Mouse Keys in Ubuntu 12.04

Weirdly, on the iteration of Ubuntu numbered 12.04, someone decided to remove a few settings by default in the system settings menu. The accessibility feature, Mouse Keys, is still present under ‘System Settings -> Universal Access.’ However, without the removed options, it is no longer possible to easily change the acceleration of the mouse. Ironically, this defeats the point of having Mouse Keys as an option at all as the default values make the mouse dreadfully slow, cumbersome, and ultimately quite unusable.

How to configure the acceleration of Mouse Keys in Ubuntu 12.04

A quick way of fixing this predicament is to install the xkbset package; which allows the configuration of the XKEYBOARD extension. Open up a terminal window and type the following to install the xkbset package:

sudo apt-get install xkbset

When the above package is installed, a simple one-line command can then be used to configure the acceleration like the one below:

xkbset ma [delay] [interval] [time to max] [max speed] [curve]

For those new to command-line interfaces, the brackets need to be replaced by a numerical value – tailored to your own taste. I have recently used the following for my configuration; mess with the numbers until it best suits you.

xkbset ma 60 10 10 20 10

Final Notes

Now that you have made mouse keys usable, other accessibility options can be tweaked using the same package too. For the curious, simply use the following command to discover other helpful tweaks and features:

xkbset help

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