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

Mun Johl Mun.Johl at Emulex.Com
Wed Jul 21 23:08:33 UTC 2010

Hi Duncan,

On Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 03:56 PM PDT, Duncan wrote:
D> Mun Johl posted on Tue, 20 Jul 2010 13:27:50 -0700 as excerpted:
D> > My apologies if this is not the appropriate forum for my inquiry.
D> > 
D> > My Platform:
D> >    Red Hat Enterprise Linux Client release 5.5 (Tikanga) Qt: 3.3.6 KDE:
D> >    3.5.4-25.el5_4.1 Red Hat
D> > 
D> > I have a Microsoft mouse with 4-way scrolling and I was wondering how to
D> > enable the horizontal scrolling feature?
D> I was thinking that in general it should "just work", but then I took a 
D> look at your platform.  No offense intended but in all honesty, it's 
D> ancient!

No offense taken :)

D> kde 3 isn't officially supported by kde itself (thus these 
D> lists) any more, altho many people still use it and we do try to answer 
D> questions on it, but even for kde3, your kde is old, as 3.5.10 was the 
D> last release, August, 2008, with the 3.5.4 released two years before that 
D> in August, 2006, now four years ago.

Wow.  Note that I do apply every update available to my system; it's
just the Red Hat is *very* conservative on their updates to their
Enterprise Linux product.  Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 is supposed to be
released later this summer, perhaps that will nudge me into a KDE
release that is actively supported (I hope).

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

I see.

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

Hmm, I couldn't find anything pertinent in the way of options in the
xorg.conf; so I'll probably have to focus on whatever driver is used and
try to find out the available options.

D> Depending on the age and configuration of your kernel, the device used may 
D> be /dev/psaux (the really old way) or the somewhat newer /dev/input/mouseX 
D> (with /dev/input/mice being the single devicefile used if you have 
D> multiple pointer devices.)

It appears that the latter (/dev/input/mouseX) is used on my system.

D> The newer, much more plug-n-play method of 
D> course uses the evdev driver and /dev/input/eventX devices for both mice 
D> and keyboards, but that's almost certainly newer than what you're 
D> running.  If it's psaux, configuring the mouse gets somewhat complicated, 
D> and I've happily allowed myself to forget most of it.  You'll have to 
D> ensure that you have the correct mouse type set, as the default probably 
D> doesn't have the necessary number of "buttons" available to be configured 
D> for horizontal scrolling.  If it's input/mice or input/mouseX, 
D> configuration is MUCH less complicated as the kernel itself takes whatever 
D> actual hardware you have and emulates a single standard pointer device.  
D> (Of course, evdev is less complicated still, but...).
D> Once you have the proper device configured, then you have to tell xorg 
D> which of the additional "buttons" (to xorg, a scroll-wheel is two buttons, 
D> one for each direction up/down or left/right) to register for horizontal 
D> scrolling.  Again, I've long forgotten the details, and I now use the evdev 
D> driver so don't have the legacy mouse driver docs installed, but IIRC 
D> there were a number of settings related to X-axis and Y-axis scrolling and 
D> the "buttons" configured for them.
D> That should at least get you pointed in the right direction.  Beyond that, 
D> I'd suggest trying a Red Hat specific list.  Hopefully, as they're in the 
D> business of supporting "Enterprise" users who tend to run far older 
D> versions of stuff, they'll have a list with people still familiar with 
D> installations that old.  Alternatively, Debian certainly has community 
D> lists and Debian Stable tends to be software that's older, so you could 
D> try there, altho you'd have to do some "impedance matching" for things 
D> such as file locations, package names, and the package manager used.
D> Of course, if you have the option of taking the simple way out and 
D> upgrading to something half-way modern, that's what I'd recommend, as a 
D> lot of that stuff really does "just work" with a modern evdev and xorg-
D> server 1.8 based system, and where it doesn't, it's generally far less 
D> hassle to configure just the few settings you need to tweak, without 
D> having to worry about specifying the whole rest of the config correctly, 
D> where the built-in defaults work just fine.

I think maybe I'll wait for RHEL 6 and see if that corrects this issue
automatically.  If not, I'll dig further.  But thanks very much for the
wealth of information.  It was very enlightening.

Kind regards,


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