[nSLUG] Need serial port driver for Ubuntu 10.04

Ted Tibbetts intuited at gmail.com
Wed Jan 2 00:45:12 AST 2013

Ubuntu community-maintained documentation at
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SerialMouseHowto has this to say about
the use of InputAttach:

    ## Using Inputattach

    This method is tested to work with Ubuntu 10.4.

        1. Press Control-Alt-F1 to get to Virtual Terminal 1 (your screen
will turn black and you'll see a login prompt in white text).
        2. Login using your username and password.
        1. Run 'inputattach --help' and find the appropriate protocol
option to match your mouse
        2. Add 'inputattach <protocol option> /dev/ttyS0' (or whatever
device your serial mouse is attached to) to /etc/rc.local

    ie. for many generic serial mice, the code is:

        inputattach --microsoft /dev/ttyS0

    Restart (ie. 'sudo reboot')

    Hopefully your mouse is now working, if not, remove the line you added
to rc.local and try another method.

It does look like these instructions could use a revision: for example, the
bullet numbering (1, 2, 1, 2) is theirs.  They may be at odds with the
problems reported in Daniel's second link; it's not made entirely clear
whether the poster of that question did all of this in a Virtual Terminal
while a GUI session was running in another terminal.  In any case, as
Daniel says, it's worth a shot.

Also note that you'll have to hit CTRL-ALT-F7 (or in some case CTRL-ALT-F8)
to get back to your GUI session after following the above instructions.
 Normally you would log out of your session in the text-mode terminal
first, unless you want to leave your machine open for someone to use.

If you do get it working, and you are particularly ambitious and/or
grateful, you may consider updating the community documentation to make it
a bit more clear or to explain any interesting details you discover along
the way.

If it doesn't work, you may want to bring your machine and trackball in to
the next meeting.  I'm mostly just a lurker on the mailing list, so I'll
leave it to one of the regulars to fill you in on the details.

You could also try digging through the manual page for `inputattach` (by
issuing the command `man inputattach` from a Terminal window) to see if you
can find a more appropriate option than `--microsoft`, which is intended to
identify the device as a basic 2-button mouse.

2013/1/1 Daniel Morrison <draker at gmail.com>

> 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:
> http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1774532
> 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:
> http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1683107
> which suggests that inputattach may be broken for 10.04. Also it
> points out the '--daemon' option (which is not mentioned in the first
> thread).
> 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!
> -D.
> --
> Q: How many NRA spokesmen do you need to change a light bulb?
> A: More guns.
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> nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
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