[nSLUG] Need serial port driver for Ubuntu 10.04

Trina Hanson trina.hanson79 at gmail.com
Wed Jan 2 12:28:31 AST 2013

Thank you Daniel and Ted.  I will try both of these methods and let you all
know how it works out.


On Wed, Jan 2, 2013 at 12:45 AM, Ted Tibbetts <intuited at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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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