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My MX 518 Optical mouse's thumb buttons aren't working. I'm running Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope (64-bit) on VMware. I tried installing HID point and it cannot detect the mouse at all. I'm just wondering if anyone has any idea how I can solve this problem. Thanks.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Try the btnx program (homepage is at, and you can install it by running Synaptic or just typing sudo aptitude install btnx). It allows remapping of any mouse buttons, executing some commands when buttons are pressed and more.

Also there may come some problems with the VMware itself because virtualizators do not 'forward' button presses to guest OS (Ubuntu in your case) as themselves but emulate other, commonly PS/2 (but I don't know what exactly WMware does, through emulated USB mouse would not differ much in this context) mice and often drop extended keys when mapping host keypresses to guest keypresses.

You can test this by doing cat /proc/bus/input/devices in console, then searching an entry that describes 'real' mice (I mean not some ACPI stuff or such). Then you need to find a line like H: Handlers=mouseX eventY and do sudo hd /dev/input/eventY. If you are right with your choice then moving your mice will result in some hex being written to console. Then you can test your extended buttons: if you press them and some lines also appear then kernel receives your keypresses and problem is in userspace (software); otherwise it's virtualizer not forwarding such keypresses.

Anyway, btnx should work if you install Ubuntu not as a guest but as a host OS.

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As of today the linked page is dead and btnx doesn't seem to be available on 12.04. – David Pope May 10 '12 at 5:36
@DavidPope btnx package is still in Ubuntu, and the homepage is still available on Wayback Machine. You can also try easystroke, as btnx author recommends it. – whitequark May 11 '12 at 16:47

Thumb buttons? What do you mean? Left two? Those won't work. Maybe you can enable them by installing VMware tools and enable the buttons by xorg.conf. Never tried this method, but in theory, its possible. For solution, you can Google around. Since 9.04 is outdate, I just can't really try it anymore. You can use a solution like the following (post #2): . Well, keywords are : 5 button mouse linux (maybe + vmware) ^^"

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Just try my answer to the same kind of problem on another question: Back / Forward mouse buttons do not work in VMWare Workstation 6.5 Guest OS

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