I don't think mouse button emulation should be enabled by default

I'm coming from ubuntu to this distro, and so far i think the front-end experience makes ubuntu's design decisions look like an absolute joke, it has all the basic things that ubuntu lacked and i found myself having to tweak my system far less to get it to how i like it in comparison to ubuntu, on top of that mate doesn't seem to be a crashy memory hog like gnome.

However there was one thing i didn't like and that was middle mouse button emulation was enabled by default, i was playing world of warcraft and i usually move/steer with both of my L/R (left/right) mouse buttons held down while moving my mouse, my middle mouse button was the button to toggle auto-run, so i found myself auto-running every time i held down both L/R, which was very strange.

I thought this was an issue with my game, but about an hour and 30 minutes later, i had found out it was because ubuntu mate, by default is configured to press middle mouse if you press both L/R at the same time which is known as middle mouse button emulation, and i don't like that because it can interrupt peoples games, i definitely think it should be an optional feature that can be turned on, but i don't agree with it being turned on by default.

It's a very minor gripe of mine, overall i think this distro is really just a great polished, proper end-user version of what ubuntu is supposed to be and the ubuntu mate team seems to actually listen (unlike canonical), so that's why i thought i would put in my two cents.

Welcome to the community and thanks for the feedback! :ubuntu_mate:

I'll pass on the suggestion to the @QATeam. It occurred to me this possibly the default as it benefits laptop users with trackpads. This is useful for software like graphic editors that use the middle click to scroll around, and perhaps other kinds of games that use a middle click to pan the 3D camera.

Out of interest, do other users make use of middle click button emulation?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Good feedback - I found myself having to deliberately sit in front of the computer and try to use middle-button emulation on two different laptops, one with a physical middle button below the touchpad, and one without any physical buttons. Note: I do not use a mouse, ever, just the touchpad.

Turns out I do not use middle mouse emulation on either. On the one with the button I use that button - it's there, it's easy, it works.

On the laptop without buttons (I have tap-clicking disabled, btw, so I need to actually click the touchpad itself) I use Three-finger click emulation (set to Middle button), which means I need to click the touchpad with three fingers to simulate a middle-click, but the actual middle-button emulation can be disabled without affecting this behavior.

So I do not use middle-mouse button emulation.

However, having the middle-mouse button emulation enabled did not affect how I use the touchpad in any of those instances.


I'm not trying to imply that the function is bad exactly and in no way am i advocating for the removal of the feature, i just think when it's a matter of setting it by default, it shouldn't be a setting that is good for one group of users, but bad for a different group of users, especially when the aim for this distro is supposed to be a very wide scope, i think when something is set to default it should be something that is only a benefit to the very grand majority if not all of the users.

Another idea i had as well would be to add this option as a toggleable within the "Mouse Preferences" box for easier access as the only means of turning it off currently as far as i know is to run the terminal command "gsettings set org.mate.peripherals-mouse middle-button-enabled false" which most people probably had to google to find out.

I feel like this could easily be resolved if Welcome did two things once-only:

  1. Immediately go into Bluetooth pairing mode for instances where a mouse and keyboard are not available via USB, and a Bluetooth radio is detected
    1a) Modify Syslinux configuration for If no mouse or keyboard is present and booted via USB; default to Try Ubuntu MATE (Safe Graphics) rather than Install Ubuntu MATE
  2. Request cursor input options for an end-user once Bluetooth pairing, if applicable is completed.

For the second step, provide the following three options for devices:

  1. Three-button mouse
    1a) Skip additional setup
    1b) Emulate wheel up / wheel down with left + middle and right + middle
  2. Two-button mouse / Trackpad
    2a) Skip additional setup
    2b) Emulate middle input with left + right
  3. Numeric pad / keyboard
    3a) Use included numeric pad / Numpad emulation
    3b) Assign keys for numpad emulation

All of that would cover the bases for Bluetooth-only scenarios and people without a mouse, or who want their mouse to do more with less buttons.


I just realized something. How in Sam is Bluetooth pairing going to proceed without a means to confirm it is happening? The only way I can think of is to detect the nearest device. Is it possible for blueman to detect the presence of a device in pairing mode which is nearest and have a script which performs tasks automatically?