Arch Linux: Kensington Expert Mouse FDI File

The FDI file is similar to the one I used for Xubuntu, with the exact match changed to a partial match. For some reason, the exact match seemed to not work.

Because the XFCE4 Mouse configuration utility sets handedness on a per-mouse basis, you need not swap buttons 1+3 here. I did, anyway, and the mouse automagically came up left-handed.

I swapped 2+8, the top two buttons, putting the browser “back one page” button at the upper left and the “open in new tab” button at the upper right.

The contents of /etc/hal/fdi/policy/10-expertmouse.fdi:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<deviceinfo version="0.2">
 <device>
 <match key="input.product" contains="Kensington Expert Mouse">
 <append key="input.x11_options.ButtonMapping" type="string">3 8 1 4 5 6 7 2</append>
 </match>
 </device>
</deviceinfo>

And, for whatever reason, the scroll ring now works perfectly without the least hint of stuttering or jamming.

7 thoughts on “Arch Linux: Kensington Expert Mouse FDI File

  1. Strange, I’m fairly sure I tried just that before I had to come up with <match key="input.originating_device" contains="usb_device_47d_1020">. Perhaps string would’ve worked on that one, but it’s been over a year since I translated my custom Windows configuration to Ubuntu, so I don’t remember what things I tried specifically before I ended up with my working FDI file.

    1. On a very related note, lshal | less comes up with things like this, which is presumably more like the kind of values I tried. Although I really don’t remember.

        info.product = 'Expert Mouse Trackball'  (string)
        usb_device.product = 'Expert Mouse Trackball'  (string)
      1. All of the HAL stuff seems to make sense when you see a working example, but I find it very difficult to carve something out from first principles. Stuff that should match, doesn’t; stuff that shouldn’t matter at all, does.

        But HAL is going away, anyhow, as happened with the update to xorg 1.8. More details there and there.

        Talk about a moving target!

        1. Yeah, they announced that they were going to start killing it off half a year or so after I first finished my custom FDI files I believe. Given the too large amount of effort I had to put into figuring things out I intend to let my present configuration sit as long as I can.

          Anyway, if the settings have to go back into xorg.conf then that should be easier to figure out than the FDI files, though I do think it’s a little more annoying for backup purposes to have one xorg.conf file. Or perhaps not for the backups themselves, but for restoring certain configurations selectively later on (in a new or different installation or whatever).

          1. The trick appears to be that all the default configuration goes into files in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d and all your customized stuff goes into /etc/X11/xorg.conf. In theory, that means you just back up xorg.conf, much as you did before, and it Just Works.

            I find that hard to believe, but right now the xorg.conf on this box has just the Kensington trackball, Wacom tablet, and my weird dual-monitors-with-one-rotated setup. Everything else, whatever it may be, hides elsewhere.

            This blissful state can’t possibly last for long…

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