FreeBSD, Technical

Props to FreeBSD and its USB Support

I spied a pretty Microsoft mouse laying near my desk. It has laser beams. Cool. I swapped it in to my workstation. I was apprehensive at first, because the existing mouse is PS/2, and this new mouse is USB … oh man, this could be a pain in the ass. I even avoided unplugging the PS/2 mouse. Back in 1997 when PS/2 mice were new, I recall a coworker at NCSA being reluctant to reboot FreeBSD so that it would see the PS/2 mouse, which was in those days only probed at boot.

Well, wouldn’t you know, but the new mouse worked right out of the box, so to speak. The USB architecture detects the mouse, then runs the appropriate daemon and hooks it up to /dev/sysmouse, which X is looking at. Everything was great, except the wheel didn’t take. I dropped by the awesome and handy Mouse Wheel Support for X in FreeBSD, edited my usbd.conf, restarted the moused, and everything was groovy.

Yeah, Windows handles mice better, but I’m impressed that FreeBSD did well enough in one of its weak spots – I didn’t have to restart X or nuffin’!


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Categories: FreeBSD, Technical

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