In Windows, I use the X-Mouse utility to remap my mouse thumb buttons. I have one assigned as copy, and the other as paste.

In KDE, I was happy to discover that I don't need a separate utility to assign one of my thumb buttons as paste. In fact the middle (mouse-wheel) button is already assigned as Paste by default (OpenSUSE 11.3 if not elsewhere). And there's a desktop settings dialog with a "Mouse Actions" section that allows me to configure these.

The trouble is, there's only 6 possible actions for each button - and copy isn't one of them.

The info for each mouse action suggests that these are pluggable components - but I don't know how to find/install extra ones.

Is it possible to get an extra "copy" mouse action and, if so, how?


I do not know which settings dialog you are talking about. KDE 4.5 gesture support does not take extra mouse buttons into account (long-standing bug).

As a work-around, use xbindkeys to capture events from extra mouse buttons and xvkbd to emit key combinations. The advantage is that this works at the X level, independent from KDE as desktop environment. The disadvantage is that if you decide to alter your keyboard combinations for copy/paste, you have to change the xbindkeys configuration file manually, too.

  • To be honest, I can't find it again now myself! - I'm sure I just had to right-click on the desktop to get to roughly the right place before, but that doesn't seem to work now - maybe whatever I did broke it. I do remember noticing that it had the mouse-wheel to rotate through the desktops setting there, which still works. Thanks for the xbindkeys tip. – Steve314 Nov 24 '10 at 23:03
  • Ah - found it again - it's in the "Desktop Activity Settings" - click on that KDE gold yin/yan-like widget in the top-right corner. And sure enough, a bunch of actions did disappear from the "Mouse Actions" page. – Steve314 Nov 24 '10 at 23:07

According to this blog post, xbindkeys can be used to bind mouse buttons as well as keyboard keys. You can even bind commands to combinations like Control + Mouse Button.

Also, you don't have to edit the xbindkeys configuration file yourself. There's a program called xbindkeys-config that you can install to configure it graphically.


btnx is a capable graphical tool to configure your buttoned devices.

you can use it to run scripts/commands and even define modifier keys/buttons to generate button-combinations.

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