Re: 3 mouse buttons on apple mouse

Subject: Re: 3 mouse buttons on apple mouse
From: William K. Gibson (
Date: Fri Sep 22 2000 - 07:35:23 MDT

on 9/19/00 11:07 PM, Patrick Callahan at wrote:

> rich wrote:
>> how to i emulate the 3 mouse buttons in linux on my
>> imac so i dont have to buy a 3-button mouse??
>> __________________________________________________
>> Do You Yahoo!?
>> Send instant messages & get email alerts with Yahoo! Messenger.
> Instructions for setting this up are probably on the linuxppc blue g3
> pages.

Below is the text from the page you reference. As per usual with anything
unix, the documentation is obscure, hard to discern, and out of date. Good
luck figuring this out.



* In the X-window system the mouse normally has 3-buttons. Since the Mac
only has a single button mouse, the other two buttons have to be emulated
with the keyboard. The Mac mouse button is the "left" mouse button, the "num
lock/clear" key on the keyboard keypad is the "middle" mouse button, and the
"=" key on the keyboard keypad is the "right" mouse button. Note: This tip
only applies when using the 2.2.6 kernel. See next tip for the 2.2.10
keyboard mapping info.
* If you are using the 2.2.10 kernal and have made the modifications to
your installation for the keyboard emulation of the mouse buttons, you must
be aware of some "keypad modes" that are now available.
* Pressing "NumLock" turns on keypad numeric mode. When on, the keypad
outputs what the key indicates (face value numerics).
* Pressing "Shift-NumLock" turns on keypad mouse mode. When on, the
keypad emulates the mouse, including the defined 2nd and 3rd mouse button
changes (KP-0 and KP-period if you used my default patches).
* When not in numeric or mouse modes, the keypad emulations the movement
(arrow) keys.

* To map your "Delete" key to "Backspace", use this command:

xmodmap -e "keysym Delete = BackSpace osfBackSpace"
* If you are planning on making the modifications needed to emulate the
2nd and 3rd mouse buttons with the USB keyboard, you must remove the
"/usr/X11R6/bin/Xautoconfig" line from your "rc.local" file. As this program
will reset the changes made to make the mouse button emulation work.
* If you initially installed using ADB devices, and you are now switching
to USB devices with the newer 2.2.10 kernel, you must fix a few things for
the USB mouse and keyboard to work right.
1. Make sure the "/dev/usbmouse" device exists, if not, create it:
mknod /dev/usbmouse c 10 32
2. Make sure the "/dev/mouse" device points to the "/dev/usbmouse"
device, if not, fix it:
rm -f /dev/mouse
ln -s /dev/usbmouse /dev/mouse
3. Make sure the "/etc/X11/X" program points to
"/usr/X11R6/bin/XF68_FBDev" program, if not, fix it:
rm -f /etc/X11/X
ln -s /usr/X11R6/bin/XF68_FBDev /etc/X11/X

--William K. Gibson
1stDesk Systems

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