In Linux by default the middle mouse button (i.e. wheel) copies the selected text into the place of cursor.

This causes accidental pasting while I'm trying to scroll code / config files via the mouse - especially in Eclipse.

Any idea how to disable it?

Update :

The main problem is that I'm using FreeNX for remote terminal, and don't have the mouse section in my xorg.conf. I guess it's because FreeNX uses some sort of virtual mouse.

Is it possible to turn it off in FreeNX, or in Gnome windows manager?


  • Which window manager are you using, e.g. KDE, Gnome? – Scott Pack Feb 21 '10 at 13:10
  • 1
    I had a problem like this with the Logitech G5. I eventually just got a new mouse that wasn't as finnicky instead. – violet Feb 21 '10 at 13:23
  • I'm using Gnome. – Anonymous Feb 21 '10 at 21:21

IMHO, that's a feature that missing on non-X11 platforms. :)

If you're using KDE or GNOME you should start poking around their respective mouse configuration panels.

Failing that, check http://linuxreviews.org/howtos/xfree/mouse/ This page lists a few ways to tweak your X11 configuration files.

You may be able to get away with something like:

xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 0 3 4 5"
  • This works, I used it to move the middle button to one of the side buttons. – Kyle Brandt Feb 21 '10 at 16:09
  • What if I'm using FreeNX terminal server, and I don't have the Mouse section in the xorg.conf? Will it still work if I create a new Mouse section there? – Anonymous Feb 21 '10 at 21:21

found the answer here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=59730

From the article: Replace the emulate3button option in your xorg.conf file with this:

Option "ButtonMapping" "1 1 3 4 5"

This remaps the middle button into the left button, essentially turning the middle-click into a left-click.


Check your window manager preferences to see if there's an easy way to set Button 2 to something else. If that doesn't work, you can use xmodmap to map that button away.

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