Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Logitech MX Revolution in Linux

With my Dell Precision M6300, I was given a Logitech MX Revolution Rechargeable Cordless Laser Mouse. There's a review here. This is a great looking mouse with a good feel (if you're right-handed). It has the usual buttons and wheels. Compared to other laser mice, it has the same smooth flow and precision.

The greatest feature however, and it's stand-out point is the wheel. The wheel can change from a click-wheel to a free wheel. By default in Linux (no special drivers loaded) The wheel button itself changes this behaviour, which means you don't have a middle-button (button 2). If you use this for Firefox tabs, or pasting, you will find this a real pain!

Windows users get an extra feature: Depending on how fast you scroll the wheel, the click-scroll will automatically disable, allowing the wheel to free spin for quite a few seconds. When it stops, the click-feature automatically sets back in. You can hear this with a small "clunk". Logitech claims this is great for navigating very large documents quickly. I like it because I like watching shiny things spin :)

I assumed I would be left without this in Linux however, as weird Windows driver stuff is usually not available. Think again! Thanks to Some Guy there is a program called revoco to control it. Petteri R├Ąty (betelgeuse) has created an ebuild for Gentoo. Follow his instructions, and be sure to read the comments, as you will find some useful info there. I had to do the following:

  1. Edit revoco-0.3.c and change the value of #define MX_REVOLUTION to the value you get for you mouse from `lsusb`. Mine is c525.
  2. The auto setting was a bit whacko by default - the solenoid was clicking on and off without even moving the wheel. This worked:
    $ sudo revoco auto=10
  3. Setting the manual click change to button "6" (find button) gives you the middle click (button 2) back *woot*
    $ sudo revoco manual=6
    and also gets rid of that annoying "search" keyevent which I have a keyboard for :)
  4. But unfortunately, when I set the manual=6 option, the auto scroll feature turns off again :| But that's a small price to pay!
Now I can show off to my friends :) What fun!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm using revoco 0.5 (which includes a change to detect the newer 0xc525 version MX Revolution, so no need to patch it now).

I set auto=10, which seems a reasonable value. With three MX Revolutions I tried, doing this caused the middle mouse button to cease controlling the hyperscroll, and behave as a MMB should. Perhaps if you set manual=3 again, you'll find that setting auto then has the desired effect of enabling velocity-sensitive hyperscroll switching and also enabling the MMB for normal use. Or perhaps it always worked that way, and you didn't notice.

Or perhaps I misinterpreted your post, and you really want to have the search button switch between modes as well as having auto-hyperscroll. I don't have a solution for that either :)

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