"Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!
Copyright (c) 1996
Published in Issue 10 of the Linux Gazette
Normally, users of PS/2 type mice have a problem in that a PS/2 type
mouse cannot simultaneously be shared among different applications
such as gpm (selection) and XFree86. That was until
the discovery of a tiny utility called, mconv2.
Mconv2 allows several programs to use a PS/2 type mouse at the same time.
The mconv2 utility also supports the use of a PS/2 type mouse with
applications that do not understand the PS/2 mouse protocol, but
understand the microsoft serial mouse protocol (such as svgalib).
This document only descrdibes the sharing of the PS/2 type mouse - not
its use as a microsoft type mouse - for information on this, read
the README file included with the mconv2 distribution.
Installing and using mconv2 is VERY simple :-
Enjoy the PS/2 mouse sharing.
My thanx to Frode Fjeld
for developing the mconv2 distribution.
Mconv2 can be downloaded from a variety of Linux archive sites. I got
my copy from
Mconv2 is distributed as a compressed (gz) tar archive.
Hence, it needs to be extraceted in a suitable directory before it can
I used the /usr/src directory, but any directory will do.
Copy the mconv2 distribution file (mconv2.tar.gz) to the selected working
directory, eg. /usr/src (or the directory you care to extract it
in) as follows :-
cp mconv2.tar.gz /usr/src
Go to the working directory and extract the mconv2 archive, as follows :-
tar -zxvf mconv2.tar.gz
This will create a subdirectory called mconv2 containing,
the mconv2 source code - mconv2.c
a binary compiled mconv2 executable - mconv2
supporting documentation files - mconv2.lsm and README
To compilie mconv2, or not
Together with the source and supporting documentation, the mconv2
distribution also comes with a pre-built binary of the program. This
can be used as-is or the program can be recompiled very easily, as
gcc -O2 -o mconv2 mconv2.c
Installing the mconv2 binary
Copy the pre-built, or newly made, mconv2 binary file (mconv2)
to an appropriate directory for executing binarys from - I use
cp mconv2 /usr/local/bin
Builiding a fifo for the PS/2 mouse
Create a fifo device (pseudo mouse driver) for the PS/2 mouse, as follows :-
mkfifo -m 666 /dev/ps2mouse
Before running any programs using the PS/2 mouse, mconv2 should
be run first and other programs needing the mouse, should be configured to
use the PS/2 pseudo device, /dev/ps2mouse. It is probably best,
to start mconv2 from the /etc/rc.d.rc.local file
with the following command :-
echo -n "Runnig mconv2 .... "
/usr/local/bin/mconv2 /dev/psaux -ps2 /dev/ps2mouse &
NOTE :- this assumes your original mouse device was /dev/psaux
Configuring other programms to use mconv2
As mentioned in the point above, other programs requiring the PS/2 mouse
must be configured to use the mconv2 pseudo mouse device - /dev/ps2mouse.