Configuring Mouse Settings on a Debian System

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Debian lets you do a lot of configuration on even the smallest system modules because it is an open source operating system. Among other things, you can configure how you want to use your external USB mouse. In this article, we describe how to make the following changes to your mouse settings:

  • Set either the left / right button as the primary button (via the Debian Settings utility)
  • Configuring mouse speed (via the Debian Settings utility)
  • Enable / Disable Natural Scrolling (via Debian Settings utility)
  • Configure acceleration profile (via Gnome Tweaks)
  • Highlight the location of the pointer when the Ctrl key is pressed (via Gnome Tweaks)
  • Middle click paste (via Gnome Tweaks)

You can run all of the commands and procedures in this article on a Debian 10 Buster system and even on slightly older versions of Debian.

Make mouse configurations through the Debian Settings utility

If you prefer to use the GUI to perform simple administrative tasks, you can use the Settings graphical utility.

You can access the settings either through the Application Launcher search or by doing one of the following:

Click the down arrow in the top right corner of your Debian desktop and then click the Settings icon in the following view:

In the Settings utility, you must click the Devices tab, then click the Mouse & Touchpad tab to make the necessary configurations.

Alternatively, you can start this view directly by entering the appropriate mouse and touchpad keywords in the Application Launcher search as follows:

This is what the Mouse & Touchpad view looks like:

Mouse and touchpad settings

You can use this view to make the following settings:

1. Set either the left / right button as the primary button (via Debian Settings)

To make mouse operation more comfortable for left-handers, you can rearrange the order of the physical buttons on both mice and touchpads. In the General panel of the Mouse & Touch Pads view, click the button that you want to use as the primary button.advertising

2. Configure the mouse speed (via Debian settings)

Not all mice (hardware) move the pointer perfectly at the standard mouse speed set on your Debian desktop. You can set how fast or slow the mouse pointer moves by moving the mouse speed slider to the left or right in the mouse area of ​​the Mouse and Touchpad view.

3. Enable / Disable Natural Scrolling (via Debian Settings)

By enabling / disabling natural scrolling, you can configure whether scrolling moves the content or the current view. Toggle the natural scrolling slider in the Mouse Control Panel on the Mouse & Touchpad tab to enable / disable natural scrolling.

Make mouse configurations with the Gnome Tweaks Tool

You can also use the Gnome Tweaks Tool to make some configurations on your USB mouse. To install this utility, open the Debian Software Manager and search for Gnome Tweaks:

GNOME optimizations

Click on the similar search result you see above and install it on your system.

Now open the Tweaks tool from the System Dash and open the Keyboards & Mouse tab:

Keyboard and mouse settings

You can use this view to make the following settings:

1. Configure the acceleration profile

In the “Acceleration profile” drop-down list in the “Keyboard & Mouse” view, you can choose between three profiles:

Standard: This profile ensures that the mouth pointer moves very gently and precisely over short distances.

Adaptive: This profile takes the current speed of the device into account when making the acceleration decision.

Flat: This profile adds a constant factor to all device deltas regardless of the speed of movement.

2. Highlight the pointer position when the Ctrl key is pressed

The pointer positioning function can be activated using the slider. When this function is activated, you can simply press the Ctrl key to highlight the position where your mouse pointer is located.

3. Middle-click Paste

If your mouse has a scroll wheel between the left or right button, or a third button between the two, you can use that to paste copied content (text, images, etc.). You can toggle this feature on or off by using the slider next to the middle click Insert in the Keyboard and Mouse View.

So these were the mouse configurations you could make using the Settings UI and the Gnome Tweaks Tool. There are a few other settings you can make using the Dconf editor or some command line utilities; we’ll discuss that another time!

Configuring Mouse Settings on a Debian System