Logitech Marble Mouse

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Well, it is a trackball, actually ;-), it has 4 buttons (2 big and 2 small), and a comfortable ball in the middle. Let's see how to to use them all in a handy way.

Xorg configuration: three buttons + vertical and horizontal scroll

Fully configuring the Marble(tm) Mouse for Xorg is not difficult but not straightforward, either.

The mouse device entry in /etc/X11/xorg.conf should look like this:

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Mouse 0"
    Driver     "mouse"
    Option     "CorePointer"
    Option     "Device"             "/dev/input/mice"
    Option     "Protocol"           "ExplorerPS/2"
    Option     "Buttons"            "9"
    Option     "ZAxisMapping"       "4 5"
    Option     "XAxisMapping"       "6 7"
    Option     "EmulateWheel"       "true"
    Option     "EmulateWheelButton" "9"
EndSection

The "Auto" option for "Protocol" works fine, too. Of course you can use the name you prefer as the Identifier, as long as it's the same you use as InputDevice in the Section "ServerLayout".

Now the mouse is configured with the necessary number of buttons. The next step is adding the following line in your ~/.Xmodmap file:

pointer = 1 8 3 4 5 6 7 2 9 10 11 12 13

or, alternatively, this one in ~/.xinitrc (before the exec line, of course):

xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 8 3 4 5 6 7 2 9 10 11 12 13"

This configuration makes the following assignments:

  • left click: left big button
  • middle click: left little button
  • right click: right big button
  • scrolling (both vertical and horizontal): right little button + ball movement

This button layout is the most obvious, but is actually more comfortable when using the trackball with the left hand, (because I find easier to double-click with the ring finger than with the thumb, and moving the ball while pressing the right little button with the left thumb).

If you are right-handed you may prefer these assignments:

  • left click: right big button
  • middle click: right little button
  • right click: left big button
  • scrolling: left little button + ball movement

This is achieved with

    Option     "EmulateWheelButton" "8"

instead of 9 in /etc/X11/xorg, and

pointer = 3 9 1 4 5 6 7 8 2 10 11 12 13

in ~/.Xmodmap or

xmodmap -e "pointer = 3 9 1 4 5 6 7 8 2 10 11 12 13"

in ~/.xinitrc.

gmp configuration

In the console you can use gpm (if you haven't it installed, just do a pacman -S gpm as root).

Edit /etc/conf.d/gpm to show

GPM_ARGS="-m /dev/input/mice -t imps2"

Now yow can use the left big button as left click (selects text), the right ones as right click (extends the selection) and the little left one as middle click (pastes the selection).