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December 15, 2002

Wheel Mouse Support Under IRIX

Here's a great tip if you're wanting a little more flexibility with your input devices under IRIX. As of IRIX 6.5.16, support for multi-button mice (including scroll wheel) has been added, though it's not active by default.

Here are the possible systune settings for pcmouse_mode:

0 - Default 3-button mode
1 - 3-button Wheel Mouse (type 3), Wheel generates buttons 4 & 5.
2 - 5-button Wheel Mouse (type 4), Wheel & buttons 4 & 5 generate button events 4 & 5.

Since I am using a Intellimouse Explorer, I chose '2'. The command to activate support in my case would then be (as root):

systune pcmouse_mode 2

After a reboot both the scroll wheel and middle button should be active. On a five button mouse such as the Intellimouse Explorer, the two additional buttons function as scroll up/down. You should also see an entry in /var/adm/SYSLOG like this:

Dec 15 20:19:07 5A:Mika unix: NOTICE: pcmouse: type=4

I've found the scroll wheel works wonderfully with Mozilla, SkipStone and many freeware applications available on http://freeware.sgi.com. If you use aterm as your default terminal it works with that as well.

Posted by nekonoko at December 15, 2002 7:26 PM


I'm having trouble giving up my granite mouse, but...this just rules too much. I love my scroll wheel.. =)

Posted by: Slide at December 16, 2002 8:04 PM

I was getting tired of constantly cleaning the rollers on the granite mouse (I love optical) ... of course having the scroll wheel is fantastic too :)

Posted by: nekonoko at December 17, 2002 1:49 AM

Do you know if there's a way to do this under Irix 6.5? The systune utility doesn't appear to recognize pcmouse_mode under this version of Irix..

Posted by: Scott Brown at February 26, 2004 4:03 PM

I'm using a Dell branded IntelliMouse 1.3A -- works
nicely. I also tried some Logitech optical models, but only IntelliMouse mechanical models worked. I'd
love to be able to use an optical mouse.

Posted by: George White at April 6, 2004 9:03 AM