Ubuntu – Extra mouse buttons not working in virtualization (VMware/VirtualBox, ubuntu host)


I'm trying to run VMware Workstation and/or VirtualBox on Ubuntu. The virtual machines are working perfectly in both applications, except for the extra mouse buttons (forward/backward). In Ubuntu the mouse buttons are all working.

Virtualization applications: VMware Workstation 10.0.1, latest VirtualBox

Ubuntu versions I tested as host: 12.04, 13.10, 14.04 beta

Guest OS I tested: Windows 7, several Linux OS in live-mode

Mice I tested (all with side buttons): Logitech M510 (unifying receiver), old Razer Copperhead, no-name-mouse

I already tried a lot of solutions I found online e.g. changing the mouse-settings in .vmx on VMware WS (mouse.vusb.enable, …) , changing the input-settings on VMware/VirtualBox, reinstall guest tools on guest OS, …

I think it's a problem in Ubuntu and not in the virtualization applications.
Does anyone have a solution for this?

Best Answer

Possible workaround:

After editing the VM's .vmx file to add

mouse.vusb.enable = "TRUE"
mouse.vusb.useBasicMouse = "FALSE"
usb.generic.allowHID = "TRUE"

you'll be able to use your five-button mouse in the VM. To do so, open your VM, then navigate to Virtual Machine > Removable Devices > [Your Mouse] > Connect (Disconnect from Host). You'll get a couple warnings that you won't be able to use your mouse with the host anymore, and just click OK.

Now you can only use your mouse within the VM whether it's full-screen or in windowed mode. Hit Ctrl-G on your keyboard to get rid of the host mouse icon and fully immerse yourself in the VM. Once you need your mouse again outside the VM, hit Ctrl+Alt, then release. Now the focus is back to your host OS. Hold Alt and push V to bring up the Virtual Machine menu, and use your arrow keys to navigate to Virtual Machine > Removable Devices > [Your Mouse] > Disconnect (Connect to Host).

Now everything is back to normal. Hopefully something will change in either Ubuntu or VMWare Player soon to make it easier than this.

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