[Techtalk] Window manager help!!

Kathryn Andersen kat_lists at katspace.com
Thu Aug 8 23:07:54 EST 2002

On Wed, Aug 07, 2002 at 08:04:59PM -0600, mc wrote:
> Now I need a bit of help.  For some reason tonight, both my Linux machines 
> (Dell inspiron laptop running RH7.1 and home built PC running RH 7.3) have 
> decided to go kerblooey on me.
> The symptoms on both were sort of the same, though were they ended up was 
> different.  Basically the mouse went crazy, clicking things as I moved it, 
> opening and closing things.

This sounds suspiciously like a problem that I had with my laptop when
the mouse wasn't set up properly, and was plugged into the PS/2 port.
The problem was, that the touchpad on the laptop was also considered,
hardwarewise, to be using the PS/2 port, so when I moved my mouse, it
interpreted the signals all wrong, as if it were my touchpad.
(I also use a MS trackball, as it happens.  Lovely for the wrist, but
gets clogged up with dirt like anything.)

This doesn't sound like a window-manager problem, but a mouse problem,
though it does seem rather mysterious as to why it should be playing up
now when it (presumably) worked before.

As a last resort, you may have to (gasp) edit a config file.  Your X11
config file, as it happens.

This file is in the /etc/X11 directory, and you need to be root to edit
it.  Seeing as you have RH7.3, I expect you are using a more modern
version of XFree86, so the file is probably called "XF86Config-4"

If you are certain you're going to be using only the trackball when you
use the machine, what you need to do is remove the conflicting mouse
information from the config file, and put in the information just
relating to your trackball.  But SAVE a copy of the config file FIRST,
just in case the changes don't work.

Aside: You do know how to work in a console window, don't you?  Because
if X won't start or work properly, then you can do things like edit
files from one or more console windows.  Go Ctrl-Alt-F1 if you are in
the windowing environment, and that will get you to the first console
login (there are about six I think).  Once you're in "console mode",
then you can go Alt-F1 through to Alt-F6 to get to the different console
windows.  Alt-F7 should get you back to X-Windows.

Anyway, this is what I have in my XF86Config-4 file about my MS
Trackball.  (Note, however, that I'm using Debian, so the
filename/setup may not be exactly the same)  I'm also assuming that your
mouse is plugged into the PS/2 port as mine is.

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Mouse0"
        Driver          "mouse"
        Option          "CorePointer"
        Option          "Device"                "/dev/psaux"
        Option          "Protocol"              "ImPS/2"
        Option          "Emulate3Buttons"       "true"
        Option          "ZAxisMapping"          "4 5"

Then, further down, you will find...

Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier      "Default Layout"
        Screen          "Default Screen"
        InputDevice     "Generic Keyboard"
        InputDevice     "Mouse0"

Just make sure that you only have one "mouse" listed as an input device,
and that it's the entry about your trackball.

Then you'll need to restart X to see if your change worked.  I'm not
sure how you'd do that with your setup, since the way I do it is that I
have kdm as the login manager, and it has an option menu which includes
"restart the X server" as one of its options.

Of course, it may be that this isn't the problem at all, and you don't
need to do any of this... but I thought I'd mention it as a possibility.

Kathryn Andersen
(jumping in again)
Besides a mathematical inclination, an exceptionally good mastery of
one's native tongue is the most vital asset of a competant programmer.
	-- Prof. Dr. Edsger W. Dijkstra  (June 1975)
		(1930-2002, may he rest in peace)
 _--_|\	    | Kathryn Andersen	<kat at katspace.com> <http://www.katspace.com>
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