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I now have four distros on my hard drive. One of them is Debian Wheezy, and it's probably the one I use most often. But often, when I boot it, ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Why does Debian (and only Debian!) sometimes fail to see my mouse?


    I now have four distros on my hard drive. One of them is Debian Wheezy, and it's probably the one I use most often. But often, when I boot it, my usb mouse is not detected. The only cure is then to push in the cable hard and reboot. I would have expected intuitively that pushing in the cable would be enough and the mouse would then be detected on the fly as usb storage devices are, but that doesn't seem to happen.

    The strange thing is that it only happens in Debian. Of course all my distros have different kernels, but Debian is neither the oldest nor the youngest of them. It is however the only stock kernel and it's enormous. My other three systems all have hand-rolled minimalist kernels, and they none of them have any problem detecting the mouse.

    Can anyone explain this?
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  2. #2
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    Maybe A kernel log error in /var or a dmseg | tail when you replug in your external mouse might shed some light Hazel.
    Just a Bike mechanics country boy guess.

    Me. I have my own issues with IRQ conflicts between aftermarket external power supplies disabling my netbook touchpads and having to use a external usb mouse while charging the netbooks. It is not distro specific or Linux specific. It seems to be a hardware issue instead.
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  3. #3
    Linux Engineer docbop's Avatar
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    Thinking back to old DOS days (did I date myself saying that) sometimes things like this could be remedied by changing the order devices drivers loading. Our kludge back then was to change the name of a driver to change when it was loaded since they were loaded in alphabetical order.

  4. #4
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    As I said above, fiddling with the cable does not cause the mouse to be detected immediately but only on the next boot. Today I had the same problem, but this time I tried taking the cable out completely and then plugging it in again. That worked: dmesg immediately reported detecting a mouse and xorg then picked it up as normal. Hardware's a funny thing!
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
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