The Rodent Confusion

For the past few weeks I have been having some performance glitches with the way my mouse interacts with my Linux machine. The mouse would move and the buttons operate normally except for when trying to press and hold the left button for example. The action would appear to terminate after a few seconds and reinitialise. This behaviour was making it impossible to move windowed applications around the desktop. Today however I have solved the problem, which is good from the point of view that it solves the issue and also it means I don't have to spend the next 48hrs recompiling Gentoo and all my applications.

The fix is a simple one. x11-drivers/xf86-input-evdev-2.3.2 was causing the problem, x11-drivers/xf86-input-evdev-2.4.0 solves the problem but is marked as unstable at time of writing. The upgrade from xorg-server-1.6.5-r1 to xorg-server-1.7.6 seems to have been the reason the evdev driver wasn't working as expected, possibly handing the input devices slightly differently from the previous version.

I can happily say the rodent has ceased to be confused.

Xorg Mouse Configuration

Yesterday I purchased a mouse to use with my notebook; I lead such an eventful life. Ordinarily this wouldn't be worthy of mention, most mice are plug in and use. My mouse however needs to work with Linux and here in lies the problem. Getting a mouse to talk to Linux is getting easier the left, right and middle buttons usually work as well as the up down scroll. It's the additional buttons that cause the problems.

The mouse I have is a Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 4000. I know I dislike Microsoft but they do put branding on some reasonable peripherals (and it was cheap). I have chosen to use the evdev driver for the mouse, support for this is required in the kernel. The information on how to set this up can be found on this wiki:http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Advanced_Mouse.

Add the following information to your xorg.conf and remember to add "Mouse1" to the server section. Currently the thumb button does not work correctly. I believe this is to do with the evdev driver, button support may be developed in the future. Forward and back functionality in Firefox is achieved by the horizontal movement of the scroll wheel.

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Section "InputDevice"
# Microsoft Notebook 4000 Mouse
# Thumb button responds as button 9
    Identifier  "Mouse1"
    Driver      "evdev"
    Option      "evBits"    "+1-2"
    Option      "keyBits"   "~272-287"
    Option      "relBits"   "~0-2 ~6 ~8"
    Option      "Pass"      "3"
    Option      "Buttons"   "9"
    Option      "ZAxisMapping"  "4 5"
        # Axis swapped to make back be left and forward be right
    Option      "DialRelativeAxisButtons" "7 6"
EndSection