HOWTO change the mouse speed in X

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There's the universal way to change the mouse speed of any mouse in X on Linux and there's specific ways depending on which desktop you happen to be using. Here's a quick run-down.

Changing mouse speed using xset in a termianl

xset[1] is a handy tool for changing a variety of things in X. You can use the mouse option with acceleration threshold as options to change the mouse speed:

Shell command:
xset m 5 1

The first argument, "acceleration", is a multiplier number that defines how many times faster than the standard speed the cursor will move. Try numbers between 2 and 5, setting a high multiplier like 9 makes the mouse movements very jumpy. It does not need to be a whole number, you can use 1/2 to get half the standard speed or 5/2 (=2.5) if 2 is too slow and 3 is too fast.

The second argument, threshold, defines how many pixels the mouse must move in a short period of time before the acceleration setting is used. Using a threshold of 1, as in xset m 5 1, disables this and gives you the same mouse speed at all the time. Setting xset m 5 10 requires the mouse the move to move 10 pixels before the pointer is accelerated.

Changing the mouse speed in Xfce4

Mouse speed can be configured using the program xfce4-mouse-settings which you can start by ALT+F2 and typing that or by going to the menu and selecting Settings then Mouse and Touchpad

Changing the mouse speed in KDE

Start systemsettings, either from the menu or by running systemsettings5. Scroll down the area on the left until you see Hardware and Input devices in that section. Click Input devices. You will find a slider for "Pointer speed" in that section.

Good luck.

Footnotes


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