General Question

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Mouse won't work in Ubuntu?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19026points) November 26th, 2010

I just installed Ubuntu on my laptop. But my mouse won’t work – both the touchpad and the bluetooth one. What’s the deal, and how do I fix it?

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25 Answers

the100thmonkey's avatar

Make and model of the laptop, please!

jerv's avatar

I would also like the make/model of the mouse as there may be two separate issues at work here.

My guess would be that you have a weird setup that Ubuntu does not natively install the drivers for. It should recognize most trackpads though; I’ve never seen a laptop where it didn’t. In fairness, most of them used a Synaptics pad, and that is popular/widespread enough that everybody has drivers for it.

The Bluetooth mouse may be a little more complex as Bluetooth is not a universal thing (at least not on PCs) the way USB is, and it isn’t standardized quite the same way, so we would need to know what computer and mouse we are dealing with here.

BTW, does it work with a standard corded mouse? Just a troubleshooting thing.

the100thmonkey's avatar

I reckon it’s a Sony laptop, personally – they’re bastards about drivers.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@the100thmonkey @jerv Why, yes it is a Sony – Sony Vaio EB series

jerv's avatar

I am seeing what I can find, but I’ll post my progress thus far:
Ubuntu forums link 1
Bug report
Some tweks somebody had to do to get Ubuntu to work on their Sony laptop

I will post something more easily intelligible later, but I thought someone might be interested in that stuff.

hungerforpizza's avatar

Drivers drivers drivers.

Or an external mouse.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@hungerforpizza What about drivers? I have an external mouse, but if I want to use my laptop outside my home (which is the whole reason for it) I’ll need the touchpad to work.

jerv's avatar

It seems that the EB-series uses an Alps touchpad, which is (at least in my experience) rather uncommon. Many people seem to have luck with the Synaptics drivers for that touchpad though. Unfortunately, ther seem to be 4,126,724 suggested ways to fix it and I have no idea who is right….

Another way

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jerv I heart you.
On your first link, the solution is
1. Edit /etc/default/grub to include GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=“i8042.reset i8042.nomux i8042.nopnp i8042.noloop”
2. Run: sudo update-grub
3. Reboot

How do I do that? I get the feeling it involves some sort of DOS thing, which confusels me to no end (I started using computers the year Windows 3.1 came out, so I never had a need).

jerv's avatar

That is something that is done from a terminal/console, so yes, it is a command line thing not unlike DOS.

The editing can actually be done from any text editor, including those in the GUI (the part you are used to with the icons and such). You are editing a file called grub in the default directory inside of the etc directory; that is the path and filename, which Linux does slightly differently from Windows/DOS. You are adding that end part exactly as written, quote marks and all.

Once you edit that file (however you choose to do so), you go into a terminal and type;
sudo update-grub

FYI, I started using computers when Reagan first took office ;)

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jerv It says “writing error when attempting to save file:///ect/default/grub”

the100thmonkey's avatar

Did you use sudo to elevate your account privileges when editing the file?

sudo cp /etc/default/grub /etc/default/grub.bak
sudo gedit /etc/default/grub

That will back up your grub file (just in case you break it) and open it in a text editor called gedit with elevated privileges that will allow you to save the file; you will get an error unless you have the privileges.

jerv's avatar

I forgot to mention that. Whenever you are altering certain things in Linux, especially important system files, you need to use sudo, just as there are certain things in Windows that must be done as an administrator. You can get around that in certain ways, but being forced to use sudo really helps prevent a lot of potential harm, so I won’t tell you how to disable such a valuable safety mechanism. In time, sudo will become your good friend :)

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jerv Wow, new problem: I don’t have sudo installed. How do I do that?

jerv's avatar

Odd. That is a fairly basic command in Linux, almost as basic as cp (copy).

I’ll have to get back to you when I get home.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jerv It’s a program, not a file, right?

jerv's avatar

It appears to be an odd one. I found this but the part that stuck out to me was the following:

“If you had some problems when executing above commands the chances are that sudo is not installed on your system. This is very unlikely If you are running Ubuntu, Fedora or OpenSuSE as a sudo utility is installed on your system by default. In case you are running Debian execute a following command to install sudo utility:

NOTE: it is very unlikely that sudo utility is not installed on your system as most of the decent Linux distributions have the sudo utility installed by default.”

And according to another trusted source who I asked for a second opinion:

“If this person doesn’t have sudo then they’ve got bigger problems than a mouse not working.”,

You may want to try Stack Exchange It’s a little like Fluther, only all Ubuntu, all the time.

koanhead's avatar

Hi there, I’m new to Fluther but I’m the Linux source jerv was talking about above.
First, I’d like to ask you to post the output of a few programs. I’m going to assume you don’t know gnome-terminal, so I’ll go into some detail. gnome-terminal is the name of the command-line program typically used in a vanilla Ubuntu install. It is invoked from the menus: Applications – Accessories – Terminal. A plain white window will pop up with the title reading something like “user@host: ~” and with a similar prompt inside. The programs I’d like you to run are as follows:

uname -a
This command outputs the hostname, kernel version, and other information about your system.

lspci
This command lists all devices attached to the PCI bus as reported by BIOS (not necessarily what the kernel sees)

lsusb
This command lists all devices attached to the PCI bus as reported by BIOS (not necessarily what the kernel sees)

Just enter them exactly as they appear here or cut-and-paste them, then cut-and-paste the output into a reply. When cutting / pasting into gnome-terminal, use Shift-Ctrl-C for copying FROM the terminal and Shift-Ctrl-V for pasting INTO the terminal. Other programs will use Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V as usual- the control key has a special usage in the terminal which needn’t be addressed here.

Also, please advise as to whether you have gotten ANY mouse to work with this laptop- do you have an external USB mouse you can try?

koanhead's avatar

papayalily, if you have not yet managed to edit the file (grub.conf) mentioned above, I don’t recommend continuing with that until we have more information about what’s going on.
Also, it would be helpful if you could post the output of these two commands:

sudo

sudo cat /etc/sudoers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

papayau@PapayaUbuntu:~$ sudo
usage: sudo -h | -K | -k | -L | -V
usage: sudo -v [-AknS] [-p prompt]
usage: sudo -l[l] [-AknS] [-g groupname|#gid] [-p prompt] [-U username] [-u
username|#uid] [-g groupname|#gid] [command]
usage: sudo [-AbEHknPS] [-C fd] [-g groupname|#gid] [-p prompt] [-u
username|#uid] [-g groupname|#gid] [VAR=value] [-i|-s] [<command>]
usage: sudo -e [-AknS] [-C fd] [-g groupname|#gid] [-p prompt] [-u
username|#uid] file…
papayau@PapayaUbuntu:~$ sudo cat/etc/sudoers
[sudo] password for papayau:
sudo: cat/etc/sudoers: command not found

papayau@PapayaUbuntu:~$ uname -a
Linux PapayaUbuntu 2.6.35–23-generic-pae #41-Ubuntu SMP Wed Nov 24 10:35:46 UTC 2010 i686 GNU/Linux
papayau@PapayaUbuntu:~$ Ispci
No command ‘Ispci’ found, did you mean:
Command ‘lspci’ from package ‘pciutils’ (main)
Ispci: command not found
papayau@PapayaUbuntu:~$ lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor DRAM Controller (rev 02)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor PCI Express x16 Root Port (rev 02)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset HECI Controller (rev 06)
00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset USB2 Enhanced Host Controller (rev 05)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset High Definition Audio (rev 05)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev 05)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset PCI Express Root Port 2 (rev 05)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset PCI Express Root Port 3 (rev 05)
00:1c.5 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset PCI Express Root Port 6 (rev 05)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset USB2 Enhanced Host Controller (rev 05)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev a5)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 5 Series Chipset LPC Interface Controller (rev 05)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset 4 port SATA AHCI Controller (rev 05)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset SMBus Controller (rev 05)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Redwood [Radeon HD 5600 Series]
01:00.1 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc Redwood HDMI Audio [Radeon HD 5600 Series]
02:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)
03:00.0 SD Host controller: Ricoh Co Ltd Device e822
03:00.1 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd Device e230
03:00.4 SD Host controller: Ricoh Co Ltd Device e822
04:00.0 Ethernet controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88E8059 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 11)
3f:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor QuickPath Architecture Generic Non-core Registers (rev 02)
3f:00.1 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor QuickPath Architecture System Address Decoder (rev 02)
3f:02.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor QPI Link 0 (rev 02)
3f:02.1 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor QPI Physical 0 (rev 02)
3f:02.2 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor Reserved (rev 02)
3f:02.3 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor Reserved (rev 02)
papayau@PapayaUbuntu:~$ lsusb
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 8087:0020 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0489:e00f Foxconn / Hon Hai
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0c45:6464 Microdia
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:0020 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
papayau@PapayaUbuntu:~$

I do have a bluetooth mouse and a usb corded mouse working on the system.

Vincentt's avatar

@papayalily You forgot a space in @koanhead‘s second command in his second post, i.e. instead of:

sudo cat /etc/sudoers

You did:

sudo cat/etc/sudoers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Vincentt Thanks! Repost, then
papayau@PapayaUbuntu:~$ sudo cat /etc/sudoers
[sudo] password for papayau:
# /etc/sudoers
#
# This file MUST be edited with the ‘visudo’ command as root.
#
# See the man page for details on how to write a sudoers file.
#

Defaults env_reset

# Host alias specification

# User alias specification

# Cmnd alias specification

# User privilege specification
root ALL=(ALL) ALL

# Allow members of group sudo to execute any command
# (Note that later entries override this, so you might need to move
# it further down)
%sudo ALL=(ALL) ALL
#
#includedir /etc/sudoers.d

# Members of the admin group may gain root privileges
%admin ALL=(ALL) ALL
papayau@PapayaUbuntu:~$

koanhead's avatar

The output for sudo shows that sudo is installed (otherwise you would get “command not found” or similar) and your sudoers file (the file that specifies which users can use sudo to elevate their privileges) is correctly configured, so sudo isn’t a problem. That’s a good thing.
Looking over the lspci and lsusb output, I don’t see any devices listed that are obviously a mouse. It will take me a little while to suss out which one, if any, it is. If it’s not shown in either list, that means the hardware isn’t detected and therefore the kernel can’t use it; it likely means that the hardware is broken.
If you have a live cd handy (the cd you used to install ubuntu should work for this) I’d advise that you try to boot from the livecd, see if the mouse works in that environment, and get the output of those two commands in that environment. If the output is different, there should be an extra device, and that would be your mouse. By the way, in a previous post you say “I do have a bluetooth mouse and a usb corded mouse working on the system.” Does that mean that your bluetooth mouse works now, or is it a different one from the one in your original question?

koanhead's avatar

For future reference, here’s a brief and not entirely accurate overview of hardware detection in Linux.
When the computer is turned on, it initializes itself in a process called Power On Self Test (POST). At this time, attached peripherals which comply with the “Plug and Play” standard (i.e., all PCI and USB devices, and most others) report a chipset ID. These ID numbers go into a lookup table with their assigned I/O addresses, IRQs, etc. This table is provided to the kernel at boot. The kernel then uses the reported chipset ID to identify what the hardware is and which module to load. A command called “modinfo” exists to report which ID’s are bound to which module, and an administrator can rebind the IDs by recompiling modules, writing udev rules, or passing runtime options to the kernel at boot.
All drivers for Linux exist in the form of kernel modules. Modules are pieces of code which can be dynamically inserted into and removed from the kernel while it runs. Modules provide any sort of “extra” functionality to the kernel, not just hardware drivers: filesystem support, realtime scheduling, and lots more.
Keep in mind this is just a functional overview and is not accurate in all respects; I didn’t look anything up here. But from the OS point of view this is more or less how it works.

koanhead's avatar

In the first link that jerv posted (the one that said to edit /etc/grub.conf) it indicates that the problem is with the i8042 driver. This may or may not be the case.
Here’s something to try:

sudo modprobe psmouse

That’s a sort of “generic” mouse driver. It might work but not allow gestures or scrolling and such. It’s not the best solution, but if it gets things working it’s good to remember.

As far as the i8042 driver, please post the output of

modinfo i8042

and also

lsmod

(this command lists the modules that are currently in use by the kernel).

I suspect that part of the problem is that the touchpad is a weird PS/2 device which is not reporting its identity to in the ways I’m used to.

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