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I plugged in a PS/2 mouse while inside my Gnome desktop, but Linux doesn't recognize it.

Linux will only recognize the PS/2 mouse if it is plugged in before booting the machine (like a normal scenario).

In this case, I forgot to plug in the mouse, plugged it in when I got to the desktop, but realized that it doesn't work.

How do I detect PS/2 devices (my mouse) in real time so I don't have to reboot just to use a mouse?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

That's just the way that the PS/2 port works. Unlike the USB, the PS/2 was not designed to be hot-plugged. If you need the hot-plugging capability, use a USB mouse. Otherwise, there is no guarantee that any solution will work consistently.

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Are there any solutions to try that you know of, even if they may not be consistent? – trusktr Jul 21 '11 at 2:12
Wait, after reading that Wiki page I guess not! hehe – trusktr Jul 21 '11 at 3:12
@trusktr In my experience hotplugging a PS/2 mouse does work at least sometimes, but you have to notify X that it's there (I think xinput should be able to do it nowadays), or you have to tell X that you have a PS/2 mouse all the time (through an option in xorg.conf). – Gilles Jul 21 '11 at 16:27

There is anecdotal evidence that restarting the X Server or switching to a a different virtual terminal and back will cause PS/2 devices to be re-detected. I don't have a PS/2 device to test with at the moment though but it may just work.

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I remember this sometimes working myself, but it was hit or miss. – Caleb Jul 21 '11 at 9:29

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