Tweaking your Synaptics Touchpad (laptops) : Ubuntu (6.06.1 / 6.10)

By | 2006/12/10

I just found this new tweak today and I’m really excited about it. The more I look into what is possible with an Ubuntu desktop the more amazed I am. Honestly, if you haven’t tried Ubuntu before (or you know someone who hasn’t) you REALLY should. Things just don’t get easier than this.

This tutorial will outline how to configure your synaptics touchpad (for laptops) via a nice pretty GUI interface. Allowing configuration for general settings (on / off, etc) to scrolling and tapping. You can even change the settings so that you can do a 360 around your touchpad to scroll up/down! Now we’re talking!

First of all, as we do with anything related to the desktop and graphics we MAKE A BACKUP. You might want to use the below command to backup your current xorg.conf file.

sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf-backup

We then add one simple line to the xorg configuration. Simply look for this area of your file:

Section "InputDevice"

Identifier "Synaptics Touchpad"

Driver "synaptics"

Option "SendCoreEvents" "true"

Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"

Option "Protocol" "auto-dev"

Option "HorizScrollDelta" "0"


and add one more option to the bottom above “EndSection”

Option "SHMConfig" "on"

At this point save the new file and restart your desktop using: sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart or ctrl-alt-backspace.

After you’ve logged back into your system (Ooh, if for some reason X does not work after rebooting you can simply revert your changes by replacing the backup file again. Use: sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf-backup /etc/X11/xorg.conf) we’ll need to add the package that allows us to configure everything. Install QSynaptics using the command below (or find it using Synaptic Package Manager)

sudo aptitude install qsynaptics

After the installation is complete you can very easily manage tweak your laptop’s touchpad. Some of the options are:

  • On / Off
  • Scrolling On / Off, Normal or Circular
  • Horizontal & Vertical Scrolling speeds
  • One, Two or Three Finger tapping options

Press “ALT-F2” and type “qsynaptics” to run the QSynaptic GUI Manager and config to your hearts content. If someone reminds me I’ll edit this to include a desktop menu launcher.
Adjust your settings the way you’d like them and make your desktop your own! This is one cool hack–one of my favorites!

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19 thoughts on “Tweaking your Synaptics Touchpad (laptops) : Ubuntu (6.06.1 / 6.10)

  1. Pingback: » Blog Archive » How to disable the Synaptics touchpad tap-to-click mode in Ubuntu Edgy 6.10

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  3. martin

    at first i was one of the people for whom X failed to restart, instead coughing up a debug screen in a nice shade of death-blue… if that happens to you, see if perchance your sPelliNG & kAPitalisAshun is anally correct… i inserted this line:

    SHMConfig “On”

    i should have put:

    SHMConfig “on”

    now everything works. death to tapping!

    thanks for this page.

  4. Pingback: disabling tapping on synaptics touchpads in linux « asocial studies

  5. Reuel

    All I wanted to do was change sensitivity. I hate this touch pad, but it was tolerable when I could change sensitivity. Now I have to almost smack my computer to get a left-click. Oh well. Sure beats that MS thingy.

  6. Randy Holt

    The qsynaptics fix works fine, except when I first start up Ubuntu. It seems that the touchpad reverts to its old state. I’ve found that I have to invoke qsynaptics, then immediately close it, to get the touchpad to work the way I want it to. Is there a way to do something like this during startup?

    Thanks for your help.

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  8. dhs

    Randy, I had the same problem with Synaptic losing the double-tap settings on restart. I added this line to /etc/X11/xorg.conf:
    Option “TapButton1” “0”

  9. Jesse

    What if your entire section for Input devices touchpad is missing. I am new to ubuntu and have been impressed up till now. This touchpad problem is far to complicated for a new user to figure out.

  10. Lou

    Dood, this rocks. I hate tap to click and now it’s off. Glad someone put this up on the internet.

  11. beire

    my section for touchpad devices was also missing, i have put these lines in xorg.conf:

    Section “InputDevice”
    Identifier “Synaptics Touchpad”
    Driver “synaptics”
    Option “SendCoreEvents” “true”
    Option “Device” “/dev/psaux”
    Option “Protocol” “auto-dev”
    Option “HorizScrollDelta” “0”
    Option “SHMConfig” “on”

    and in the section:
    Section “ServerLayout”

    i have changed
    InputDevice “Configured Mouse”

    into this:
    InputDevice “Synaptics Touchpad”

    then i installed qsynaptics
    i can start it but it doesnt change anything.. i cant scroll horizontal
    what can i do about this?

  12. beire

    i found out that i cant scroll horizontal but when i scrol horizontal i go to the previous or to the next site in the internetbrowser,
    can anyone help me?

  13. Glen Robinson

    In the server section of xorg.conf.
    Just add another line (you can leave the input device configured mouse line in)
    “input device” Synaptics Touchpad”.
    Then assuming you have added the complete initial section (in original post).
    Restart X with CTL-ALT-BACKSPACE.
    Check that SHMconfig is running by entering:
    synclient -l .
    This should give you a complete list of options – and NOT SHMconfig not running
    Now to turn off a tap on the touchpad emulating a mouse click enter:
    synclient MaxTapTime=0

    Finally, you probably want to put the applicable synclient options in your bash startup scripts

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  15. Mike Chicago

    Thank you so much for posting this. Fantastic!

  16. Amr Mostafa

    Update: On Edgy, I can see this part of GNOME’s preferences. Not sure if it’s available on previous Ubuntu’s (GNOMEs) or not. But anyway. System => Preferences => Mouse. Then click on “Touchpad”.


  17. Natovr

    Update… on Karmic, you have to install gsynaptics. There is probably still the “qsynaptics” one in an older repo, but by default, when I try to install qsynaptics, it says:

    No candidate version found for qsynaptics

  18. Asidcel

    Now no xorg.conf is used by default, but synclient MaxTapTime=0 still works to disable mouse clicks with touchpad. It can be executed from the Run dialog (ALT+F2). To undo: synclient MaxTapTime=180

    But the command that has (almost) the same effect as the gnome-mouse-properties menu (Touchpad tab -> take the mark out from “Enable mouse clicks with touchpad”) is:
    synclient TapButton1=0 TapButton2=0 TapButton3=0
    It can also be run from ALT+F2
    To undo: ALT+F2 -> gnome-mouse-properties -> Touchpad tab -> “Enable mouse clicks with touchpad” (click twice, first to take the mark out, then to put it again).

    These things can be done also with xinput:
    1. xinput list
    2. xinput list-props x|grep -i tap (x is a number: the id of the device, probably something with Alps or Synaptics. You can use instead xinput list-props “nameofthedevice”|grep -i tap , for example xinput list-props “AlpsPS/2 ALPS GlidePoint”|grep -i tap or xinput list-props “SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad”|grep -i tap ).
    3a. xinput set-prop x –type=int y 0 (x is the same number as before; y is the number between brackets next to “Synaptics Tap Time”. You can use instead xinput set-prop “nameofthedevice” “Synaptics Tap Time” 0 , for example xinput set-prop “AlpsPS/2 ALPS GlidePoint” “Synaptics Tap Time” 0 or xinput set-prop “SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad” “Synaptics Tap Time” 0 ). To undo: xinput set-prop x –type=int y 180 or xinput set-prop “nameofthedevice” “Synaptics Tap Time” 180
    3b. xinput set-prop x –type=int z 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 (x is the same number as before; z is the number between brackets next to “Synaptics Tap Action”. You can use instead xinput set-prop “nameofthedevice” “Synaptics Tap Action” 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 . This command has exactly the same effect as the gnome-mouse-properties menu -> Touchpad tab -> take the mark out from “Enable mouse clicks with touchpad”). To undo: ALT+F2 -> gnome-mouse-properties -> Touchpad tab -> “Enable mouse clicks with touchpad” (click twice, first to take the mark out, then to put it again).

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