System Utilities

This chapter contains mainly hardware utilities. It also contains some applications used by other applications in the book for installation purposes.


Introduction to GPM

The GPM (General Purpose Mouse daemon) package contains a mouse server for the console and xterm. It not only provides cut and paste support generally, but its library component is used by various software such as Links to provide mouse support to the application. It is useful on desktops, especially if following (Beyond) Linux From Scratch instructions; it's often much easier (and less error prone) to cut and paste between two console windows than to type everything by hand!

Package information

Installation of GPM

Install GPM by running the following commands:

patch -Np1 -i ../gpm-1.20.1-segfault.patch &&
patch -Np1 -i ../gpm-1.20.1-silent.patch &&
LDFLAGS="-lm" ./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc &&
make &&
make install &&
cp conf/gpm-root.conf /etc &&
ldconfig -n -l /usr/lib/

Command explanations

LDFLAGS="-lm": The math library must be linked with gpm, as ceil() is used in some cursor scrolling logic.

ldconfig -n -l : During installation, gpm outputs a message to run the above command to create the proper library links.

Configuring GPM

gpm init.d script

Install the /etc/rc.d/init.d/gpm init script included in the blfs-bootscripts-5.1 package.

make install-gpm

Config files

/etc/sysconfig/mouse This file contains the name of your mouse device and the protocol which it uses. To create this file, run the following:

cat > /etc/sysconfig/mouse << "EOF" 
# Begin /etc/sysconfig/mouse


# End /etc/sysconfig/mouse

Configuration Information

Examples of values to set MDEVICE and PROTOCOL to are:


A list of which protocol values are known can be found by running gpm -t -help. Your MDEVICE setting depends on which type of mouse you have. For example, /dev/ttyS0 for a serial mouse (on Windows this is COM1), /dev/input/mice is often used for USB mice and /dev/psaux for PS2 mice.


The GPM package contains gpm, gpm-root, disable-paste and mev.



gpm is a cut and paste utility and mouse server for virtual consoles.


gpm-root is a default handler for gpm. It is used to draw menus on the root window.


No description available.


mev is a program to report mouse events.