The Marble Mouse scroll buttons finally work!

Well, it's probably been over a year since I looked for an answer, but I felt lucky tonight. And lucky I was.

You see, I've been using trackballs for years. Yeah, I know people complain that they're clunky and slow, but I don't care. I think they're more comfortable than using a mouse, so that's what I use. Messes up anyone else who tries to use my computer, though.

Anyway, about two or three years ago I invested in a Logitech Marble Mouse USB. It's one of those with the marble in the center the you control with your index and middle fingers. It has no scroll wheel, but four buttons - the two "main" buttons and two small scroll buttons. Well, they're scroll buttons on Windows, at least. I couldn't get XFree86 to recognize them. Or, more to the point, I couldn't get it to recognize them as the scroll buttons. It quite happily used them as redundant second and third buttons.

However tonight, with nothing more than a quick Google search, I have found an answer. I simply changed the mouse section of my /etc/X11/xorg.conf to read as follows:
Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Mouse0"
Driver "mouse"
Option "Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
Option "Buttons" "7"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "6 7"

Now it finally works! A few modifications to my ~/.Xmodmap (I use it left-handed) and I was good to go. However, it's still not perfect, as you have to keep clicking to scroll. It would be much nicer if holding the scroll button would keep scrolling, but I'll live. It's certainly better than the two useless buttons I had before.

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Comments #

    Better configuration

    I think I got a slightly better configuration for this trackball (thanks to your webpage as starting point and other google results).

    This is my final configuration:

    Left mouse button: works as an standard left mous button.
    Right mouse button: works as an standard right mous button.
    Left+Right mouse button: Emulates the middle mouse button.
    Left tiny button pressed + trackball: Scrolls selected window up and down. While left tiny button is pressed the trackball acts as a mouse wheel.
    Right tiny button: scroll down (I have not yet configured it to be the "real" middle mouse button).

    This is my xorg.conf section:

    Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Configured Mouse"
    Driver "mouse"
    Option "CorePointer"
    Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
    Option "Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2"
    Option "Buttons" "7"
    Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true"
    Option "EmulateWheel" "1"
    Option "EmulateWheelButton" "4"
    Option "EmulateWheelInertia" "12"
    Option "Resolution" "350" # This seems to have no effect

    In theory to convert the tiny right mouse button into the middle mouse button we should use this command:
    xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 5 3 4 2 6 7"

    Problem: when I execute this command the Wheel Emulation stops working.

    Thanks for your post.

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