Mouse poll rate in Ubuntu

(note the following article is ported from an older site of mine, and may no longer apply to newer distributions of Ubuntu)

Mice manufacturers may advertise high-end mice by tossing around DPI numbers as high as 5700 these days, but as long as you’ve got something that can do 800-1600DPI, poll rate is more important. Unfortunately it seems Ubuntu (Karmic 64bit, 2.6.31-19 kernel) had mine set to automatic or default, which is less than the 1000Hz my good old Logitech G5 supports. Read on for the fix.

Getting help from this thread and another page (which I’m having trouble re-finding), I fixed it by editing 2 files: /etc/X11/xorg.conf and /etc/modules

In xorg.conf I added the following line in the mouse settings:

Option “SampleRate” “1000” #Hz

…and further lines can be added/customized based on what you read by doing “man mousedrv”

Then in modules, I added:

-r usbhid
usbhid mousepoll=1

…which supposedly takes effect on either next restart, or next restart and mouse unplug+replug. The 1 corresponds to 1ms, which works out to 1000Hz. It can be tested by running:

cat /sys/module/usbhid/parameters/mousepoll

…which returned a 0 for me prior to any meddling and now returns 1.

For mice not quite capable of 1000Hz, 500 Hz in xorg.conf and 2 in modules may be safer values.






2 responses to “Mouse poll rate in Ubuntu”

  1. Per Avatar

    The change of /etc/modules resulted in mouse being completely dead after reboot.

    1. nwinocur Avatar

      Thanks for posting, Per; that confirms my suspicion that the method for handling poll rate may have changed since I originally wrote this article. Would you kindly let us know which distribution of Ubuntu you’re running, which kernel version, or other potentially-relevant info?

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