First off, I have to admit that I lifted the xorg configuration information that I’m about to discuss from some website, but I don’t recall which one. If it was yours please tell me and I’ll link it. In this article I will discuss how to get the scroll button working in SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop/Server.

Lenovo/IBM ThinkPads have 3 mouse buttons. You can configure the middle button so that when you hold it down and move the trackpoint (aka: the nub) the screen scrolls up and down.

The place where this is configured is in the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. This file is used to configure your X server in Linux. It ties together your pointing device, keyboard, monitor and graphics card.

Open up this file with your favorite text editor and find the section in the file that describes you trackpoint. Configure it so it looks something like this:

Section "InputDevice"
Driver "mouse"
Identifier "Mouse[1]"
Option "Buttons" "5"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
Option "Name" "TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint"
Option "Protocol" "explorerps/2"
#add the following lines
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "on"
Option "Emulate3TimeOut" "50"
Option "EmulateWheel" "on"
Option "EmulateWheelTimeOut" "200"
Option "EmulateWheelButton" "2"
Option "Vendor" "Sysp"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"

You can now restart X and utilize the new scrolling feature. I’ve also found it helpful to disable the middle button features in Firefox so that when scrolling through a page you don’t accidentally click the middle button. To do this enter about:config into your URL bar. Filter for “middle”. I have disabled:

  • browser.tabs.opentabfor.middleclick
  • middlemouse.contentLoadURL
  • middlemouse.openNewWindow

Having the scroll button enabled will significantly enhance your Linux life and make your a Linux supervillain. Enjoy!

Go Boston College EAGLES!!!


I have recently discovered that you can also use sax2 to setup the scrolling capability.Β  Fire up /usr/sbin/sax2.Β  Click on the mouse section.

Make sure the following are checked:

  • Activate 3 button emulation
  • Activate mouse wheel
  • Emulate wheel with mouse button 2

Click “OK” and save it.