Thoughts on mouse buttons

Ryan M. Williams domhnull at
Mon Sep 20 14:58:37 UTC 2004

I don't have a solution but I thought I'd chime in for improved mouse support.  I have a five-button trackball Explorer.  I'd really like to see something like Intellipoint on Linux that would detect what sort of mouse you have and automatically choose a common default setup for the buttons.  Intellipoint also has the nice feature of allowing you to specify different actions depending on which application you're using.  As far as I've seen (still new to Linux) there doesn't seem to be a program to accomplish this right now. 


Daniel Borgmann wrote:

>there are two mouse related issues which bother me right now, but I'm
>not sure what can be done about it, so I'd like to discuss this before
>filing any enhancement requests. 
>The first is emulating the third mouse button. This is currently default
>in Ubuntu, but it breaks games. For example in Quake, you can't press
>the left and right mouse at the same time and have both actions
>executed. That's a deal breaker. :) This is really too bad, because
>Ubuntu is shaping up to become a great distribution for geek gamers.
>I think the ideal solution would be to make emulating the third mouse
>button a userland feature of GNOME, making it possible to enable it from
>the GNOME mouse settings and disabling it by default (on X, it does no
>harm on the console). But I'm not sure... Of course another solution
>would be to ask this at the installation like most other distributions
>do, but this just feels wrong to me (just like running dpkg-reconfigure
>feels wrong to me).
>My second worry is, that no Linux distribution managed to correctly set
>up mouses with more than three buttons and a wheel yet. This is really
>frustrating, because it's impossible to get right without excessive
>googling, editing some obscure config lines and sometimes running an
>obscure X command. I can do that, but it's no fun and I wouldn't want to
>recommend it to anyone.
>Maybe the extra buttons don't seem so valuable to most people, but they
>are very important for gamers and they could also be a very valuable
>addition to the desktop if it would be possible to map them to certain
>shortcut functions or simply to other keys. It just sucks, that every
>modern mouse seems to downgrade to a simple three button mouse on
>Linux. :/
>Is there any hope?

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