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Console mouse support

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GPM, short for General Purpose Mouse, is a daemon that provides mouse support for Linux virtual consoles.

This article was taken partly or wholly, with or without modification from: ArchWiki


Install the gpm package. For touchpad support on a laptop you may also need to install xf86-input-synaptics. To start and enable the gpm service, run:

# ln -s /etc/sv/gpm /var/service/


The -m parameter precedes the declaration of the mouse to be used. The -t parameter precedes the type of mouse. To get a list of available types for the -t option, run gpm with -t help:

$ gpm -m /dev/input/mice -t help

The gpm package needs to be started with a few parameters. These parameters can be added in the file /etc/sv/gpm/run or used when running gpm directly.

  • For PS/2 mice, replace the existing line with:
GPM_ARGS="-m /dev/psaux -t ps2"
  • Whereas USB mice should use:
GPM_ARGS="-m /dev/input/mice -t imps2"
  • And IBM Trackpoints need:
GPM_ARGS="-m /dev/input/mice -t ps2"
Note: If the mouse has only 2 buttons, pass -2 to GPM_ARGS and the second button will perform the paste function.

Once a suitable configuration has been found, run ln -s /etc/sv/gpm /var/service as root.

For more information see gpm(8).