Getting MX Revolution setup in Gentoo

I recently bought a Logitech MX Revolution mouse. This is a very nice cordless laser mouse with plenty of buttons. See Gizmodo review for pictures. As usual I first googled to find what others have done to get everything working with this mouse. Of course the usual functionality was there without anything special. The first link Google gave me was
Based on this information I set out to setup my new mouse. First I changed my xorg.conf to have the following:

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier  "Mx Rev"
        Driver      "evdev"
        Option      "Protocol"  "Auto"
        Option      "Name"      "Logitech USB Receiver"
        Option      "Phys"      "usb-*/input0

This gives evdev control of my mouse and still keeps my other stuff working using the normal /dev/mice/input. This at least makes it possible to control this mouse specifically if I need to. The hotplug input framework should hopefully make this kind of stuff obsolete in the future.

Having evdev working and handling the mouse I got xev to recognize all my mouse buttons nicely. I have been using imwheel with my previous mouses and have found it an able tool to map mouse events to keyboard events. Here is my .imwheelrc:

None, Thumb1, Alt_L|Left
None, Thumb2, Alt_L|Right
None, Left, Control_L|W
None, Right, Control_L|T

None, Thumb1, N
None, Thumb2, B

None, Thumb1, Shift_L|Right
None, Thumb2, Shift_L|Left

What this does:

  • Makes back/forward work in Firefox with Thumb buttons
  • Makes creating/deleting tabs work by tilting the scroll wheel
  • Makes Thunderbird go to next unread message / previous message using Thumb buttons
  • Makes Konsole change tabs using Thumb buttons

Using the same pattern you should be able to adjust the rest of the buttons to your liking. I will probably look into using the Thumb wheel to control beryl.

The last thing I didn’t like about the default behavior of the MX in Linux was the scroll wheel. By default it is in the Free-spin mode which means that clicking the wheel does not generate Button2 events. I found a handy tool to control the features of this mouse in the comments of that blog post and I made an ebuild for it Using this tool I can just issue revoco manual=6 and after that I can use the One-Touch Search button to change the scrolling mode of the mouse. I don’t know yet if this is good enough for the main tree as it atm must be run setuid because of default /dev/usb/hiddevN permissions. Will probably add it if I find the time to rewrite it using libhid.

The final touch to glue all this together is to have my .xprofile start the necessary programs for me:

revoco manual=6
#xmodmap -e "keycode 122 = XF86Search"
/usr/bin/imwheel -k -b "007689"

Notice that you can use xmodmap to map the One-Touch search to XF86Search if you like. It’s quite weird how the button is handled. To the OS it is shown as a keyboard with one button. Well engineers are creative.

Introducing myself

I decided to start blogging about the suff I do for Gentoo so let me introduce myself. I have no idea how many of you know me but I have been working on java and mobile stuff since July 2005. I also recently joined the recruiters to help the cronic problem of having having too few people to maintain all the packages we currently have.

On the personal side I live in Finland and am still probably the only Finn with access to the gentoo-x86 module. The last year has been quite slow to me as I have been conscript in the Finnish Defence Forces. But that ends on the fifth of January 2007 so soon I will have much more time for Gentoo again.

So now that I have introduced myself, you can wait more technical blogs entries in the future.