I struggled with this over the weekend, and need to remap my mouse buttons.
I have a Logitech mouse with 9 buttons, and pressing the "middle button" (#2) involves clicking the scroll wheel. I dislike this because I'm clumsy and typically end up scrolling the window I'm in when I try to click the wheel. So I wanted to automatically remap the top side button (#9 in this case) to the middle button (#2). I also wanted to map the bottom side button (#8) so that it executes a double-click of the left button (#1).
Though my aims were specific, the solutions below can be generalized to any situation in which you want to automatically remap mouse buttons at startup.
Mapping Mouse Buttons to Other Mouse Buttons
You will need
xinput installed for this task. This can be done entirely in your
.xsessionrc file. First, use
xinput to discover the name that is assigned to your mouse, which is then correlated to an input device ID. Below is some sample output from my laptop:
⎡ Virtual core pointer id=2 [master pointer (3)] ⎜ ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer id=4 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ Logitech USB Laser Mouse id=11 [slave pointer (2)] ⎣ Virtual core keyboard id=3 [master keyboard (2)] ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard id=5 [slave keyboard (3)]
My mouse calls itself
Logitech USB Laser Mouse and is shown as
id=11. Your mouse will have a different name; figuring that out is left as an exercise for the reader.
While you still know the ID of the device in this session, find out how many buttons the input handler thinks your mouse has, by using
deviceID. This may be different from the number of buttons that is apparent on the device.
Logitech USB Laser Mouse id=11 [slave pointer (2)] Reporting 7 classes: Class originated from: 11. Type: XIButtonClass Buttons supported: 16 Button labels: "Button Left" "Button Middle" "Button Right" "Button Wheel Up" "Button Wheel Down" "Button Horiz Wheel Left" "Button Horiz Wheel Right" "Button Side" "Button Extra" "Button Forward" "Button Back" "Button Task" "Button Unknown" "Button Unknown" "Button Unknown" "Button Unknown"
With my mouse, there are only 9 obvious physical buttons, but
xinput reports 16.
Given the nature of USB, this ID can change every time you restart, so it's not enough to script something that's statically keyed to an ID you discover once. You'll have to dynamically parse this at startup and execute your re-map based on the current ID.
Now that you know its name, you can use
xinput test to figure out which key to remap. Press the mouse buttons you want to map from and to, in order to get their indices. (For reference, 1, 2, and 3 "always" (i.e., usually) refer to the left, middle, and right buttons of a 3-button mouse. A common re-map reverses these to make the mouse left-handed.)
button press 2 button release 2 button press 9 button release 9
In this case I found that I want to map button #9 (side, top) to button #2 (middle).
Now that you know what your mouse is called, and which buttons you want to change, you can write an
~/.xsessionrc script that invokes
xinput to execute the button re-mapping at startup. Below is my complete script.
# Map button 9 (top side button) to button 2 (middle button) my_mouse_id=$(xinput | grep "Logitech USB Laser Mouse" | sed 's/^.*id=\([0-9]*\)[ \t].*$/\1/') echo $my_mouse_id > ~/temp/my_mouse_id xinput set-button-map $my_mouse_id 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 2 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
The first line here sets a temporary session variable equal to the ID of the mouse as reported by
xinput. This is done by
greping for the known name of the mouse in the report from
xinput, then using
sed to extract the ID number from that
id=xxx token in the report. This value is then used in an
xinput set-button-map directive, which executes the re-mapping. In the example above, the only change is that button #9 is being re-mapped to mimic button #2. All others remain at their default setting.
Update: As @Lokasenna points out below, if your device reports itself as both a mouse and a keyboard, you may need to limit the result count of the
Mapping Mouse Buttons to Arbitrary Functions
See also this answer.
You will need
xte) installed for this task.
xinput list and
xinput test to discover your mouse's device ID and the number of the button you want to assign. In my case, I wanted to map the bottom side button (#8) to a double-click of the left button (#1).
Create or edit
~/.xbindkeysrc. The format of this file is a series of paired lines. The first line is a command to be executed for an event; the second line is the event description. We will use the
xte component of
xautomation to send events directly to the input handler.
To create a double-click event when a button is released, I added the following:
"/usr/bin/xte 'mouseclick 1' 'mouseclick 1' &" b:8 + Release
This configuration maps a sequence of two mouse clicks on button #1 to the release of button #8. (In theory I guess you could map any command to a mouse button, but this is the most common case. See this answer for other practical examples.)
Update for 16.04 Ubuntu
For users with multiple mice attached to your system, you need to also pass in the ID of the device. This may not apply to all users and was discovered on Ubuntu 16.04 with Unity.
xinput list ⎡ Virtual core pointer id=2 [master pointer (3)] ⎜ ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer id=4 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ Kensington Kensington Expert Mouse id=9 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad id=13 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint id=14 [slave pointer (2)]
Then modify the .xbindkeysrc file by referencing the id= value from the command output (id=9 in this example):
"/usr/bin/xte -i 9 'mouseclick 1' 'mouseclick 1' &" b:8 + Release
Short steps for this are:
There is a utility called
xinput list or just
xinput will show all the X input devices and theirs IDs. Here you find ID of the mouse which you want to remap.
I will use my ID as example, from my setup, which is 21, then
xinput --get-button-map 21 will output
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Now, if you want to, say, swap left and right buttons you simply run
xinput --set-button-map 21 3 2 1
Here we are, remapping is done.
For running it at startup just put this into a file:
echo "xinput --set-button-map 21 3 2 1" > leftmouseremap.sh
give it executable permission
chmod +x leftmouseremap.sh
Finally, add this to Statrtup Application manually from GUI or , if you want it from CLI, put text below (change paths to yours) inti a file in your
~/.config/autostart, here is mine (
[Desktop Entry] Type=Application Exec=/home/ruslan/leftmouseremap.sh Hidden=false NoDisplay=false X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=true Name[en_US]=/home/ruslan/leftmouseremap.sh Name=/home/ruslan/leftmouseremap.sh Comment[en_US]= Comment=
Keep in mind, that with KDE the path would be like
~/.kde/Autosart, for others Desktop managers this might be sightly different. Alternatively, startup running can be done with general approach by using
When using zerobandwidth's great answer, some devices, such as Logitech's MX Ergo, show up as both a pointer and a keyboard device:
⎡ Virtual core pointer id=2 [master pointer (3)] ⎜ ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer id=4 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ Logitech MX Ergo id=10 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad id=14 [slave pointer (2)] ⎣ Virtual core keyboard id=3 [master keyboard (2)] ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard id=5 [slave keyboard (3)] ↳ Power Button id=6 [slave keyboard (3)] ... ↳ Logitech MX Ergo id=15 [slave keyboard (3)]
grep "Logitech MX Ergo" ends up returning two values. The latter ends up being included as the first item in the mapping string and screws up all of your mouse buttons.
The fix is easy - just use
grep's maximum-count argument,
my_mouse_id=$(xinput | grep -m 1 "Logitech MX Ergo" | sed 's/^.*id=\([0-9]*\)[ \t].*$/\1/') echo $my_mouse_id > ~/temp/my_mouse_id xinput --set-button-map $my_mouse_id 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 2 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
I was able to change the mapping of my Logitech mouse's middle button to 'Return' using Easystroke Gesture Recognition which I downloaded from the Ubuntu Software Center. Edit: In the application, you would select Add Action, Name it, select the key type, click on Details and press Enter, hit Record Stroke, and during the prompt press down on the middle button.
Prior to 12.04 there was an easy graphical tool called "btnx" in the standard repository, which added as "Button properties" in System Configuration. Sadly however it was dropped. An "untrusted" PPA currently maintained for 14.04, 16.04 and 18.04 is here: https://launchpad.net/~oliverstar/+archive/ubuntu/ppa (found at https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/xenial/+source/btnx)
It will not integrate with System settings but is working quite fine on my laptop with a cheap 5-button-mouse. It can remap to keystrokes and commands too and the configuration is much more simple than with any other method!