customized macbook xorg.conf – including double-tap, right-click, scrolling, etc.

By | 2007/06/04

I’ve been working on a complete guide to installing Ubuntu on a MacBook, part of which includes a customized xorg.conf to offer right-click, double-tap, scrolling and other such functionality. In a release-early, release-often mindset I wanted to post my config now. If you run Ubuntu on a macbook this might be helpful. If you have any suggestions to add I would appreciate hearing about those as well.

Ooh, if you’re running on a MacBook Pro there is a similar config for that hardware available here.

Remember, before you update *any* of your xorg.conf it is *always* a good idea to back it up. The last thing you want is a b0rk3d graphical server with no revert options. (sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf-date).

…and if you read this far you can view / download my xorg.conf here:

macbook customized xorg.conf

The main magic is in the Section “Input Device”.

12 thoughts on “customized macbook xorg.conf – including double-tap, right-click, scrolling, etc.

  1. Adam

    Does the scrolling function as it does under OS X where dragging two fingers up/down or left/right activates vertical or horizontal scrolling respectively; or is scrolling achieved by dragging on the side of the pad?

  2. Ubuntu Tutorials

    The scrolling function works on the right-side of the trackpad. I have never tried to duplicate the two-finger scroll like in OS X.

  3. thouters

    Personaly I don’t like tapping (why the hell would you tap a touchpad?), the macbook has a nice large button to act as its left mouse button and you hover your thumb over it anyway when moving the cursor.

    I mapped the left apple key (meta) to right-click using the mac button emulator driver from the kernel. If you always have your left hand over the keyboard, right clicking only requires you to lower your thumb.

    Two finger scrolling has been a feature you can use with the synaptics driver for ages. It works beautifully and in four directions. I’m a gentoo user and put my config up at if you’re interested.

  4. Mylo

    I have linux on my mac. I’ve just been playing around with kde and an extra monitor.

    If you can work out how to get the screens working independently (right click on desktop -> Configure Desktop -> Screen) that would be a champion effort.

    I’ve got a bit of spare time over the next couple of weeks, and I know I’ll be thanking myself later for putting in the effort.

    Later dude

  5. Michael Moore

    Oh man, I was excited to have a nice premade xorg.conf, but it’s using /dvorak/!

    I’ll probably just fix that, but maybe you could provide a non dvorak xorg.conf as well?


  6. Ubuntu Tutorials

    Michael – I did not even think about that. I will update the file now to use the us layout. thank you for the reminder!

  7. Max

    I’ve actually modified the synaptics source to allow for two finger right click and two finger scrolling exactly like in OsX. I also added three finger middle click support. The problem is that when I contacted the original author of the package, I didn’t get any response. If anyone can tell me how I can get these features published into the next version of the driver, that would be appreciated… also appreciated I’m sure by all the people that would like multiple finger touchpad support in linux. 🙂

  8. dc

    you should maybe warn more loudly that it is dvorak … it is easy to not notice when you are quickly running configs trying to get things tweakeds

  9. Cody

    MAX! I’m interested big time on that fix. Would you mind sharing them?

  10. Rolf

    Me too! Me too! Patch please!
    (or at least a link to the sources, maybe I can modif them myself, but dont count on it…)

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