[nSLUG] Serial drivers for Ubuntu 10.04?

Joel Maxuel j.maxuel at gmail.com
Fri Feb 1 12:52:52 AST 2013

>> I'm assuming after installation a conf file /etc/gpm.conf would show
>> up to specify serial (such as /dev/ttyS0).
> ***   I found the file and changed the file to read as above, rebooted the
> computer and the trackball would still not work.
>>  If not, there would be a
>> README (or more) in /usr/share/doc/gpm/
> ***   I found that nearly all of the README files delt with touch screens
> and did not mention mice/trackballs.  I did find a "gpm-syn.conf" file in
> examples, but again this dealt with touch screens.
>> Then you can test with the following command:
>> /usr/sbin/gpm-mouse-test
> ***   Did that and nothing happened, it just sits there until I press Ctrl +
> Z.

The man page mentions the device name as the parameter.  So
'gpm-mouse-test /dev/ttyS0'  may be more fruitful (and if I recall
correctly, the program moves a pointer on the screen once the
mouse/trackball is moved).

> Interesting side note is that for /ttyS0, /ttyS1, /ttyS2, /ttyS3, I get the
> error "No such file or directory".  I am wondering if this has to do with
> the issue I have been having getting this trackball up and running?

If /dev/ttyS0 does not exist, then I would say that is the cause.  As
this is a serial mouse, it is not being picked up at all (so Xorg nor
GPM knows it exists).

This is outside my realm (Ben already mentioned the challenge - I'm a
Debian user.  Also, the last time I had to futz around with serial
ports was to share ttyS0 so I can use it in a virtual machine - don't
think I had to recreate the node), but try the inputattach method from
above and see if /dev/ttyS0 gets created.  There is an old way of
creating this stuff, but I don't know how relevant it is.  Check out


>> Besides GPM, you can try grabbing data from your serial port, just
>> search the archives for "hamster wheel".  If you can prove that the OS
>> is picking up events from the trackball, you would be in better shape
>> when tiem to troubleshoot Xorg.
> ***   I will search the archives for this.  Is there anyway to search the
> archive without having to open each months threads and searching using Ctrl
> + F?

There is the nabble site that can be used (this service is a
subscriber so this has the threads that pipermail does not - most of
last year):


The particular conversation I was thinking of is:


More information about the nSLUG mailing list