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!

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS 12.1 platform.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

GPM Dependencies


texlive-20230313 (for documentation)

Kernel Configuration

Enable the following option in the kernel configuration and recompile the kernel if necessary:

Device Drivers --->
  Input device support --->
    -*-   Generic input layer (needed for keyboard, mouse, ...)          [INPUT]
    <*/M>   Mouse interface                                     [INPUT_MOUSEDEV]

Installation of GPM

Install GPM by running the following commands:

patch -Np1 -i ../gpm-1.20.7-consolidated-1.patch                &&
./                                                    &&
./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc ac_cv_path_emacs=no &&

If texlive-20230313 is installed, build the GPM manual as dvi, ps, and pdf formats:

make -C doc gpm.{dvi,ps} &&
dvipdfm doc/gpm.dvi -o doc/gpm.pdf

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install                                          &&

install-info --dir-file=/usr/share/info/dir           \
             /usr/share/info/                 &&

rm -fv /usr/lib/libgpm.a                              &&
ln -sfv /usr/lib/            &&
install -v -m644 conf/gpm-root.conf /etc              &&

install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/gpm-1.20.7/support &&
install -v -m644    doc/support/*                     \
                    /usr/share/doc/gpm-1.20.7/support &&
install -v -m644    doc/{FAQ,HACK_GPM,README*}        \

If texlive-20230313 is installed and you've built GPM manual as dvi, ps, and pdf formats, install them as the root user:

install -vm644 doc/gpm.{dvi,ps,pdf} /usr/share/doc/gpm-1.20.7

Command Explanations

./ This command creates the missing configure script.

ac_cv_path_emacs=no: This variable works around an issue causing the package fail to build with Emacs-29.2 installed. It also suppresses the installations of some Emacs support files shipped with GPM. These files are quite outdated and they should be superseded with Emacs-29.2 built-in GPM support. If you need to use Emacs-29.2 in Linux console with mouse support, you should install (or reinstall) Emacs-29.2 after GPM.

install-info ...: This package installs a .info file, but does not update the system dir file. This command makes the update.

ln -v -sfn /usr/lib/ This command is used to create (or update) the .so symlink to the library.

Configuring GPM

Systemd Unit

To start the gpm daemon at boot, install the systemd unit from the blfs-systemd-units-20240205 package by running the following command as the root user:

make install-gpm

Config Files

/etc/gpm-root.conf and ~/.gpm-root: The default and individual user gpm-root configuration files.

Configuration Information

GPM is by default started with the following parameters: -m /dev/input/mice -t imps2. If the mentioned parameters don't suit your needs, you can override them by running the following commands as the root user:

install -v -dm755 /etc/systemd/system/gpm.service.d &&
cat > /etc/systemd/system/gpm.service.d/99-user.conf << EOF
ExecStart=/usr/sbin/gpm <list of parameters>


Installed Programs: disable-paste, display-buttons, display-coords, get-versions, gpm, gpm-root, hltest, mev, and mouse-test
Installed Library:
Installed Directory: /usr/share/doc/gpm-1.20.7

Short Descriptions


is a security mechanism used to disable the paste buffer


is a simple program that reports the mouse buttons being pressed and released


is a simple program that reports the mouse coordinates


is used to report the GPM library and server versions


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


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


is a simple sample application using the high-level library, meant to be read by programmers trying to use the high-level library


is a program to report mouse events


is a tool for determining the mouse type and device it's attached to

contains the API functions to access the GPM daemon