[blfs-support] GPM-1.20.7 in BLFS 7.8 in a Virtualbox 4.3.28 instance on Mac OS X Yosemite 10.10.5 host

Will Senn will.senn at gmail.com
Tue Oct 6 18:46:38 PDT 2015

On 10/5/15 10:16 PM, Will Senn wrote:
> Hi,
> I have successfully completed the LFS build and have added dhcpcd, 
> openssl, openssh, wget, and lynx successfully - now I am trying to get 
> GPM working. I have followed the BLFS book instructions, but I don't 
> seem to be able to get the mouse to work in the console.
> Here are some of the things I have tried:
> recompiling the kernel with psaux support
> modifying /etc/sysconfig/mouse and rebooting after each edit
> MDEVICE="/dev/psaux"
> MDEVICE="/dev/mice"
> MDEVICE="/dev/mouse0" # it was present in /dev so why not?
> PROTOCOL="imps2"
> PROTOCOL="ps2"
> changing the VM settings from the default USB Pointing device to PS/2.
> I admit to not truly understanding the interaction between the VM, the 
> host and the client, so if it's patently obvious what's wrong, please 
> be kind. I haven't been able to find much useful information about how 
> to test this. I am hoping to be able to copy/cut/paste from the 
> command line using the mouse without having to resort to using a mac 
> terminal and ssh. I don't have X or virtualbox extensions installed.
> Has anyone been able to configure GPM to work in the lfs console in a 
> virtual box VM?
> Do you have some troubleshooting tips?
> Is there a test command I can use that will provide an error message 
> of some sort?
> Thanks,
> Will

I figured it out. It was fairly simple and I'm not sure it's the "best" 
solution, but it works as follows:

1. It appears to require the legacy /dev/psaux device.
This requires the selection of Device Drivers->Input Device Support-> 
Provide legacy /dev/psaux device during kernel configuration and building.

2. It works with USB Tablet selected in virtualbox (which provides 
Absolute Addressing), this can be changed while the VM isn't running.

3. It can be started manually with the command gpm -m /dev/psaux -t 
imps2, but once it works, the service can be started by init by running 
make install-gpm from the downloaded BLFS bootscripts.

Voila, mouse and copy paste in a vt running in a virtualbox vm :)

-- Will

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