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The previously useful ThinkWiki pages appear quite outdated. I am trying to permanently change my TrackPoint sensitivity and speed settings and enable middle mouse button scrolling. I have tried configure-trackpoint in the past, but the settings were not saved permanently (they are lost after restart).

I have tried gpointing-device-settings. Using it, I can get middle mouse button scrolling to work, but I cannot change the speed or sensitivity settings of the trackpoint. All methods on the ThinkWiki page that I've tried do not work as directed in Ubuntu 11.04. Can someone explain how to permanently edit the TrackPoint settings so that I can use it correctly?

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3 Answers

Unfortunately there seems to be no easy way. What I will describe is how to create a new Upstart job to set the values on boot through the virtual filesystem under /sys.

  1. Find the device path of your trackpoint

    Run the following in a gnome-terminal (press Alt + F2, type gnome-terminal, and hit Enter):

    find /sys/devices/platform/i8042 -name name | xargs grep -Fl TrackPoint | sed 's/\/input\/input[0-9]*\/name$//'

    In my case this returns /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2 - change to whatever it returns for you in the following steps.

  2. Find values for sensitivity and speed

    Run the following commands in a gnome-terminal:

    echo 220 | sudo tee /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2/sensitivity

    for a sensitivity of 220 (this will ask you for your password), and

    echo 100 | sudo tee /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2/speed

    for a speed of 100. Once you found values you are comfortable with, make the change permanent using an Upstart job:

  3. Create a new udev rule

    Now we need to apply the settings during the system start. Therefore, press Alt + F2, type gksu gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/trackpoint.rules, and hit Enter (this will ask you for your password). Then paste the following, save, and reboot:

    SUBSYSTEM=="serio", DRIVERS=="psmouse", WAIT_FOR="/sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2/sensitivity", ATTR{sensitivity}="220", ATTR{speed}="110"


    sudo udevadm control --reload-rules
    sudo udevadm trigger 

    to avoid reboot.

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Thanks for the very detailed reply. So I did some more digging and tweaking from the ThinkWiki articles last night, and I discovered something else that worked. First two steps should be the same. Instead of an Upstart job, I used udev rules. I created a file by pressing Alt+F2, typing gksu gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/trackpoint.rules and pasted the following: SUBSYSTEM=="serio", DRIVERS=="psmouse", WAIT_FOR="/sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2/sensitivity", ATTR{sensitivity}="200", ATTR{speed}="150" Then reboot. Is there any reason I should use Upstart vs udev rules? –  Jonathan Blackhall Apr 29 '11 at 16:01
IMO the udev approach is the better one, thanks! Edited that into the answer. :-) –  htorque Feb 26 '12 at 9:04
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I have a thinkpad and got everything setup as desired through an application called Pointing Devices, which is just a bit more advanced mouse settings dialog.

I don't recall how many options there were for sensitivity, but unlike the built-in mouse settings screen, this one regognized the trackpoint and trackpad independently and allowed for greater control like setting the scroll button (was button 2 in my configuration) and enabling palm detection sensitivity.

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There are no options for sensitivity or speed with gpointing-device-settings. –  Jonathan Blackhall Apr 29 '11 at 15:48
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On Ubuntu 12.04 Unity 2D on Thinkpad sl410 I use the standard Mouse And Touchpad window in Settings. Changing Acceleration or Speed also changes the sensitivity of a trackpoint. Although the behaviour is reversed - decreasing Speed causes increasing of the trackpoint sensitivity. Settings persists between restarts.

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