Provided by: gpm_1.19.6-25ubuntu1_i386 bug


       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  "selection" 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

       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

       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

       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  supported,  in  addition  to executing
       external commands, because sometimes bad bugs put  the  system  to  the
       impossibility 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 permissions. Special commands  are
       best  suited  for computers whose mouse can be physically accessed only
       by trusted people.


       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) selection pasting automatically
              after a period of inactivity.  To enable this mode just give the
              optional  limit  parameter  which  is interpreted as the time in
              seconds for which a selection 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

       ‘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

       -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 milliseconds.

       -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 cut.

       -m filename
              Choose the mouse file to open. It defaults to ‘/dev/mouse’.

       -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.

       -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 as a percentage  of  motion  (1  to  100,
              default  10).  A  lower  number  can be used to slow down cursor
              motion, this can not be used to make a mouse  move  faster,  see

       -Rname 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.  In principle, 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

       -v     Print version information and exit.

       -Vverbosity increment
              Raise or decrease the maximum level of  messages  that  will  be
              logged.   Thus  a positive argument has the effect of making the
              program more verbose.  One can also give a negative argument  to
              hush  the  program;  however, note that due to getopt(3) rules a
              negative argument must follow the option with no  space  betwixt
              (that is, ‘-V-1’ but not ‘-V -1’).  The argument is optional and
              its  default  value  is  1.   Default  verbosity  level   is   5

       -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,
       highlighted  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.


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


        gpm-types(7)  Description of current pointer types supported by gpm

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