Scroll Wheel Function for the Marble Mouse on Linux

Update: Since Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" Hal has superseded xserver/xorg.conf as the preferred means to configure input devices. This post has the settings for hal, and they work just like the old xorg.settings outlined in the original post. Migration to hal will likely bring benefits for most, such as plug-and-play hot plugging. You might want to check out this writeup before taking the plunge.

Original post (applies to xserver/xorg.conf < Ubuntu 8.10):

As you know I consider the Logitech Marble Mouse the Best Pointing Device, bar none. And the final tweak I wanted to enable the trackball to act as a scroll wheel. For Windows and those suffering from the generally horrid Logitech drivers and utilities (SetPoint anyone?), there’s Marble Mouse Scroll Wheel (original download page seems to be down recently, so here is another download link). But for my installation of Linux Mint/Ubuntu I had tried some advice from the web without success, to the point when X failed to load. Finally the approach suggested by linux (USA) in his Amazon review worked. It lets you use the right small button as a paste button and holding the left small button will let you use marble/ball as an omnidirectional scroll wheel. Here it goes:

You must edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file (dont’ forget to backup with cp xorg.conf xorg.conf.bak), for xorg 6.8 the relevant settings look like this:

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Configured Mouse"
Driver "mouse"
Option "CorePointer"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
Option "Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2"
Option "Buttons" "5"
Option "YAxisMapping" "4 2"
Option "XAxisMapping" "6 7"
Option "EmulateWheel" "yes"
Option "EmulateWheelButton" "4"


You also need to create an ~/.xmodmap file in your home directory and enter:

pointer = 1 5 3 4 2 6 7

With xorg 7.2 (released 15th Feb. 2007) and newer you have to remove the “YAxisMapping” and change the “EmulateWheelButton” to “8”, so that the entire section looks like this:

Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Configured Mouse" Driver "mouse" Option "CorePointer" Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice" Option "Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2" Option "XAxisMapping" "6 7" Option "EmulateWheel" "yes" Option "EmulateWheelButton" "8"


Your ~/.xmodmap file will have to contain this:

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

instead of the above. The protocol setting “ExplorerPS/2” is also important to get the buttons to work even though the device is connected via USB.

To enable horizontal scrolling in Firefox you’ll have to go to the about:config page and set:

mousewheel.horizscroll.withnokey.action 0

The ~/.xmodmap file will likely be loaded automatically when you start your system, but if not you might have to create a ~/.xinitrc file. This page has more info, and here’s more info about monitoring your buttons using the xev utility. Hope it helps.

Ken: Found this somewhere, added it to xorg.conf, leaving the original 'configured mouse' section intact, and it works in firefox and thunderbird for autoscroll using the small left button to activate. Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Marble Mouse" Driver "mouse" Option "CorePointer" Option "Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2" Option "Buttons" "5" Option "ButtonMapping" "1 8 3 6 7" Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice" Option "EmulateWheel" "true" Option "EmulateWheelTimeout" "300" Option "EmulateWheelButton" "6" Option "XAxisMapping" "4 5" EndSection It's good enough for now. I did not do an .xmodmap.

Ken: This does not work for me. The small left button reloads the page. I have the mouse connected to the PS2 port.

Ken: Just switched to USB, same result. Running linuxmint 6, I think. Most recent as of 1/16/09.

dirk: @Ken: I'm still on Daryna and FF 2. It might be necessary to manually capture the mouse button keys as outline in the quoted article at Is this just a browser issue or can't you get the scrolling with any program?

Ken: Did I mention this is under Debian Sid, xorg 7.4, I think.

Shanti Dressen: [..] A little unrelated, but I rather liked this site post [..]

Ludivina Born: sowed in the number the tent, and we will again in Paddan-aram, to make them not destroy all that he with his work which was the field was in the foremost, saying, Fulfil the place where ye are: and put a bunch of the same day, saying, The sons of

Posted: 03 January 2009

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