Bluetooth trackballs with Linux

Trackballs declutter busy desks and can be more comfortable than mice for precision pointing. Logitech trackballs also support Linux, paired and configured via Solaar. Every few months, you can pop out the trackball and clean the rollers or just blow on them to get the dust out.

Whatever mouse or trackball one buys, be sure to get one that work via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or the Unifying receiver. The main observed differences of using BLE is slightly shorter battery life and a slight initial lag if the buttons/roller haven’t been used for several seconds. The advantage of BLE is that you don’t risk damaging the laptop USB port with the dongle while handling the laptop.

The Logitech trackballs below have a user-maintainable trackball with back/forward buttons and clickable roller for programming and web-browsing convenience. These trackballs support BLE and Unifying receiver.

  • Logitech MX Ergo: a higher-end trackball with two-position tilt for comfort. The Ergo has a button to switch between two Bluetooth devices e.g. laptop, phone, etc.

  • Logitech M575: fixed tilt, no device switching button