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Second Mouse in X mini-HOWTO

Greg Wierzchowski

greg.wierzchowski@usa.net

2001-07-18
Revision History                                                             
Revision 1.2            2001-11-17             Revised by: GW                
Corrected for the Wheel Mouse in XFree 3.x.                                  
Revision 1.1            2001-07-21             Revised by: GW                
Added "Alternatives" section.                                                
Revision 1.0            2001-07-18             Revised by: GW                
Initial Release.                                                             


Quick instructions to enable a second mouse in X.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Copyright and License
3. Mouse Protocols
4. XFree 3.x
5. XFree 4.x
6. Alternatives
7. Credits

1. Introduction

This mini-HOWTO was created by gathering the information already available on
the internet, in newsgroups and other HOWTOs. I needed to hook up an USB
mouse in addition to the built-in trackpoint on my Thinkpad laptop.

Examples in this mini-HOWTO pertain to my particular hardware configuration,
which is PS/2 mouse as a primary pointer and USB wheel mouse as an additional
one. It should be pretty straightforward to implement another combination,
say, a PS/2 and a serial mice. Two things that would have to be changed are
the mouse protocol and the mouse device. Wherever possible, I try to provide
appropriate examle.

The instructions for X are divided into two sections, one fro XFree version 3
and one for XFree 4. The format of the XF86Config file has significantly
changed between versions and requires slightly different approach. In XFree
3.x, the second mouse has to appear in an Xinput section, which has slightly
different syntax than the regular Pointer section. In XFree 4.x, it's just
another pointer.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Copyright and License

This document is copyright 2001 by Greg Wierzchowski and is released under
the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, which is hereby incorporated
by reference. Send feedback to greg.wierzchowski@usa.net.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Mouse Protocols

Two most important parameters in the XF86Config file, ones that are crucial
to the mouse working properly are the Protocol and Device.

As far as Protocol is concerned, it seems that gpm uses compatible protocol
names, so please look there for the detailed information. Here is the excerpt
taken from the gpm info page (just the few most commont types):


Table 1. Most Common Mouse Protocols in X
+------------------------------------+-------------------------------------+
|Protocol Name                       |Description                          |
+------------------------------------+-------------------------------------+
|Microsoft                           |Standard Microsoft mice.             |
+------------------------------------+-------------------------------------+
|MouseSystems                        |This is the standard protocol for    |
|                                    |three-button serial devices.         |
+------------------------------------+-------------------------------------+
|MMSeries                            |Title says it all. This mouse decoder|
|                                    |accepts standard serial options,     |
|                                    |although they should not be needed.  |
+------------------------------------+-------------------------------------+
|Logitech                            |This is the protocol used by old     |
|                                    |serial Logitech mice.                |
+------------------------------------+-------------------------------------+
|BusMouse                            |Some bus devices use this protocol,  |
|                                    |including those produced by Logitech.|
+------------------------------------+-------------------------------------+
|PS/2                                |The protocol used by most busmice.   |
+------------------------------------+-------------------------------------+
|IMPS/2                              |"IntelliMouse" on the ps/2 port. Also|
|                                    |works with USB mice                  |
+------------------------------------+-------------------------------------+
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. XFree 3.x

In XFree 3.x, additional pointing devices, like mice or tablets, are defined
through the use of an Xinput section. The primary mouse is defined as usual:
Section "Pointer"                                                            
    Protocol    "PS/2"                                                       
    Device      "/dev/mouse"                                                 
EndSection                                                                   
In the case above, it's a regular three-button PS/2 mouse, which works for
the trackpoint as well. Now, for the USB mouse:
    Section "Xinput"                                                         
  SubSection "Mouse"                                                         
    DeviceName "USB Mice"                                                    
    Protocol "IMPS/2"                                                        
    ZAxisMapping 4 5                                                         
    Port "/dev/input/mice"                                                   
    Alwayscore                                                               
  EndSubSection                                                              
EndSection                                                                   
My mouse is a wheel mouse, thus the protocol is IMPS/2. ZAxisMapping line is
also needed for the wheel to work. I also want the mouse to always work
alongside the other one, and this is achieved through the AlwaysCore option.
If. for example, this was a serial mouse, the Port would read "/dev/ttyS0"
for COM1.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. XFree 4.x

With XFree 4.x the task is even easier. First, the primary mouse, usually
present in the config file already:
Section "InputDevice"                                                        
        Identifier  "Mouse0"                                                 
        Driver      "mouse"                                                  
        Option      "Device" "/dev/mouse"                                    
        Option      "Protocol" "PS/2"                                        
        Option      "Emulate3Buttons" "off"                                  
        Option      "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"                                     
EndSection                                                                   
To add another mouse just copy the above section and modify it, so that it
reads:
Section "InputDevice"                                                        
        Identifier  "Mouse1"                                                 
        Driver      "mouse"                                                  
        Option      "Device" "/dev/input/mice"                               
        Option      "Protocol" "IMPS/2"                                      
        Option      "Emulate3Buttons" "off"                                  
        Option      "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"                                     
EndSection                                                                   
Well, this way you can define as many additional pointers as you wish, and
the same applies to joysticks and tablets.

To make both mice work together, there's one more change to be made to the
XF86Config file. There is a section called ServerLayout where all the
components are specified. Here's how it looks before adding a second mouse:
Section "ServerLayout"                                                       
        Identifier "XFree86 Configured"                                      
        Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0                                         
        InputDevice    "Mouse0" "CorePointer"                                
        InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"                            
EndSection                                                                   
And after adding the second mouse:
Section "ServerLayout"                                                       
        Identifier "XFree86 Configured"                                      
        Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0                                         
        InputDevice    "Mouse0" "CorePointer"                                
        InputDevice    "Mouse1" "AlwaysCore"                                 
        InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"                            
EndSection                                                                   
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Alternatives

Another way to use two (or more) mice at the same time time is to use a
program such as MultiMouse by Takashi Manabe. It's a daemon multiplexing
several mice and making them available through the special device /dev/mumse
as a MouseSystems compatible mouse.

According to the author: "This program allows you to use multiple mice at the
same time. This program is developed for a subnote user who want to use both
a pre-mounted pointing device and a external serial mouse."

I'm not sure if the program supports second mouse other than serial, but the
advantage is that the second mouse works in console mode too. MultiMouse can
be found at Sunsite (sunsite.unc.edu /pub/Linux/system/Misc) and Tucows
(www.tucows.com Linux Console -> Utilities).
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7. Credits

Special thanks to all the people who contribute to the Linux community and
who made this HOWTO possible.





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