How to configure the TrackPoint

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Revision as of 13:09, 9 January 2006 by Wyrfel (Talk | contribs) (Using the X server (kernel 2.6.11+))
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The kernel trackpoint driver is controlled by echoing values to special files. Common configuration options are outlined below.
  • Starting from 2.6.13 config files for this driver are located in /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio0/serio2. (This document uses the new locations.)
  • From 2.6.11 on, they are in /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio0.
  • Prior to kernel 2.6.11, these files were located in /proc/trackpoint.
  • Prior to kernel 2.6.9, these files were not files at all, but were command-line options to the psmouse module. (Note this means you must compile psmouse as a module!) See

General Configuration

The configuration options are reflected by the files you can find in /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio0/serio2. See the TrackPoint driver page for a complete list. Configuration is done by echoing the appropriate values into these special files.

Most common Features

The most common settings are Press to Select, sensitivity, speed and scrolling.

Press to Select

Press to Select allows you to tap the control stick which will simulate a left click. You can enable this feature by typing the following in to a terminal (you may need to be root):

# echo -n 1 > /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio0/serio2/press_to_select

Press to Select should now be enabled. You can disable it in a similar manner:

# echo -n 0 > /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio0/serio2/press_to_select

Sensitivity & Speed

Adjusting the speed and sensitivity of the TrackPoint requires echoing a value between 0 and 255 into the appropriate file. For example, for a speed of 120 and a sensitivity of 250, type the following into a terminal:

# echo -n 120 > /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio0/serio2/speed
# echo -n 250 > /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio0/serio2/sensitivity

Feel free to experiment with your settings until you find a combination that is comfortable.


Using a kernel prior to 2.6.11

The scrolling action is essentially the same as is used in the TrackPoint Windows drivers. To enable this feature, type the following in to a terminal (you may need to be root):

# echo -n 1 > /proc/trackpoint/scroll

Then press the middle button and push the stick up and down to scroll. Similarly, to disable scrolling:

# echo -n 0 > /proc/trackpoint/scroll

Using the X server (kernel 2.6.11+)

The scroll setting has been removed from the trackpoint driver in kernel versions 2.6.11 and above. Scroll emulation should now be handled in the X server.

The necessary functionality, allowing to use button 2 for a middle click, wasn't implemented in Xorg prior to 6.9/7.0. However, there is a patch included in most distributions packages of Xorg, which was announced here. You can find an updated version of the package in the experimental branch of Debian or try to build the mouse driver yourself with the information in the announcement. This has successfully been tried with FC3's 6.8.2 packages.

Once you have applied the patch or updated to Xorg 6.9/7.0, add these lines to your TrackPoint configuration section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

       Option          "EmulateWheel"          "on"
       Option          "EmulateWheelButton"    "2"

Now restart X and hold down button 2 and move the mouse to scroll, or just press and release button 2 for a middle click.

For older versions of Xorg or for Xfree86 (/etc/X11/XF86Config) try this:

      Option          "Emulate3Buttons"       "true"
      Option          "EmulateWheel"          "true"
      Option          "EmulateWheelButton"    "2"

Now restart X and hold down button two and move the mouse for scrolling. To get a middle click, press buttons 1 and 3 simultaneously.

Soft Transparent Mode

If you wish to connect a special device to the external PS/2 port, you should consider using "Soft Transparent Mode" so that the TrackPoint controller does not interpret any commands sent to the external PS/2 port. You can enable soft transparent mode by typing the following in to a terminal:

# echo -n 1 > /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio0/serio2/transparent

Disabling soft transparent mode is similar:

# echo -n 0 > /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio0/serio2/transparent