3DConnexion SpaceNavigator (3D Mouse, USB)

I/O 3D, 3DConnexion, IO, Mouse, USB

3DConnexion SpaceNavigator (3D Mouse, USB)
Linux compatibility:
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Updated: 07/04/2016 18:42

Review of Linux Compatibility

The SpaceNaviagator from 3DConnexion is a 3D mouse that is also supported by Linux. The mouse has the USB ID 046d:c626 (some variants have alsu the USB ID 046d:c628),

Bus 003 Device 002: ID 046d:c626 Logitech, Inc. 3Dconnexion Space Navigator 3D Mouse

and is automatically supported under Linux by the kernel, i.e., with latest Linux kernel versions there is no need to install the Linux driver which is provided by 3DConnexion (see below).

If the 3D mouse is plugged in the device will be recognized automatically:

usb 1-3.4: new low speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 7
usb 1-3.4: New USB device found, idVendor=046d, idProduct=c626
usb 1-3.4: New USB device strings: Mfr=3, Product=1, SerialNumber=0
usb 1-3.4: Product: SpaceNavigator
usb 1-3.4: Manufacturer: 3Dconnexion
input: 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.1/usb3/3-1/3-1:1.0/input/input12
generic-usb 0003:046D:C626.0005: input,hidraw3: USB HID v1.10 Multi-Axis Controller [3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator] on

and the kernel will create the device pseudo-files /dev/input/eventN. These files can be used to read out the SpaceNavigator. The numbering of the files can vary depending on the hardware which is connected to the Linux system. Therefore, it is recommended to create udev rules which create device files with the same name at each system boot, e.g. /dev/input/spacenavigator.

To achieve this, the fie file “/etc/udev/rules.d/90-spacenavigator.rules” has to be created (as root) and needs the following contents:

KERNEL=="event[0-9]*", ATTRS{idVendor}=="046d", ATTRS{idProduct}=="c62[68]", MODE="0664", GROUP="plugdev", SYMLINK+="input/spacenavigator"

From now on the 3D mouse can always be read out via the file /dev/input/spacenavigator. Some distributions already include such a rule and automatically create the file


or (e.g. Fedora fc13)


for the 3d mouse.

As mouse replacement

The SpaceNavigator can be used like a standard mouse. The configuration file of the X-Servers /etc/X11/xorg.conf has to be adapted in order to achieve this. In the section “ServerLayout” the SpaceNavigator has to be added as additional pointer device by adding the following lines:

  InputDevice "spacenav" "CorePointer"

Furthermore, the section “InputDevice” has to be created, similar to the existing ones for keyboard and standard mouse:

Section "InputDevice"
	Identifier 	"spacenav"
	Driver		"evdev"
	Option "Device" "/dev/input/spacenavigator"
	Option "Name" "3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator"
	Option "Pass" "3"
	Option "ZRelativeAxisButtons" "Off"
	Option "Mode" "Relative"
	Option "ConstantDeceleration" "15"

After a restart of the X-Servers the Space Navigator can be used to control the mouse pointer.

Google Earth

The SpaceNavigator can also be used to controlthe 3d view of Google Earth. A detailed configuration description can be found at http://code.google.com/p/liquid-galaxy/wiki/LinuxSpaceNavigator.

Original driver

A installation of the original driver provided by 3DConnexion is not necessary for latest distributions. Instead, the SpaceNavigator can be read out directly by the device file. Older distributions might need an installation of the 3DConnexion drivers. After downloading the driver package and unpacking it

tar xzvf path/to/3dxware-linux-v1-4-3.x86_64.tar.gz

the installation program can be executed


Afterwards, the access rights for the configuration files have to be fixed:

sudo chmod go+rx /etc/3DxWare
sudo chmod go+r /etc/3DxWare/*.scg

The successful installation of the driver can be tested by the included demo program:

sudo /etc/3DxWare/daemon/3dxsrv -d usb

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Please use the comment section to submit corrections to the article as well as relevant excerpts of lspci, lsusb, lshw, dmesg e.t.c. Furthermore, use the section for the exchange of experiences with this hardware component or search for configuration help from other owners of this hardware.
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