MOUSED(8) BSD System Manager's Manual MOUSED(8)NAMEmoused — pass mouse data to the console driver
SYNOPSISmoused [-DPRacdfs] [-I file] [-F rate] [-r resolution] [-S baudrate]
[-VH [-U distance -L distance]] [-A exp[,offset]] [-a X[,Y]]
[-C threshold] [-m N=M] [-w N] [-z target] [-t mousetype]
[-l level] [-3 [-E timeout]] [-T distance[,time[,after]]] -p port
moused [-Pd] -p port -i info
The moused utility and the console driver work together to support mouse
operation in the text console and user programs. They virtualize the
mouse and provide user programs with mouse data in the standard format
The mouse daemon listens to the specified port for mouse data, interprets
and then passes it via ioctls to the console driver. The mouse daemon
reports translation movement, button press/release events and movement of
the roller or the wheel if available. The roller/wheel movement is
reported as “Z” axis movement.
The console driver will display the mouse pointer on the screen and pro‐
vide cut and paste functions if the mouse pointer is enabled in the vir‐
tual console via vidcontrol(1). If sysmouse(4) is opened by the user
program, the console driver also passes the mouse data to the device so
that the user program will see it.
If the mouse daemon receives the signal SIGHUP, it will reopen the mouse
port and reinitialize itself. Useful if the mouse is attached/detached
while the system is suspended.
If the mouse daemon receives the signal SIGUSR1, it will stop passing
mouse events. Sending the signal SIGUSR1 again will resume passing mouse
events. Useful if your typing on a laptop is interrupted by accidentally
touching the mouse pad.
The following options are available:
-3 Emulate the third (middle) button for 2-button mice. It is emu‐
lated by pressing the left and right physical buttons simultane‐
Set double click speed as the maximum interval in msec between
button clicks. Without this option, the default value of 500
msec will be assumed. This option will have effect only on the
cut and paste operations in the text mode console. The user pro‐
gram which is reading mouse data via sysmouse(4) will not be
-D Lower DTR on the serial port. This option is valid only if
mousesystems is selected as the protocol type. The DTR line may
need to be dropped for a 3-button mouse to operate in the
When the third button emulation is enabled (see above), the
moused utility waits timeout msec at most before deciding whether
two buttons are being pressed simultaneously. The default time‐
out is 100 msec.
Set the report rate (reports/sec) of the device if supported.
When “Virtual Scrolling” is enabled, the -L option can be used to
set the distance (in pixels) that the mouse must move before a
scroll event is generated. This effectively controls the
scrolling speed. The default distance is 2 pixels.
-H Enable “Horizontal Virtual Scrolling”. With this option set,
holding the middle mouse button down will cause motion to be
interpreted as horizontal scrolling. Use the -U option to set
the distance the mouse must move before the scrolling mode is
activated and the -L option to set the scrolling speed. This
option may be used with or without the -V option.
Write the process id of the moused utility in the specified file.
Without this option, the process id will be stored in
-P Do not start the Plug and Play COM device enumeration procedure
when identifying the serial mouse. If this option is given
together with the -i option, the moused utility will not be able
to print useful information for the serial mouse.
-R Lower RTS on the serial port. This option is valid only if
mousesystems is selected as the protocol type by the -t option
below. It is often used with the -D option above. Both RTS and
DTR lines may need to be dropped for a 3-button mouse to operate
in the mousesystems mode.
Select the baudrate for the serial port (1200 to 9600). Not all
serial mice support this option.
Terminate drift. Use this option if mouse pointer slowly wanders
when mouse is not moved. Movements up to distance (for example
4) pixels (X+Y) in time msec (default 500) are ignored, except
during after msec (default 4000) since last real mouse movement.
-V Enable “Virtual Scrolling”. With this option set, holding the
middle mouse button down will cause motion to be interpreted as
scrolling. Use the -U option to set the distance the mouse must
move before the scrolling mode is activated and the -L option to
set the scrolling speed.
When “Virtual Scrolling” is enabled, the -U option can be used to
set the distance (in pixels) that the mouse must move before the
scrolling mode is activated. The default distance is 3 pixels.
Apply exponential (dynamic) acceleration to mouse movements: the
faster you move the mouse, the more it will be accelerated. That
means that small mouse movements are not accelerated, so they are
still very accurate, while a faster movement will drive the
pointer quickly across the screen.
The exp value specifies the exponent, which is basically the
amount of acceleration. Useful values are in the range 1.1 to
2.0, but it depends on your mouse hardware and your personal
preference. A value of 1.0 means no exponential acceleration. A
value of 2.0 means squared acceleration (i.e. if you move the
mouse twice as fast, the pointer will move four times as fast on
the screen). Values beyond 2.0 are possible but not recommended.
A good value to start is probably 1.5.
The optional offset value specifies the distance at which the
acceleration begins. The default is 1.0, which means that the
acceleration is applied to movements larger than one unit. If
you specify a larger value, it takes more speed for the accelera‐
tion to kick in, i.e. the speed range for small and accurate
movements is wider. Usually the default should be sufficient,
but if you're not satisfied with the behaviour, try a value of
Note that the -A option interacts badly with the X server's own
acceleration, which doesn't work very well anyway. Therefore it
is recommended to switch it off if necessary: “xset m 1”.
Accelerate or decelerate the mouse input. This is a linear
acceleration only. Values less than 1.0 slow down movement, val‐
ues greater than 1.0 speed it up. Specifying only one value sets
the acceleration for both axes.
You can use the -a and -A options at the same time to have the
combined effect of linear and exponential acceleration.
-c Some mice report middle button down events as if the left and
right buttons are being pressed. This option handles this.
-d Enable debugging messages.
-f Do not become a daemon and instead run as a foreground process.
Useful for testing and debugging.
Print specified information and quit. Available pieces of infor‐
port Port (device file) name, i.e. /dev/cuad0, /dev/mse0 and
if Interface type: serial, bus, inport or ps/2.
type Protocol type. It is one of the types listed under the
-t option below or sysmouse if the driver supports the
sysmouse data format standard.
model Mouse model. The moused utility may not always be able
to identify the model.
all All of the above items. Print port, interface, type
and model in this order in one line.
If the moused utility cannot determine the requested information,
it prints “unknown” or “generic”.
Specifies at which level moused should operate the mouse driver.
Refer to Operation Levels in psm(4) for more information on this.
-m N=M Assign the physical button M to the logical button N. You may
specify as many instances of this option as you like. More than
one physical button may be assigned to a logical button at the
same time. In this case the logical button will be down, if
either of the assigned physical buttons is held down. Do not put
space around ‘=’.
Use port to communicate with the mouse.
Set the resolution of the device; in Dots Per Inch, or low,
medium-low, medium-high or high. This option may not be sup‐
ported by all the device.
-s Select a baudrate of 9600 for the serial line. Not all serial
mice support this option.
Specify the protocol type of the mouse attached to the port. You
may explicitly specify a type listed below, or use auto to let
the moused utility automatically select an appropriate protocol
for the given mouse. If you entirely omit this option in the
command line, -t auto is assumed. Under normal circumstances,
you need to use this option only if the moused utility is not
able to detect the protocol automatically (see Configuring Mouse
Note that if a protocol type is specified with this option, the
-P option above is implied and Plug and Play COM device enumera‐
tion procedure will be disabled.
Also note that if your mouse is attached to the PS/2 mouse port,
you should always choose auto or ps/2, regardless of the brand
and model of the mouse. Likewise, if your mouse is attached to
the bus mouse port, choose auto or busmouse. Serial mouse proto‐
cols will not work with these mice.
For the USB mouse, the protocol must be auto. No other protocol
will work with the USB mouse.
Valid types for this option are listed below.
For the serial mouse:
microsoft Microsoft serial mouse protocol. Most 2-button
serial mice use this protocol.
intellimouse Microsoft IntelliMouse protocol. Genius Net‐
Mouse, ASCII Mie Mouse, Logitech MouseMan+ and
FirstMouse+ use this protocol too. Other mice
with a roller/wheel may be compatible with this
mousesystems MouseSystems 5-byte protocol. 3-button mice may
use this protocol.
mmseries MM Series mouse protocol.
logitech Logitech mouse protocol. Note that this is for
old Logitech models. mouseman or intellimouse
should be specified for newer models.
mouseman Logitech MouseMan and TrackMan protocol. Some
3-button mice may be compatible with this proto‐
col. Note that MouseMan+ and FirstMouse+ use
intellimouse protocol rather than this one.
glidepoint ALPS GlidePoint protocol.
thinkingmouse Kensington ThinkingMouse protocol.
mmhitab Hitachi tablet protocol.
x10mouseremote X10 MouseRemote.
kidspad Genius Kidspad and Easypad protocol.
versapad Interlink VersaPad protocol.
GTCO Digipad protocol.
For the bus and InPort mouse:
busmouse This is the only protocol type available for the
bus and InPort mouse and should be specified for
any bus mice and InPort mice, regardless of the
For the PS/2 mouse:
ps/2 This is the only protocol type available for the
PS/2 mouse and should be specified for any PS/2
mice, regardless of the brand.
For the USB mouse, auto is the only protocol type available for
the USB mouse and should be specified for any USB mice, regard‐
less of the brand.
-w N Make the physical button N act as the wheel mode button. While
this button is pressed, X and Y axis movement is reported to be
zero and the Y axis movement is mapped to Z axis. You may fur‐
ther map the Z axis movement to virtual buttons by the -z option
Map Z axis (roller/wheel) movement to another axis or to virtual
buttons. Valid target maybe:
y X or Y axis movement will be reported when the Z axis move‐
ment is detected.
N Report down events for the virtual buttons N and N+1 respec‐
tively when negative and positive Z axis movement is
detected. There do not need to be physical buttons N and
N+1. Note that mapping to logical buttons is carried out
after mapping from the Z axis movement to the virtual but‐
tons is done.
Report down events for the virtual buttons N1 and N2 respec‐
tively when negative and positive Z axis movement is
N1 N2 N3 N4
This is useful for the mouse with two wheels of which the
second wheel is used to generate horizontal scroll action,
and for the mouse which has a knob or a stick which can
detect the horizontal force applied by the user.
The motion of the second wheel will be mapped to the buttons
N3, for the negative direction, and N4, for the positive
direction. If the buttons N3 and N4 actually exist in this
mouse, their actions will not be detected.
Note that horizontal movement or second roller/wheel move‐
ment may not always be detected, because there appears to be
no accepted standard as to how it is encoded.
Note also that some mice think left is the negative horizon‐
tal direction; others may think otherwise. Moreover, there
are some mice whose two wheels are both mounted vertically,
and the direction of the second vertical wheel does not
match the first one.
Configuring Mouse Daemon
The first thing you need to know is the interface type of the mouse you
are going to use. It can be determined by looking at the connector of
the mouse. The serial mouse has a D-Sub female 9- or 25-pin connector.
The bus and InPort mice have either a D-Sub male 9-pin connector or a
round DIN 9-pin connector. The PS/2 mouse is equipped with a small,
round DIN 6-pin connector. Some mice come with adapters with which the
connector can be converted to another. If you are to use such an
adapter, remember the connector at the very end of the mouse/adapter pair
is what matters. The USB mouse has a flat rectangular connector.
The next thing to decide is a port to use for the given interface. For
the bus, InPort and PS/2 mice, there is little choice: the bus and InPort
mice always use /dev/mse0, and the PS/2 mouse is always at /dev/psm0.
There may be more than one serial port to which the serial mouse can be
attached. Many people often assign the first, built-in serial port
/dev/cuad0 to the mouse. You can attach multiple USB mice to your system
or to your USB hub. They are accessible as /dev/ums0, /dev/ums1, and so
You may want to create a symbolic link /dev/mouse pointing to the real
port to which the mouse is connected, so that you can easily distinguish
which is your “mouse” port later.
The next step is to guess the appropriate protocol type for the mouse.
The moused utility may be able to automatically determine the protocol
type. Run the moused utility with the -i option and see what it says.
If the command can identify the protocol type, no further investigation
is necessary on your part. You may start the daemon without explicitly
specifying a protocol type (see EXAMPLES).
The command may print sysmouse if the mouse driver supports this protocol
Note that the type and model printed by the -i option do not necessarily
match the product name of the pointing device in question, but they may
give the name of the device with which it is compatible.
If the -i option yields nothing, you need to specify a protocol type to
the moused utility by the -t option. You have to make a guess and try.
There is rule of thumb:
1. The bus and InPort mice always use busmouse protocol regardless of
the brand of the mouse.
2. The ps/2 protocol should always be specified for the PS/2 mouse
regardless of the brand of the mouse.
3. You must specify the auto protocol for the USB mouse.
4. Most 2-button serial mice support the microsoft protocol.
5. 3-button serial mice may work with the mousesystems protocol. If it
does not, it may work with the microsoft protocol although the third
(middle) button will not function. 3-button serial mice may also
work with the mouseman protocol under which the third button may
function as expected.
6. 3-button serial mice may have a small switch to choose between “MS”
and “PC”, or “2” and “3”. “MS” or “2” usually mean the microsoft
protocol. “PC” or “3” will choose the mousesystems protocol.
7. If the mouse has a roller or a wheel, it may be compatible with the
To test if the selected protocol type is correct for the given mouse,
enable the mouse pointer in the current virtual console,
vidcontrol -m on
start the mouse daemon in the foreground mode,
moused-f -p <selected_port> -t <selected_protocol>
and see if the mouse pointer travels correctly according to the mouse
movement. Then try cut & paste features by clicking the left, right and
middle buttons. Type ^C to stop the command.
As many instances of the mouse daemon as the number of mice attached to
the system may be run simultaneously; one instance for each mouse. This
is useful if the user wants to use the built-in PS/2 pointing device of a
laptop computer while on the road, but wants to use a serial mouse when
s/he attaches the system to the docking station in the office. Run two
mouse daemons and tell the application program (such as the X Window
System) to use sysmouse(4), then the application program will always see
mouse data from either mouse. When the serial mouse is not attached, the
corresponding mouse daemon will not detect any movement or button state
change and the application program will only see mouse data coming from
the daemon for the PS/2 mouse. In contrast when both mice are attached
and both of them are moved at the same time in this configuration, the
mouse pointer will travel across the screen just as if movement of the
mice is combined all together.
/dev/consolectl device to control the console
/dev/mse%d bus and InPort mouse driver
/dev/psm%d PS/2 mouse driver
/dev/sysmouse virtualized mouse driver
/dev/ttyv%d virtual consoles
/dev/ums%d USB mouse driver
process id of the currently running moused utility
UNIX-domain stream socket for X10 MouseRemote events
EXAMPLESmoused-p /dev/cuad0 -i type
Let the moused utility determine the protocol type of the mouse at the
serial port /dev/cuad0. If successful, the command will print the type,
otherwise it will say “unknown”.
vidcontrol -m on
If the moused utility is able to identify the protocol type of the mouse
at the specified port automatically, you can start the daemon without the
-t option and enable the mouse pointer in the text console as above.
moused-p /dev/mouse -t microsoft
vidcontrol -m on
Start the mouse daemon on the serial port /dev/mouse. The protocol type
microsoft is explicitly specified by the -t option.
moused-p /dev/mouse -m 1=3 -m 3=1
Assign the physical button 3 (right button) to the logical button 1 (log‐
ical left) and the physical button 1 (left) to the logical button 3 (log‐
ical right). This will effectively swap the left and right buttons.
moused-p /dev/mouse -t intellimouse -z 4
Report negative Z axis movement (i.e., mouse wheel) as the button 4
pressed and positive Z axis movement (i.e., mouse wheel) as the button 5
If you add
ALL ALL = NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/killall -USR1moused
to your /usr/local/etc/sudoers file, and bind
to a key in your window manager, you can suspend mouse events on your
laptop if you keep brushing over the mouse pad while typing.
Many pad devices behave as if the first (left) button were pressed if the
user “taps” the surface of the pad. In contrast, some ALPS GlidePoint
and Interlink VersaPad models treat the tapping action as fourth button
events. Use the option “-m 1=4” for these models to obtain the same
effect as the other pad devices.
Cut and paste functions in the virtual console assume that there are
three buttons on the mouse. The logical button 1 (logical left) selects
a region of text in the console and copies it to the cut buffer. The
logical button 3 (logical right) extends the selected region. The logi‐
cal button 2 (logical middle) pastes the selected text at the text cursor
position. If the mouse has only two buttons, the middle, `paste' button
is not available. To obtain the paste function, use the -3 option to
emulate the middle button, or use the -m option to assign the physical
right button to the logical middle button: “-m 2=3”.
SEE ALSOkill(1), vidcontrol(1), xset(1), keyboard(4), mse(4), psm(4), screen(4),
The moused utility partially supports “Plug and Play External COM Device
Specification” in order to support PnP serial mice. However, due to var‐
ious degrees of conformance to the specification by existing serial mice,
it does not strictly follow the version 1.0 of the standard. Even with
this less strict approach, it may not always determine an appropriate
protocol type for the given serial mouse.
The moused utility first appeared in FreeBSD 2.2.
The moused utility was written by Michael Smith ⟨msmith@FreeBSD.org⟩.
This manual page was written by Mike Pritchard ⟨mpp@FreeBSD.org⟩. The
command and manual page have since been updated by Kazutaka Yokota
BSD May 15, 2008 BSD