Mouse acceleration

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Revision as of 19:10, 4 June 2013 by Flu (talk | contribs) (upates)
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There are several ways of setting mouse acceleration:

  1. By editing xorg configuration files
  2. The xorg-server-utils package provides two programs that can be used to change those settings from a shell or a script:
    • xset
    • xinput
  3. Many Desktop Environments provide a configuration GUI for mouse settings. They should be easy to find and use.

Setting mouse acceleration

In Xorg configuration

See man xorg.conf for details.


Section "InputClass"
	Identifier "My Mouse"
	MatchIsPointer "yes"
# set the following to 1 1 0 respectively to disable acceleration.
	Option "AccelerationNumerator" "2"
	Option "AccelerationDenominator" "1"
	Option "AccelerationThreshold" "4"
Section "InputClass"
	Identifier "My Mouse"
	MatchIsPointer "yes"
# some curved deceleration
#	Option "AdaptiveDeceleration" "2"
# linear deceleration (mouse speed reduction)
	Option "ConstantDeceleration" "2"

You can also assign settings to specific hardware by using "MatchProduct", "MatchVendor" and other matches inside class sections.

Using xset

To get the current values, use:

$ xset q | grep -A 1 Pointer

To set new values, type:

$ xset m acceleration threshold

where acceleration defines how many times faster the cursor will move than the default speed, when the cursor moves more than threshold pixels in a short time. acceleration can be a fraction, so if you want to slow down the mouse you can use 1/2, and if 3 is slightly too fast, but 2 is too slow, you can use 5/2, etc.

To get the default settings back:

$ xset m default

For more info see man xset.

To make it permanent, edit xorg configuration (see above) or add commands to xprofile. The latter won't affect speed in a display manager.

Using xinput

First, get a list of devices plugged in (ignore any virtual pointers):

$ xinput list

Take note of the ID. You may also use the full name in commands if the ID is prone to changing.

Get a list of available properties and their current values available for modification with

$ xinput list-props 9

where 9 is the ID of the device you wish to use. Or

$ xinput list-props mouse brand

where mouse brand is the name of your mouse given by $ xinput list

Example, changing the property of Constant Deceleration to 2:

$ xinput list-props 9
Device 'Bobs mouse brand':
       Device Enabled (121):   1
       Device Accel Profile (240):     0
       Device Accel Constant Deceleration (241):       1.000000
       Device Accel Adaptive Deceleration (243):       1.000000
       Device Accel Velocity Scaling (244):    10.000000
$ xinput --set-prop 'Bobs mouse brand' 'Device Accel Constant Deceleration' 2

To make it permanent, edit xorg configuration (see above) or add commands to xprofile. The latter won't affect speed in a Display Manager.

Configuration example

You may need to resort to using more than one method to achieve your desired mouse settings. Here's what I did to configure a generic optical mouse: First, slow down the default movement speed 3 times so that it's more precise.

$ xinput --set-prop 9 'Device Accel Constant Deceleration' 3 &

Then, enable acceleration and make it 3 times faster after moving past 6 pixels.

$ xset mouse 3 6 &

If you are satisfied of the results, store the preceding commands in ~/.xinitrc.

Disabling mouse acceleration

Mouse acceleration has changed dramatically in recent X server versions; using xset to disable acceleration doesn't work as it used to and is not recommended anymore.

Recent changes on PointerAcceleration can be read here.

To completely disable any sort of acceleration/deceleration, create the following file:

Section "InputClass"
	Identifier "My Mouse"
	MatchIsPointer "yes"
	Option "AccelerationProfile" "-1"
	Option "AccelerationScheme" "none"