Getting Microsoft Designer Mouse to work with Ubuntu 16.04 on a Dell Inspiron 7537 Laptop

So, I finally got this Inspiron dual-booted with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, I’m impressed with how nicely it functions and that the touchscreen works perfectly, but I am immediately disappointed with two things:

  • The touchpad is WAY too sensitive with click/select/drag and winds up going all over the place (if you found a solution for this, I’d love to hear it.  Changing the Synaptics settings in Terminal has proven unsuccessful for me so far)
  • My favorite Microsoft Designer Mouse isn’t pairing up.

Which, the touchpad being so herky-jerky wouldn’t be so bad if the mouse was working…

So after poking around for awhile, this is what worked for me. (YMMV)

Symptom: Designer Mouse will pair, but it doesn’t work.  🙁

Open Terminal and get these two packages and their associated recommendations.  They are more than likely already installed by default.

sudo apt-get install bluez blueman

Then, we have to do the following:

sudo nano /etc/bluetooth/main.conf
Change line 67, uncomment #[Policy] so that it reads [Policy]
Change line 89, uncomment and change #AutoEnable=false so that it reads

Now we open the HCI rules and comment it to turn it off.  Others say to remove the file but that makes me nervous so I just comment it out.

sudo nano /lib/udev/rules.d/50-bluetooth-hci-auto-poweron.rules

Comment the line (put a # at the beginning) so it reads

#ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="bluetooth", KERNEL=="hci[0-9]*", RUN+="/bin/hciconfig %k up"

(note this is all one line, word wrap makes it appear as two lines above)

Save and reboot.

Now once you’re logged in, you’ll notice the second bluetooth menu (blueman). This will enable you to get to the Pan Support selection.

Choose Local Services

Under Pan Support at the bottom of the window, choose blueman (dhclient).

Click Apply

Now you should be able to Setup New Device

You’ll have to hold the button on the bottom of the mouse until the blue light blinks on and off, this puts it into pairing mode. Once paired, you’ll see it in Devices.

Highlight it and right-click the device entry for Designer Mouse and choose Trust.

Mine still shows the device type as Unknown but the mouse works so I don’t care.

I had to turn the tracking speed down a bit in System Settings > Mouse & Touchpad, as it was too fast for my taste.

After I got the mouse connected and rebooted, I removed blueman to get rid of the second bluetooth menu item and the mouse still worked.

sudo apt-get remove blueman

I hope this helped you get your mouse connected.


Your mileage may very, if you break something or your other bluetooth devices cease to connect, you’re on your own.

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