Lowering Mouse Sensitivity in Ubuntu and Fedora

I have a Razer Deathadder. It’s a nice gaming mouse. In Ubuntu its polling rates are through the roof, though, and the mouse is pretty much unusable even with the mouse sensitivity and acceleration settings at their lowest.

Here’s how I regained my sanity and mouse slowness. This fix should work for any mouse (tested with many different mouse brands, including Logitech.)

Update: On Fedora 22 (Wayland/libinput,) try something like xinput --set-prop "Device Name" "libinput Accel Speed" -0.9. The number must be an integer between 1 and -1, and appears less flexible than the old Constant Deceleration setting. Please contact me if you know of a better way.

Fix for Ubuntu 10.04-14.10 and Fedora 12-21

  1. Open a terminal
  2. Run the command: xinput --list --short

    ⎡ Virtual core pointer                    	id=2	[master pointer  (3)]
    ⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer              	id=4	[slave  pointer  (2)]
    ⎜   ↳ Razer USA, Ltd DeathAdder Mouse         	id=6	[slave  pointer  (2)]
    ⎜   ↳ Razer USA, Ltd DeathAdder Mouse         	id=7	[slave  pointer  (2)]
    ⎜   ↳ Razer DeathAdder                        	id=11	[slave  pointer  (2)]
    ⎜   ↳ Macintosh mouse button emulation        	id=12	[slave  pointer  (2)]
    ⎣ Virtual core keyboard                   	id=3	[master keyboard (2)]
        ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard             	id=5	[slave  keyboard (3)]
        ↳ Power Button                            	id=8	[slave  keyboard (3)]
        ↳ Power Button                            	id=9	[slave  keyboard (3)]
        ↳ Dell Dell USB Keyboard                  	id=10	[slave  keyboard (3)]
  3. Note the name of your device. (In my case, manipulating ‘Razer DeathAdder’ worked.)
  4. Set the constant deceleration for the device:

    xinput --set-prop "Razer DeathAdder" "Device Accel Constant Deceleration" 5

That’s it. You might have to play around with the value, but 5 slowed down my mouse sufficiently.

  • To see the current settings for the device:

    xinput --list-props "Razer DeathAdder"
  • To turn off mouse acceleration:

    xinput --set-prop "Razer DeathAdder" "Device Accel Velocity Scaling" 1
    xinput --set-prop "Razer DeathAdder" "Device Accel Profile" -1

To perform the tuning automatically, I simply created a file fix-mouse.sh containing the script below, ran chmod +x fix-mouse.sh and added it to GNOME’s Startup Applications — gnome-session-properties, or System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications, or the gear in the upper-right corner -> Startup Applications in Ubuntu’s Unity.

#!/bin/sh
xinput --set-prop "Razer DeathAdder" "Device Accel Constant Deceleration" 5
xinput --set-prop "Razer DeathAdder" "Device Accel Velocity Scaling" 1
xinput --set-prop "Razer DeathAdder" "Device Accel Profile" -1

Fix for distributions using HAL (including Ubuntu 9.10)

  1. Open a terminal
  2. Run the command: hal-device
  3. In the output, locate the mouse’s hex format vendor and product ID’s as highlighted below:

      82: udi = '/org/freedesktop/Hal/devices/usb_device_1532_7_noserial_if0'
      linux.hotplug_type = 2  (0x2)  (int)
      linux.subsystem = 'usb'  (string)
      info.linux.driver = 'usbhid'  (string)
      info.subsystem = 'usb'  (string)
      info.product = 'USB HID InterfacUbuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynxe'  (string)
      info.udi = '/org/freedesktop/Hal/devices/usb_device_1532_7_noserial_if0'  (string)
      usb.linux.sysfs_path = '/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.2/usb8/8-2/8-2:1.0'  (string)
      usb.configuration_value = 1  (0x1)  (int)
      usb.num_configurations = 1  (0x1)  (int)
      usb.num_interfaces = 1  (0x1)  (int)
      usb.device_class = 0  (0x0)  (int)
      usb.device_subclass = 0  (0x0)  (int)
      usb.device_protocol = 0  (0x0)  (int)
      usb.product_id = 7  (<strong>0x7</strong>)  (int)
      usb.vendor_id = 5426  (<strong>0x1532</strong>)  (int)
      usb.product = 'USB HID Interface'  (string)
      usb.vendor = 'Razer USA, Ltd'  (string)
      usb.num_ports = 0  (0x0)  (int)
      usb.max_power = 100  (0x64)  (int)
      usb.device_revision_bcd = 256  (0x100)  (int)
      usb.is_self_powered = false  (bool)
      usb.can_wake_up = true  (bool)
      usb.bus_number = 8  (0x8)  (int)
      usb.speed = 12  (double)
      usb.version = 2  (double)
      linux.sysfs_path = '/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.2/usb8/8-2/8-2:1.0'  (string)
      info.parent = '/org/freedesktop/Hal/devices/usb_device_1532_7_noserial'  (string)
      usb.interface.number = 0  (0x0)  (int)
      usb.linux.device_number = 3  (0x3)  (int)
      usb.interface.subclass = 1  (0x1)  (int)
      usb.interface.class = 3  (0x3)  (int)
      usb.interface.protocol = 2  (0x2)  (int)
    In this case, my Product ID is 0x7 and my Vendor ID is 0x1532. Note that there can be more than one section containing the name of your mouse or its manufacturer — if you can’t find the product and vendor ID, look further down.
  4. Edit the HAL policy file for input devices: sudo nano -w /etc/hal/fdi/policy/10-x11-input.fdi
  5. Insert the following text:
  6. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <deviceinfo version="0.2">
      <device>
        <match key="@input.originating_device:usb.vendor_id" int="0x1532">
          <match key="@input.originating_device:usb.product_id" int="0x7">
            <merge key="input.x11_options.ConstantDeceleration" type="string">5</merge>
          </match>
        </match>
      </device>
    </deviceinfo>
    Adjust your vendor_id and product_id to match what you noted down before. If the file is empty or doesn’t exist, don’t worry. If it already exists, omit the first line about xml.
  7. Hit Ctrl + X, then Y to save the file and exit nano
  8. Restart hald: sudo service hald restart
  9. Restart X.Org (log out or reboot your computer)

That’s it! The “ConstantDeceleration” setting in /etc/hal/fdi/policy/10-x11-input.fdi is what does the trick. When set to a value of 5, the sensitivity will essentially be divided by 5. Oh, sweet sanity.