James McDonald

Invert mouse scroll wheel in Debian

I’ve been using the beta of MacOS X Lion for a few weeks now, and after a few days of initial annoyance I’ve grown to really like the inverted sense of the scroll wheel. I recall when I first got one, in fact, and found the direction downright confusing. This seems to have been an easy behaviour to unlearn.

My desktop box at work runs Debian, and I wanted the same behaviour there to stop me getting split-brain and dribbling a lot. There was a time when a quick change in xorg.conf to ZAxisMapping "5 4" would do this, but it’s not so the modern age of HIDs and evdevs. After a bit of messing about I figured out how to flip the scroll wheel. This will probably work for Ubuntu too.

  • Open the file /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-evdev.conf
  • Look for the section with MatchIsPointer "on". It’s at the top by default.
  • Add this line:

    Option "ButtonMapping" "1 2 3 5 4 6 7 8"</li> <p>

Add more buttons if you need them for your mouse. The section should look like:

<br /> Section "InputClass"<br /> Identifier "evdev pointer catchall"<br /> MatchIsPointer "on"<br /> MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"<br /> Driver "evdev"<br /> Option "ButtonMapping" "1 2 3 5 4 6 7 8"<br /> EndSection<br />

That’s it! Just restart X.


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