HOWTO use a serial mouse

Travis Newman travis at
Tue Nov 9 23:55:13 UTC 2004

Tommy Trussell wrote:

>The ubuntu Warty installer (i386) apparently doesn't check to see
>which port the mouse is attached to. If you are installing on a PC
>with a mouse attached to a serial port (rather than the mouse port),
>here's what you need to do...
>The installation will complete, and you will be able to log in but
>your mouse will not move or respond to button clicks. You need to
>reconfigure your xserver to see the mouse.
>1) Press Control-Alt-F1 to get to Virtual Terminal 1 (your screen will
>turn black and you'll see a login prompt).
>2) Login using your username and password.
>3) Enter the following command at the prompt:
>sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86
>4) Press Return to accept the existing settings UNTIL you get to the
>selection for the mouse port.
>5) Choose whichever port your mouse is connected to:
>a) first serial port: /dev/ttys0
>b) second serial port: /dev/ttys1
>6) Press Return to accept all the rest of the settings -- though on
>one or two you may have to press Tab to highlight the OK prompt before
>Return will work.
>7) After you finish configuring the xserver, you will get back to the
>black screen.
>8) Switch back to your xserver by pressing Control-Alt-F7
>9) Kill the xserver by pressing Control-Alt-Backspace (This is NOT
>Control-Alt-Delete, which will make the machine shutdown.)
>10) When the xserver restarts, your mouse should work normally. If
>not, you may have chosen the wrong port. If necessary, press
>Control-Alt-F1 to go back to the virtual terminal and reconfigure the
>xserver again (following the steps above).
You should put this on the HOWTO section. This could 
come in quite handy for some unsuspecting user with an older PC (or an 
old mouse that they can't seem to part with).

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