Free user-space driver for 6-dof space-mice.
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AUTHORS - fix memory leak when re-reading config file 2022-03-27 13:15:59 +03:00
COPYING initial import of the daemon 2007-07-02 22:03:28 +00:00 we have to link libm since we're using isfinite() 2022-08-22 03:57:38 +03:00 added FreeBSD automated github build 2022-11-30 02:56:51 +02:00
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setup_init - Applied G.Dimitropoulos' fix for setup_init, which would fail to detect the 2011-03-07 03:13:02 +00:00
spnavd_ctl - forgot to update the spnavd_ctl script to use the new pid location, this will 2009-02-02 02:11:10 +00:00


GNU/Linux build status FreeBSD build status MacOS X build status


Spacenavd is a free software user-space driver (daemon), for 6-dof input devices, like 3Dconnexion's space-mice. It's compatible with the original 3dxsrv proprietary daemon provided by 3Dconnexion, and works as a drop-in replacement with any program that was written for the 3Dconnexion driver, but also provides an improved communication mechanism for programs designed specifically to work with spacenavd.

For more info on the spacenav project, visit:

We are currently in the process of documenting how button numbers relate to physical buttons, across all 6dof devices:

If you have a device which is missing from that wiki page, please help us expand the database by adding it, or send us the information through email.


Copyright (C) 2007-2022 John Tsiombikas

This program is free software. Feel free to copy, modify and/or redistribute it under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 3, or at your option, any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. See COPYING for details.


In order to compile the spacenavd daemon, you'll need the following:

  • GNU C Compiler
  • GNU make
  • Xlib (libX11, optional)
  • XInput2 (libXi, optional)
  • Xtest (libXtst, optional)

You can compile the daemon without Xlib, but it won't be compatible with applications that where written for the original proprietary 3Dconnexion driver (e.g. maya, houdini, etc). The 3dxsrv compatibility interface needs to communicate with clients through the X window system. Programs designed to work with the alternative spacenavd-specific interface however (e.g. blender) will work fine even when spacenavd is built without X11 support.


If you have the dependencies installed, just run ./configure and then make to compile the daemon, and then make install, to install it.The default installation prefix is /usr/local. If you wish to install somewhere else, you may pass --prefix=/whatever to the configure script.

Running spacenavd

Spacenavd is designed to run during startup as a system daemon.

If your system uses SysV init, then you may run setup_init as root, to install the spacenavd init script, and have spacenavd start automatically during startup. To start the daemon right after installing it, without having to reboot your system, just type /etc/init.d/spacenavd start as root.

If your system uses BSD init or some other init system, then you'll have to follow your init documentation to set this up yourself. You may be able to use the provided init_script file as a starting point.

For systems running systemd, there is a spacenavd.service file under contrib/systemd. Follow your system documentation for how to use it.


The spacenavd daemon reads a number of options from /etc/spnavrc. If that file doesn't exist, then it will use default values for everything. An example configuration file is included in the doc subdirectory, which you may copy to /etc and tweak.

You may use the graphical spnavcfg program to interactively set and tweak any of the configuration options.


If you're having trouble running spacenavd, read the up to date FAQ on the spacenav website:

If you're not sure if spacenavd is set up correctly and works with your device, a good first step is to try and run the "simple" example program which comes with libspnav. It builds into two variants: simple_af_unix and simple_x11, which is helpful for testing both supported communication protocols. If either or both fail to work, there's something wrong with your setup.

If you're still having trouble, send a description of your problem to the spacenav-users mailing list: along with a copy of your /var/log/spnavd.log and any other relevant information.

If you have encountered a bug, please file a bug report in our bug tracker: