[nSLUG] Need serial port driver for Ubuntu 10.04

Daniel Morrison draker at gmail.com
Tue Jan 1 18:03:41 AST 2013

On 2013-01-01 16:51, Trina Hanson wrote:
>    Hello, I am trying to find a serial port driver for a PC-TRAC model 9016 trackball.
> I have a few sites with suggestions with no success.  Does anyone know how to
> install a serial port driver for Ubuntu 10.04?

Hi Trina,

The Linux kernel comes with serial port drivers, which run the serial
ports whether there is a device attached to them or not. You don't
need another driver. You just need to tell the software to look for
the mouse on the serial port (e.g. /dev/ttyS0 for 'com1') instead of a
USB or PS/2 mouse.

In the old days this was easy. On Slackware you type "ln -sf
/dev/ttyS0 /dev/mouse" as root. However Ubuntu has embarked on a
campaign to make Linux as difficult to configure for non-standard
situations as they can. A quick Google search shows up multiple
problems trying to get serial mice to work with Ubuntu, and I found no
definite solutions. The best result was this:


Which says to use inputattach to configure the system for a serial
port mouse, specifying the mouse type as an option.

Note also this thread:


which suggests that inputattach may be broken for 10.04. Also it
points out the '--daemon' option (which is not mentioned in the first

A search for "PC-TRAC model 9016" yielded almost no relevant results
at all. I found the company in the US but they offer no serious
support and no mention of your older model. If you don't have a manual
you'll have to guess at the mouse type and hope one of the standard
ones works.

My advice is to give 'inputattach' a try, but if it doesn't work in
short order, it's probably not worth the time fighting with it. I'm
not usually one to support rampant consumerism, but in this case,
unless you're particularly attached to this trackball, buy a new (or
more modern, used) one.

Good luck!


Q: How many NRA spokesmen do you need to change a light bulb?
A: More guns.

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