configuration tips to use the scroll wheel in different X applications (dated 2002)

Journal

20051215

Had to change the diff underneath in xorg.conf after upgrading to SuSE 10.0, because my mouse didn't work anymore:

 Section "InputDevice"
       # Do not connect to /dev/input, 
       # otherwise it will conflict with Wacom
-  Option "Device" "/dev/input/mouse1"
+  Option "Device" "/dev/input/mouse0"

20060721

  • Fixed ZAxisMapping which shouldn't read '4 5' but:
    Option "ZAxisMapping" "6 7"
  • Moved xmodmap to xinitrc

20060729

  • With 'Buttons 7' and 'ZAxisMapping 4 5' I can use the scroll wheel, but not the additional buttons
  • With 'Buttons 7' and 'ZAxisMapping 6 7' the additional buttons function as a scroll wheel, and the scroll wheel functions as back/forward.
  • With 'Buttons 7' and 'ZAxisMapping 6 7' and 'pointer 1 2 3 7 6 4 5' in /etc/X11/Xmodmap the additional buttons function as additional buttons and the scroll wheel functions as a scroll wheel. '7 6' reverses the additional buttons.

20081106

After upgrading to Ubuntu-8.10, my extra mouse buttons stopped working.

The `InputDevice' mouse section in xorg.conf appears to be commented out after the upgrade:

# commented out by update-manager, HAL is now used
#Section "InputDevice"
#       Identifier      "Configured Mouse"
#       Driver          "mouse"
#       Option          "CorePointer"
#       Option          "Device"                "/dev/input/mice"
#       Option          "Protocol"              "ExplorerPS/2"
#       Option          "Buttons"               "7"
#           # Use `forward' button (id 9, nr 5) as an additional `middle' button (id 2,  +nr 2)
#       Option      "ButtonMapping"     "1 2 3 2 8"
#           # Simulate `middle' button by clicking simultaneous `left' and `right' buttons
#       Option      "Emulate3Buttons"   "true"
#EndSection

This page https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ManyButtonsMouseHowto suggests to use xinput. Setting normal buttons goes ok:

$ xinput set-button-map "A4Tech USB Optical Mouse" 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

But I had the `back'-mousebutton set up as an additional `middle'-mousebutton, so I could click the scrollwheel or the `back'-mousebutton to achieve the effect of clicking the middle mousebutton. This is refused by xinput:

$ xinput set-button-map "A4Tech USB Optical Mouse" 1 8 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
X Error of failed request:  BadValue (integer parameter out of range for operation)
  Major opcode of failed request:  145 (XInputExtension)
  Minor opcode of failed request:  29 (X_SetDeviceButtonMapping)
  Value in failed request:  0x8
  Serial number of failed request:  13
  Current serial number in output stream:  13

Replacing the scrollwheel click with the `back' mousebutton seems to work, but then clicking the scrollwheel has lost its meaning:

$ xinput set-button-map "A4Tech USB Optical Mouse" 1 9 3 4 5 6 7 2 8

Using xmodmap has the same effect:

xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 9 3 4 5 6 7 2 8"

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