I have tweaked my mouse sensitivity to be just right, and swapped the mouse buttons since I use it left-handed. This was done using the user "Mouse & Touchpad" settings in Gnome.

I'd like this to apply to the login screen and all other user sessions (since they're all mine as well anyway). I'm using Gnome 3.8 under 13.10, but other sessions might use Unity or XFCE.

How do I apply my session mouse settings globally?

  • Exactly how did you apply them? Depending how you applied them we can offer different solutions. – Braiam Nov 18 '13 at 21:59
  • @Braiam - updated with that detail. – detly Nov 18 '13 at 22:01
  • Well, you also have Mouse and Touchpad settings under Xfce. In principle you could do this manually for each of your sessions. Do you have that many sessions? – landroni Jan 16 '14 at 7:16
  • @landroni - no, not really. The big issue for me is the change before and after login. But there's a lot of things that people do manually over and over again that can be automated, so when I find myself tediously working around something like this over and over again, I ask about it :) – detly Jan 16 '14 at 10:27
  • Perhaps this is controlled at X level (xorg.conf?), or by the display manager. Maybe you want to look into that. Good luck! – landroni Jan 16 '14 at 11:54

There's no central place to apply mouse settings globally.

let's review how a user session starts in a X window environment(GNOME, KDE, XFCE,etc.).

  1. a display manager starts X server which read its configuration file xorg.conf and shows a login window (typically created by an independent greeter program). so the only way to change mouse settings at the moment is through xorg.conf.

  2. after you login, a session manager starts a settings daemon which re-applies the settings it stored, which can overwrite those settings in xorg.conf. for different desktop environment, the settings daemons are different and they have no responsiblity to respect each other's settings. normaly, there's a GUI frontend for each settings daemon.

a clarification on the settings daemon. in GNOME, it's gnome-settings-daemon while in XFCE it's xfsettingsd. In Unity it's gnome-settings-daemon because Ubuntu reuses most of the GNOME stack.

Back to your requirements.

  1. apply to the login screen
    the only way to achieve this is through xorg.conf. because the settings-daemon is not started at the time.
    to change the mouse to be left handed, refer to how can I configure a specific usb mouse model as left-handed?
    to change the mouse acceleration, refer to https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Mouse_acceleration

  2. apply to all other user sessions
    this is simple. all desktop environment have settings programs. change the mouse settings of every desktop environment to your desired value.

  • "the only way to achieve this is through xorg.conf" — so how might this be achieved? Even if it were a once-off, how would I take the settings from a user session and replicate them via xorg.conf? – detly Jan 16 '14 at 10:22
  • And a follow-up question: if I do this, and then clear the settings in my user session, how will the mouse behave in my user session? – detly Jan 16 '14 at 10:23
  • before you login, no settings daemon is around. so xorg.conf mouse settings takes effect. after you login, a settings daemon starts and enforce the settings you set via settings program. if you clear some settings, the settings daemon will enforce that the settings are cleared. – sgx1 Jan 16 '14 at 10:49
  • as for xorg.conf, I have answered how to set the mouse left handed.(see the link in the answer). In GNOME system settings-->Mouse & Touchpad, there're Double-click and Pointer-speed. but I don't know whant you mean by "mouse sensitivity". please provide the settings you set. – sgx1 Jan 16 '14 at 10:57
  • how to"replicate them via xorg.conf"? all user settings translates to X device properties. these's a tool called xinput to list device properties. if you provide more specific settings you desired, I'll dig into gnome-settings-daemon source code and see what X device properties these corresponds to. then you can view the properties by xinput and set the values in xorg.conf. – sgx1 Jan 16 '14 at 11:02

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