[kde-linux] How do I enable horizontal scrolling?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Tue Jul 20 22:56:16 UTC 2010

Mun Johl posted on Tue, 20 Jul 2010 13:27:50 -0700 as excerpted:

> My apologies if this is not the appropriate forum for my inquiry.
> My Platform:
>    Red Hat Enterprise Linux Client release 5.5 (Tikanga) Qt: 3.3.6 KDE:
>    3.5.4-25.el5_4.1 Red Hat
> I have a Microsoft mouse with 4-way scrolling and I was wondering how to
> enable the horizontal scrolling feature?

I was thinking that in general it should "just work", but then I took a 
look at your platform.  No offense intended but in all honesty, it's 
ancient!  kde 3 isn't officially supported by kde itself (thus these 
lists) any more, altho many people still use it and we do try to answer 
questions on it, but even for kde3, your kde is old, as 3.5.10 was the 
last release, August, 2008, with the 3.5.4 released two years before that 
in August, 2006, now four years ago.

Now I don't run Red Hat, but assuming the rest of the platform is equally 
old, there have been a LOT of changes since then, particularly in the 
areas of "just works" xorg configuration and plug-n-play detection (with 
xinput2 only really working from last year), and the related kernel input 
system it's based on.  Back then, it was possible to get things like 
horizontal scroll-wheeling working, but it involved jumping thru quite a 
few more configuration hoops than it does with a recent kernel and xorg 
(In terms of hardware, kde for the most part simply provides a front-end 
for using the services provided by the kernel, xorg, etc.)

So upgrading to something semi-recent is the simplest alternative, but 
assuming that's not a viable option in your case or you'd have done it 
long before now, where I'd start is with xorg.conf (usually 
/etc/X11/xorg.conf, depending on the distribution).  The mouse 
configuration should be in an InputDevice section, so that's what you'll 
be interested in.  (You'll probably have two such sections, one for the 
mouse the other for the keyboard.)  The xorg.conf manpage should give you 
an idea of the various possible options and what they do.

Depending on the age and configuration of your kernel, the device used may 
be /dev/psaux (the really old way) or the somewhat newer /dev/input/mouseX 
(with /dev/input/mice being the single devicefile used if you have 
multiple pointer devices.)  The newer, much more plug-n-play method of 
course uses the evdev driver and /dev/input/eventX devices for both mice 
and keyboards, but that's almost certainly newer than what you're 
running.  If it's psaux, configuring the mouse gets somewhat complicated, 
and I've happily allowed myself to forget most of it.  You'll have to 
ensure that you have the correct mouse type set, as the default probably 
doesn't have the necessary number of "buttons" available to be configured 
for horizontal scrolling.  If it's input/mice or input/mouseX, 
configuration is MUCH less complicated as the kernel itself takes whatever 
actual hardware you have and emulates a single standard pointer device.  
(Of course, evdev is less complicated still, but...).

Once you have the proper device configured, then you have to tell xorg 
which of the additional "buttons" (to xorg, a scroll-wheel is two buttons, 
one for each direction up/down or left/right) to register for horizontal 
scrolling.  Again, I've long forgotten the details, and I now use the evdev 
driver so don't have the legacy mouse driver docs installed, but IIRC 
there were a number of settings related to X-axis and Y-axis scrolling and 
the "buttons" configured for them.

That should at least get you pointed in the right direction.  Beyond that, 
I'd suggest trying a Red Hat specific list.  Hopefully, as they're in the 
business of supporting "Enterprise" users who tend to run far older 
versions of stuff, they'll have a list with people still familiar with 
installations that old.  Alternatively, Debian certainly has community 
lists and Debian Stable tends to be software that's older, so you could 
try there, altho you'd have to do some "impedance matching" for things 
such as file locations, package names, and the package manager used.

Of course, if you have the option of taking the simple way out and 
upgrading to something half-way modern, that's what I'd recommend, as a 
lot of that stuff really does "just work" with a modern evdev and xorg-
server 1.8 based system, and where it doesn't, it's generally far less 
hassle to configure just the few settings you need to tweak, without 
having to worry about specifying the whole rest of the config correctly, 
where the built-in defaults work just fine.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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