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Configuring a Mouse for Working with a Key64

Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman

Classic PC mouse have two buttons, others have a middle button, sometimes it have been replaced by a roller button, which works as a third button and also as a roller.

Trying to find the best mouse keyboard configuration while being minimalistic i think the best ergonomic option is to have a trackball mouse with just two buttons, and use a modifier in order to allow for scrolling using the trackball and anther one to perform the third button or as a combination of the two buttons.

The Trackball that mostly resembles these ideas are the Kensington TurboRing Trackball and the Microsoft Trackball Explorer

Kensington TurboRing Trackball


Microsoft Trackball Explorer

Microsoft Trackball Explorer - Front view

Many people rank the Microsoft Trackball Explorer as the best trackball on history, however, it have some design flaws:

  1. Scrolling using the thumb is a little difficult
  2. When pressing the right button you always have the possibility to press the roller button, so its a very difficult to reach without mistakes.
  3. It is just for right handed people (it doesn't affect me, but for others is a no-go)

However is by far the best ergonomic design i have found.

Since the Microsoft Trackball Explorer have been discontinued i have to look into another options like the Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman however it is plagged with butttons, the left button is so small that it is not useful.

Logitech Cordless Optical TrackMan Trackball

I will like something like the Microsoft Trackball Explorer with just two buttons, no roller, the best roller is the Trackball with a keyboard modifier and no more.

Also i will like the roller not only for vertical scrooling i will like to roll on the horizontal axis too.

So my attentions turns into the Logitech Trackball Marble Mouse a not so ergonomical mouse but closer to my needs, two big buttons along with another two small buttons but they don't count, they are so small that i don't think somebody use them, the two small buttons will behave as 'back' and 'forward' for browser ... no comments ...

Logitech Trackball Marble Mouse

A good technical source:

Mapping keyboard keys to mouse buttons:

I think the best modifier will be the 'Shift' key for the wheel in a standard keyboard or the 'Alt-Gr' in the Key64 keyboard.

Another user highly recommends the RollerMouse Free2, according to him: "it's very dificult to use something else".

RollerMouse Free2


Proposed Mouse

Mouse Hack :

Order 3 Ruby Balls #B 2.00 R price is $10 from

I think the mouse must be something in between a microsoft mouse and a kensigtnon expert mouse.

It should have the left button only on the left side, with a roller there or arround the ball like in the kensington expert mouse.

I am still not sure about which roller to use, but one thing is clear, the trackball must be controler by the finger and the middle finger.

So it shoud be easy to tweak a chepear mouse to do the hack.

Great Instructions on how to fix a microsoft expert mouse:


Debian Squeeze Configuration

Take a look at mouse configuration:


 /sbin/udevadm info --export-db | less


and search for "ogitech"


P: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1a.2/usb5/5-2/5-2:1.0/input/input3


E: DEVPATH=/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1a.2/usb5/5-2/5-2:1.0/input/input3

E: PRODUCT=3/46d/c408/110

E: NAME="Logitech USB Trackball"

E: PHYS="usb-0000:00:1a.2-2/input0"

E: UNIQ=""

E: EV==17

E: KEY==1f0000 0 0 0 0

E: REL==3

E: MSC==10

E: MODALIAS=input:b0003v046DpC408e0110-e0,1,2,4,k110,111,112,113,114,r0,1,am4,lsfw



mkdir /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d

cd /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d

cat > 10-evdev.conf << EOF

#       - - - Logitech Marble Mouse Settings - - -


#       For the sake of comments below, a Logitech Marble Mouse has buttons

#       labeled from left to right: A (large), B, C, D (large).


#       Preferred options for right-handed usage are:

#       Left to right:  A=1,normal click  B=2,middle-click  C=2,middle-click  D=3,right-click

#       Press button B (hold button while rolling trackball) to emulate wheel-scrolling.


#       Preferred options for left-handed usage (saying 'alternate-click' instead of 'right click'):

#       Left to right:  A=3,alternate-click  B=2,middle-click  C=2,middle-click  D=1,normal click

#       Press button C (hold button while rolling trackball) to emulate wheel-scrolling.


#       The trackball can scroll in two-axes, unlike a typical wheel mouse. Adjust the

#       settings to constrain the scroll action to vertical-axis-only if you prefer.


#       Pressing both large buttons simultaneously (b) produces a "back" action (=8). Finally,

#       pressing and holding button B while rolling the trackball emulates wheel-rolling action.


Section "InputClass"

        Identifier  "Marble Mouse"

        MatchProduct "Logitech USB Trackball"

        MatchIsPointer "on"

        MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"

        Driver "evdev"

#       Physical button #s:     A b D - - - - B C    b = A & D simultaneously;   - = no button

        Option "ButtonMapping" "1 8 3 4 5 6 7 2 2"

#       Option "ButtonMapping" "1 8 3 4 5 6 7 2 2"   #  For right-hand placement

#       Option "ButtonMapping" "3 8 1 4 5 6 7 2 2"   #  For left-hand placement


#       EmulateWheel refers to emulating a mouse wheel using Marble Mouse trackball.

        Option "EmulateWheel" "true"

#       Option "EmulateWheelButton" "8"              # Factory default; use "9" for left-side placement.

        Option "EmulateWheelButton" "8"

#       Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"

        Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"

#       Option "XAxisMapping" "6 7"                  # Disable this for vertical-only scrolling.

#       Option "XAxisMapping" "6 7"

#       Emulate3Buttons refers to the act of pressing buttons A and D

#       simultaneously to emulate a middle-click or wheel click.

        Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true"

#       Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true"              # Factory default.




and restart X


On Debian there are some configurations at:






From an ergonomic point of view probably the MTE is the best mouse, or the mouse to start modifing as it have some design errors.

For a roller there is nothing like the kensigton expert mouse ring, a ring is more comfortable than a classical roller.

The thumb must be used for left click

Finger and middle to handle the ball and the roller.

Ring finger for second button.

Pinky for third button.



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