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    Is Linux mouse control flawed?
    Contributed by comewhatmay on Thursday, January 10 @ 05:44:42 GMT

    Recently I purchased a new laptop, and no matter how much I tweak the mouse settings I just can't get the mouse to feel comfortable as in Windows. I've had a similar feeling when using desktop systems, but it may be worse on this laptop due to the LCD's high DPI or the characteristics of the pointing stick. However the point is that for a given piece of hardware I'm happy in Windows, and not in Linux.

    The standard mouse controls under Linux are an acceleration value and a threshold (also called delta) value. From my understanding, when a single update comes in greater than the delta, the acceleration value is used as a multiplier. I humbly suggest this control model is flawed. There doesn't seem to be a way to control the non-accelerated mouse speed. Perhaps gpm's poorly-documented "-r" option is the answer, but I have not seen this parameter exposed in any desktop control dialogs, and it's not clear if it accepts fractional values for fine control. Without being able to control the base mouse speed, users with very small dot pitch displays will find their mouse moving too slowly when unaccelerated, and then jerking annoyingly when acceleration kicks in.

    In contrast Windows (and most other fine OS's) offer control of the mouse through separate speed and acceleration settings. This is a simple and effective interface. Furthermore it avoids the "two speed only" problem that Linux has, resulting in smooth mouse control when implemented properly.

    I'd like to be wrong about this. The acid test is to get my laptop's mouse working as in Windows. Simple solutions anyone?

    If the problem is deeper as I suspect, how would I go about correcting it?

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  • "Is Linux mouse control flawed?" | Login/Create Account | 28 comments

    The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

    Re: Is Linux mouse control flawed? (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Thursday, January 10 @ 07:43:42 GMT

    Same thing here. A lady at work has one of the logitech wireless optical mice. She also runs windows. I fooled with it for a while and was very happy with it. I mean it's nothing like the logitech dual optical (which i still have plugged in for doing graphics work and the like) but it is about the same as a normal ps2 mouse.

    The problem is that in linux is sucks. The cursor is jumpy and will often jump 4 pixels at a time. It is very frustrating to resize windows and the like. I've gotten a bit used to it over the week but I do agree on this point. The pointer control sucks. There are far too few settings to tweak to accomidate all kinds of mice.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Is Linux mouse control flawed? (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Thursday, January 10 @ 12:52:29 GMT

    I don't think it's the linux mouse support that is flawed, but your perception of it.

    How do you know that the windows mousing support isn't what is sub par here and you have just grown acustomed to it?

    See, I have the same thoughts you do, only on opposing sides. I started out using unix, had never touched a windows machine until about 2 years ago. and I think that the mousing feel in windows is downright aweful.

    It's kinda bad to say that an operating system that was released "after" the invention of the mouse is the one with the best support, when that is more than likely not true at all. It is all what you are used to.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Is Linux mouse control flawed? (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Thursday, January 10 @ 16:49:31 GMT

    Have you killed gpm before starting X? I had to do that to get the touchpad on my Vaio to work, but it works flawlessly once gpm is dead.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Is Linux mouse control flawed? (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Thursday, January 10 @ 18:19:41 GMT

    In case the mouse has an USB interface it should be used as USB Mouse and not through the BOIS PS/2 emulation (this impacts the movement smoothness).

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Is Linux mouse control flawed? (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Thursday, January 10 @ 20:41:01 GMT

    The problem is probably your pointer resolution is too low. I had serious problems using Logitech trackballs before I figured this out. Add a line to the pointer section of XF86Config(-4) something like this

    Resolution 800

    This fixed pretty much all my problems

    [ Reply ]

    HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelMouse (Score: 1)
    by pabellon (user itura residing in the machine rocketmail dot com) on Thursday, January 10 @ 21:13:25 GMT
    (User Info)

    >In contrast Windows (and most other fine OS's) >offer control of the mouse through separate speed >and acceleration settings.

    OK, but also take a look to

    HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelMouse

    in the registry.

    There are there some undocumented features:

    MouseThreshold1 and MouseThreshold2

    They have a similar way of working than the ones in X.

    On the other hand, when I started using Linux, I had problems like the ones you mention: you'll get used to it when you find the appropiate values for you. And, if you use a laptop (or a large screen), try to use the sloppy focus option if your window manager supports it, you'll love it!

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Is Linux mouse control flawed? (Score: 1)
    by tplayford on Friday, January 11 @ 17:14:53 GMT
    (User Info)

    I have never had a problem with mouse support under X, except the obvious killing GPM. I have a USB explorer mouse and I've found i's, if anything, better under Linux than Windows. I could just be lucky of cource.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Is Linux mouse control flawed? (Score: 1)
    by MrCooper on Saturday, January 12 @ 11:49:24 GMT
    (User Info)

    This isn't about Linux but about XFree86. Admittedly our mouse implementation isn't the best to say the least, but as usually a lot of people complain but nobody does anything about it...

    Apparently, things are better in the HP or Sun X servers, so maybe someone should try to port their code to XFree86.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Is Linux mouse control flawed? (Score: 1)
    by potatoho on Wednesday, January 16 @ 09:24:49 GMT
    (User Info)

    If it's a ps/2 serial mouse you can try to increase the sample rate with a program called tuneps2. They default pretty slow. Try something like tuneps2 -s 255.

    Also if your mouse is lagging during high load, you can reprioritize your irqs with irqtune. And use hdparm to -u1 have the ide driver unmask other interrupts during its operation.

    [ Reply ]

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