Linux Getting Two-Line Patch To Finally Deal With The Quirky Microsoft OEM Mouse
Written by Michael Larabel in Microsoft on 12 November 2018 at 08:17 AM EST. 24 Comments
MICROSOFT --
While Microsoft is self-proclaimed to love Linux, their common and very basic Microsoft OEM Mouse has not loved the Linux kernel or vice-versa... The Linux kernel HID code is finally getting a quirk fix to deal with the Microsoft OEM mouse as it would disconnect every minute when running at run-levels one or three.

The basic Microsoft OEM Mouse that's been available for years (appearing as a PixArt vendor and USB ID 0x00cb) would disconnect every 60~62 seconds on Linux systems when connected out-of-the-box. This isn't some high-end gaming mouse but Microsoft's dead basic OEM optical mouse.


It turns out this is due to quirky behavior and needing the HID kernel driver to always poll the mouse. With a two-line patch that's now in hid-next and then queued for back-porting to the Linux stable series, this Microsoft PixArt OEM mouse behavior should finally be corrected.

This was a problem for years but only being resolved this month thanks to a SUSE developer. Going back to 2013 was the bug report of the Microsoft Basic Optical mouse disconnecting every 62 seconds precisely. It was reported that this Microsoft mouse would work on Linux 2.6 kernels but broke since around Linux 3.4 and appears to have been broken ever since. (The 3.4 kernel debuted in 2012.)

This Microsoft OEM mouse is also available under other labels such as the Dell MS116; that mouse can still be bought retail for $5~7 USD. There is also more background information on the issue via this GitHub repository. It's taken a while, but great that this once rather common mouse -- and likely still common -- is finally getting its quirk dealt with by the mainline Linux kernel. This always-polling quirk isn't entirely uncommon but several Corsair and Logitech devices, among other brands, have also needed this workaround albeit they were handled in a more timely manner for the upstream HID code.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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