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GPM(8)                                                                  GPM(8)

       gpm - a cut and paste utility and mouse server for virtual consoles

       gpm [ options ]

       This  package  tries to be a useful mouse server for applications running on the Linux console.  It is based on
       the "selection" package, and some of its code comes from selection  itself.  This  package  is  intended  as  a
       replacement  for  "selection" as a cut-and-paste mechanism; it also provides additional facilities. The "selec-
       tion" package offered the first cut-and-paste implementation for Linux using two mouse  buttons,  and  the  cut
       buffer  is still called "selection buffer" or just "selection" throughout this document.  The information below
       is extracted from the texinfo file, which is the preferred source of information.

       The gpm executable is meant to act like a daemon (thus, gpmd would be a better name for it).  This  section  is
       meant to describe the command-line options for gpm, while its internals are outlined in the next section.

       Due  to  restrictions  in  the ioctl(TIOCLINUX) system call, gpm must be run by the superuser. The restrictions
       have been added in the last 1.1 kernels to fix a security hole related to selection and screen dumping.

       The server can be configured to match the user's taste, and any application using the mouse  will  inherit  the
       server's  attitude. From release 1.02 up to 1.19.2 is was possible for any user logged on the system console to
       change the mouse feeling using the -q option. This is no longer possible for security reasons.

       As of 0.97 the server program puts itself in the background. To kill gpm you can just reinvoke it with  the  -k
       cmdline switch, although killall gpm can be a better choice.

       Version 1.10 adds the capability to execute special commands on certain circumstances. Special commands default
       to rebooting and halting the system, but the user can specify his/her personal choice. The capability to invoke
       commands  using  the mouse is a handy one for programmers, because it allows to issue a clean shutdown when the
       keyboard is locked and no network is available to restore the system to a sane state.

       Special commands are toggled by triple-clicking the left and right button -- an unlikely  event  during  normal
       mouse  usage.  The  easiest  way to triple-click is pressing one of the buttons and triple-click the other one.
       When special processing is toggled, a message appears on the console (and the speaker beeps twice, if you  have
       a  speaker);  if the user releases all the buttons and presses one of them again within three seconds, then the
       special command corresponding to the button is executed.

       The default special commands are:

       left button
              Reboot the system by signalling the init process

       middle button (if any)
              Execute /sbin/shutdown -h now

       right button
              Execute /sbin/shutdown -r now

       The -S command line switch enables special command processing and allows to change the three special  commands.
       To  accept the default commands use -S "" (i.e., specify an empty argument).  To specify your own commands, use
       a colon-separated list to specify commands associated to the left, middle and  right  button.  If  any  of  the
       commands  is empty, it is interpreted as 'send a signal to the init process'. This particular operation is sup-
       ported, in addition to executing external commands, because sometimes bad bugs put the system to  the  impossi-
       bility  to  fork;  in these rare case the programmer should be able to shutdown the system anyways, and killing
       init from a running process is the only way to do it.

       As an example, -S ":telinit 1:/sbin/halt", associates killing init to the left button, going single user to the
       middle one, and halting the system to the right button.

       System  administrators  should  obviously be careful about special commands, as gpm runs with superuser permis-
       sions. Special commands are best suited for computers whose mouse can be physically accessed  only  by  trusted

       Available command line options are the following:

       -a accel
              Set the acceleration value used when a single motion event is longer than delta (see -d).

              Start up with selection pasting disabled.  This is intended as a security measure; a plausible attack on
              a system seems to be to stuff a nasty shell command into the selection buffer (rm -rf /)  including  the
              terminating line break, then all the victim has to do is click the middle mouse button ..  As of version
              1.17.2, this has developed into a more general aging mechanism; the gpm daemon can disable (age)  selec-
              tion  pasting  automatically  after  a period of inactivity.  To enable this mode just give the optional
              limit parameter (no space in between !)  which is interpreted as the time in seconds for which a  selec-
              tion  is considered valid and pastable.  As of version 1.15.7, a trivial program called disable-paste is
              provided. The following makes a good addition to /etc/profile if you allow multiple  users  to  work  on
              your console.

       case $( /usr/bin/tty ) in
       /dev/tty[0-9]*) /usr/bin/disable-paste ;;

       -b baud
              Set the baud rate.

       -B sequence
              Set  the button sequence. 123 is the normal sequence, 321 can be used by left-handed people, and 132 can
              be useful with two-button mice (especially within Emacs). All the button permutations are allowable.

       -d delta
              Set the delta value. When a single motion event is longer than delta, accel is  used  as  a  multiplying
              factor. (Must be 2 or above)

       -D     Do  not  automatically  enter  background operation when started, and log messages to the standard error
              stream, not the syslog mechanism.  This is useful for debugging; in previous releases it was done with a
              compile-time option.

       -g number
              With  glidepoint  devices,  emulate  the  specified button with tapping.  number must be 1, 2, or 3, and
              refers to the button number before the -B button remapping is performed.  This  option  applies  to  the
              mman  and  ps2  decoding.  No button is emulated by default because the ps2 tapping is incompatible with
              some normal ps2 mice

       -h     Print a summary of command line options.

       -i interval
              Set interval to be used as an upper time limit for multiple clicks. If the  interval  between  button-up
              and  button-down events is less than limit, the press is considered a double or triple click. Time is in

       -k     Kill a running gpm. This can be used by busmouse users to kill gpm before running X (unless they use  -R
              or the single-open limitation is removed from the kernel).

       -l charset
              Choose  the inword() look up table. The charset argument is a list of characters. - is used to specify a
              range and \  is used to escape the next character or to provide octal codes.  Only visible character can
              appear in charset because control characters can't appear in text-mode video memory, whence selection is

       -m filename
              Choose the mouse file to open. Must be before -t and -o.

       -M     Enable multiple mode. The daemon will read two different mouse  devices.   Any  subsequent  option  will
              refer  to  the  second device, while any preceding option will be used for the first device. This option
              automatically forces the repeater (-R) option on.

       -o list-of-extra-options
              The option works similary to the ''-o'' option of mount; it  is  used  to  specify  a  list  of  ''extra
              options''  that  are  specific  to each mouse type. The list is comma-separated. The options dtr, rts or
              both are used by the serial initialization to toggle the modem lines like, compatibly with  earlier  gpm
              versions;  note  however that using -o dtr associated with non-plain-serial mouse types may now generate
              an error.  And by the way, use -o after -m and after -t.

       -p     Forces the pointer to be visible while selecting. This is the behaviour  of  selection-1.7,  but  it  is
              sometimes confusing.  The default is not to show the pointer, which can be confusing as well.

       -r number
              Set the responsiveness. A higher responsiveness is used for a faster cursor motion.

              Causes  gpm  to act as a repeater: any mouse data received while in graphic mode will be produced on the
              fifo /dev/gpmdata in protocol name, given as an optional argument (no space in between !).   In  princi-
              ple,  you can use the same names as for the -t option, although repeating into some protocols may not be
              implemented for a while.  In addition, you can specify raw as the name, to repeat the mouse data byte by
              byte,  without any protocol translation.  If name is omitted, it defaults to msc.  Using gpm in repeater
              mode, you can configure the X server to use its fifo as a mouse device. This option is useful  for  bus-
              mouse owners to override the single-open limitation. It is also an easy way to manage those stupid dual-
              mode mice which force you to keep the middle button down while changing video mode. The option is forced
              on by the -M option.

       -s number
              Set the sample rate for the mouse device.

       -S commands
              Enable special-command processing, and optionally specify custom commands as a colon-separated list. See
              above for a detailed description of special commands.

       -t name
              Set the mouse type. Use -t help to get a list of allowable types. Since version 1.18.1,  the  list  also
              shows  which  protocols  are  available  as  repeaters  (see -R above), by marking them with an asterisk

              Use -t after you selected the mouse device with -m.

       -v     Print version information and exit.

       -2     Force two buttons. This means that the middle button, if any, will be taken as it was the right one.

       -3     Force three buttons. By default the mouse is considered to be a 2-buttons one, until the  middle  button
              is  pressed.  If  three buttons are there, the right one is used to extend the selection, and the middle
              one is used to paste it.  Beware: if you use the -3 option with a 2-buttons mouse, you won't be able  to
              paste the selection.

       To  select  text press the left mouse button and drag the mouse.  To paste text in the same or another console,
       press the middle button.  The right button is used to extend the selection, like in 'xterm'.

       Two-button mice use the right button to paste text.

       Double and triple clicks select whole word and whole lines. Use of the '-p'  option  is  recommended  for  best
       visual feedback.

       If a trailing space after the contents of a line is highlighted, and if there is no other text on the remainder
       of the line, the rest of the line will be selected automatically. If a number  of  lines  are  selected,  high-
       lighted trailing spaces on each line will be removed from the selection buffer.

       Any  output  on the virtual console holding the selection will clear the highlighted selection from the screen,
       to maintain integrity of the display, although the contents of the paste buffer will be unaffected.

       The selection mechanism is disabled if the controlling virtual console is placed in graphics mode, for  example
       when running X11, and is re-enabled when text mode is resumed. (But see BUGS section below.)

       The  gpm server may have problems interacting with X: if your mouse is a single-open device (i.e. a bus mouse),
       you should kill gpm before starting X, or use the -R option (see above).  To kill gpm just invoke gpm -k.  This
       problem doesn't apply to serial mice.

       Two instances of gpm can't run on the same system. If you have two mice use the -M option (see above).

       While  the current console is in graphic mode, gpm sleeps until text mode is back (unless -R is used). Thus, it
       won't reply to clients. Anyways, it is unlikely that mouse-eager clients will spur out in hidden consoles.

       The clients shipped out with gpm are not updated, thus there are potential security risks when using them.

       Andrew Haylett <> (the original selection code)
       Ian Zimmerman <> (old maintainer)
       Alessandro Rubini <> (old maintainer (still helps a lot))
       Nico Schottelius <> (maintainer)

       Many many contributors, to both selection and gpm.

       The current maintainer is Nico Schottelius. But without the help of Alessandro Rubini and the mailing  list  it
       would   be   impossible   for  me  to  maintain  gpm.  The  development  mailing  list  can  be  reached  under More information on the list is in the README file part of the source distribution of  gpm.

       /var/run/ The PID of the running gpm
       /dev/gpmctl     A control socket for clients
       /dev/gpmdata    The fifo written to by a repeater ('-R') daemon.

        mev(1)        A sample client for the gpm daemon.
        gpm-root(1)   An handler for Control-Mouse events.

       The info file about 'gpm', which gives more complete information and explains how to write a gpm client.

4th Berkeley Distribution        February 2002                          GPM(8)