Aaron Goldstein (bredmold) wrote,
Aaron Goldstein

Ask the Internet: Linux mouse

So, I've grown fond of these modern mouses with their profusion of buttons. It has the normal two buttons that normal people use, a pressable scroll wheel, "forward" and "back" buttons that Windows maps to web browser functions, three buttons with cryptic labels and fallout icons, one more with a pictograph for "your mom", and several others that I simply can't understand.

Well, ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration.

Nonetheless, I use Linux as a desktop OS at work fairly regularly, and those extra "forward" and "back" buttons never quite seem to work the way I'd want them to (usually, they don't work at all). My scroll wheel seems to work just fine. Are there any Linux nerds out there who have some familiarity with all this, and who might assist me? If I'm missing some obvious document floating about on the sea of tubes, please feel free to inform me.
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As I understand it, you have to diddle things so X11 sees the buttons as distinct events, and then you have to use .Xresources or somesuch to actually tell each app to handle the extra button events however you intend. At least, the last time I used X11 on the desktop, it was something along those lines.
Based on the research I've done, it does seem like there's some config file jiggery-pokery to be done. Of course, my work desktop machine is Ubuntu... and Ubuntu goes to great lengths to make it *hard* to manually configure X11 hardware-related details. So I think I'm just going to let this one slide.