Due to an injury, I am using a left hand mouse and the buttons are reversed. My right hand mouse (a trackball) I still use for more precise work with my injured hand, but the buttons are reversed on that one too. I would like the right mouse to have normal button config and left mouse to be reversed, but not both. How can this be done? I am running Linux Mint 20.1 kernel

In other words, I would like to have an ambidextrous mouse config, a left and right mouse, both with the primary click assigned to the index finger location. Any input appreciated.

  • mouse hardware hack would work
    – jsotola
    Nov 10, 2021 at 21:26
  • True, but there is a software way of doing this. The OS sees a distinction between the touchpad and the external mouse I'm sure by hardware ID and you can have different settings between the two except with regards to left/right handed--it's applied globally. So technically I have three mice with two config profiles where one profile is for both external mice, the other profile is for the touchpad, and the left/right setting is global. There may be a tweak application available for this that is able to apply a settings profile to a particular mouse ID. I will probably have to run two drivers
    – bsidepc
    Nov 11, 2021 at 0:09

1 Answer 1


First, figure out the ID of each mouse using xinput (the output should look similar to below).

~ %> xinput          
⎡ Virtual core pointer                      id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                id=4    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ G2Touch Multi-Touch by G2TSP              id=9    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Elan Touchpad                             id=10   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Elan TrackPoint                           id=11   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ USB OPTICAL MOUSE                         id=16   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ USB OPTICAL MOUSE  Keyboard               id=14   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ PixArt Gaming Mouse                       id=17   [slave  pointer  (2)]

If you can't differentiate your mice by name, try xinput disable [id] (and re-enable using xinput enable [id]) to determine which is which.

In this example, I have two mice connected, with IDs of 14 and 17.

Once you have the IDs, you can run

xinput set-button-map [id] 3 2 1

to reverse the button functions of a mouse with a certain id.

If you wish to return your mouse to normal, run

xinput set-button-map [id] 1 2 3

You can make the changes persistent on startup by putting the xinput set-button-map [id] 3 2 1 line in your ~/.bashrc

  • 1
    You are a gentleman and a scholar. Worked like a charm. I imagine you can also run the command as a startup item with parameters. Thank you
    – bsidepc
    Nov 11, 2021 at 3:05
  • 1
    gentle*person, I shouldn't assume. Old habits die hard, my apologies if made any offence
    – bsidepc
    Nov 11, 2021 at 4:07
  • 1
    Just wanted to update that placing the command in Startup Applications using the "custom command option" works with no issue through multiple reboots.
    – bsidepc
    Nov 15, 2021 at 1:41

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