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How can I configure or disable the touchpad on my notebook?

This document (3067387) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.

Environment

Notebook or laptop computer with a Synaptics or ALPS Touchpad.
SUSE Linux Desktop 10

These general instructions should work for other SuSE distributions as well.

Situation

Hands brush against touchpad when typing. Need to disable touchpad and use a mouse or trackball.

Need to adjust speed, acceleration, scrolling, sensitivity, etc.

Resolution

If only use of the touchpad is desired and not the pointing stick (built into the keyboard of many notebooks) or an external mouse, trackball, or other pointing device, then go into YaST and select Hardware-->Mouse Model and change the selection to the ALPS or Synaptics Touchpad. Then proceed to "Configuring the Synaptics Driver" section below.

If you are planning on using an external mouse, or the pointer stick, configure the system so your external mouse is working as expected. The default settings provided during the installation of the system usually work fine but if you need to make changes, the mouse settings can be found in YaST under Hardware-->Mouse Model.

To enable the configuration for the touchpad and keep the external mouse and pointing stick functioning, the xorg.conf configuration file must be manually edited and a section for the touchpad device added.

Open a terminal window and run "su" to become root. Then use your favorite editor to edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. I like gedit so the command would be "gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf".

Find the section for your mouse that looks similar to this:

Section "InputDevice"
Driver "mouse"
Identifier "Mouse[1]"
Option "Buttons""5"
Option "Device""/dev/input/mice"
Option "Name""PS/2 Logitech Mouse"
Option "Protocol""explorerps/2"
Option "Vendor""Sysp"
Option "ZAxisMapping""4 5"
EndSection

After the mouse section add the following lines:

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Synaptics Touchpad"
Driver "synaptics"
Option "SendCoreEvents""true"
Option "Device""/dev/psaux"
Option "Protocol""auto-dev"
Option "HorizScrollDelta""0"
Option "TouchpadOff""0"
EndSection

Note: You can change "TouchpadOff" to "1" to disable the touchpad. See more configuration options below.

Now, locate the section "ServerLayout" near the bottom that looks similar to this:

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "Layout[all]"
InputDevice "Keyboard[0]""CoreKeyboard"
InputDevice"Mouse[1]""CorePointer"
Screen "Screen[0]"
EndSection

After the entry for the mouse add the following line:

InputDevice "Synaptics Touchpad"

It should now look similar to this:

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "Layout[all]"
InputDevice "Keyboard[0]""CoreKeyboard"
InputDevice "Mouse[1]""CorePointer"
InputDevice "Synaptics Touchpad"
Screen "Screen[0]"
EndSection

For the changes in the xorg.conf to take effect the X server must be restarted. Logout of the desktop and when you get back to the login screen press Ctrl-Alt-Backspace. This will restart X. The login screen will come back up. You will probably notice some difference in how the touchpad responds now that it is running with a different driver. The driver can be configured to provide the functionality you expect.


Configuring the Synaptics Driver

All of the following information is included in the man page for synaptics (man 5 synaptics).

The following options can be added to the xorg.conf to customize your settings. These settings can also be controlled through the use of the command-line tool "synclient" if the following option is added to the synaptics section of the xorg.conf:

Option "SHMConfig""on"

The syntax for synclient command:

synclient [-m interval] [-h] [-l] [-V] [-?] [var1=value1 [var2=value2] ...]
-m monitor changes to the touchpad state.
interval specifies how often (in ms) to poll the touchpad state
-h Show detected hardware properties
-l List current user settings
-V Print synclient version string and exit
-? Show this help message
var=value Set user parameter 'var' to'value'.

Here's the list of the available options:

Device (String) - Synaptics device.

Protocol (String) - auto-dev, automatic, default, psaux, raw, event, linux 2.6 kernel events, psm, FreeBSD psm driver

SHMConfig (Bool) - Switch on/off shared memory for configuration.

LeftEdge (Integer) - X coordinate for left edge.

RightEdge (Integer) - X coordinate for right edge.

TopEdge (Integer) - Y coordinate for top edge.

BottomEdge (Integer) - Y coordinate for bottom edge.

FingerLow (Integer) - When finger pressure drops below this value, the driver counts it as a release.

FingerHigh (Integer) - When finger pressure goes above this value, the driver counts it as a touch.

MaxTapTime (Integer) - Maximum time (in milliseconds) for detecting a tap.

MaxTapMove (Integer) - Maximum movement of the finger for detecting a tap.

MaxDoubleTapTime (Integer) - Maximum time (in milliseconds) for detecting a double tap.

ClickTime (Integer) - The duration of the mouse click generated by tapping.

FastTaps (Bool) - Makes the driver react faster to a single tap, but also makes double clicks caused by double tapping slower.

VertScrollDelta (Integer) - Move distance of the finger for a scroll event.

HorizScrollDelta (Integer) - Move distance of the finger for a scroll event.

EdgeMotionMinZ (Integer) - Finger pressure at which minimum edge motion speed is set.

EdgeMotionMaxZ (Integer) - Finger pressure at which maximum edge motion speed is set.

EdgeMotionMinSpeed (Integer) - Slowest setting for edge motion speed.

EdgeMotionMaxSpeed (Integer) - Fastest setting for edge motion speed.

EdgeMotionUseAlways (Bool) - If on, edge motion is also used for normal movements. If off, edge motion is used only when dragging.

Repeater (String) - Repeater device.

MinSpeed (Float) - Minimum speed factor.

MaxSpeed (Float) - Maximum speed factor.

AccelFactor (Float) - Acceleration factor.

UpDownScrolling (Bool) - If on, the up/down buttons generate button 4/5 events. If off, the up button generates a double click and the down button generates a button 2 event.

LeftRightScrolling (Bool) - If on, the left/right buttons generate button 6/7 events. If off, the left/right buttons both generate button 2 events.

UpDownRepeat (Bool) - If on, and the up/down buttons are used for scrolling (UpDownScrolling), these buttons will send auto-repeating 4/5 events, with the delay between repeats determined by ScrollButtonRepeat.

LeftRightRepeat (Bool) - If on, and the left/right buttons are used for scrolling (LeftRightScrolling), these buttons will send auto-repeating 6/7 events, with the delay between repeats determined by ScrollButtonRepeat.

ScrollButtonRepeat (Integer) - The number of milliseconds between repeats of button events 4-7 from the up/down/left/right scroll buttons.

EmulateMidButtonTime (Integer) - Maximum time (in milliseconds) for middle button emulation.

TouchpadOff (Integer) - Switch off the touchpad. Valid values are:
0 Touchpad is enabled
1 Touchpad is switched off
2 Only tapping and scrolling is switched off

GuestMouseOff (Bool) - Switch on/off guest mouse (often a stick).

LockedDrags (Bool) - If off, a tap and drag gesture ends when you release the finger. If on, the gesture is active until you tap a second time.

RTCornerButton (Integer) - Which mouse button is reported on a right top corner tap. Set to 0 to disable.

RBCornerButton (Integer) - Which mouse button is reported on a right bottom corner tap. Set to 0 to disable.

LTCornerButton (Integer) - Which mouse button is reported on a left top corner tap. Set to 0 to disable.

LBCornerButton (Integer) - Which mouse button is reported on a left bottom corner tap. Set to 0 to disable.

TapButton1 (Integer) - Which mouse button is reported on a non-corner one-finger tap. Set to 0 to disable.

TapButton2 (Integer) - Which mouse button is reported on a non-corner two-finger tap. Set to 0 to disable.

TapButton3 (Integer) - Which mouse button is reported on a non-corner three-finger tap. Set to 0 to disable.

CircularScrolling (Bool) - If on, circular scrolling is used.

CircScrollDelta (Float) - Move angle (radians) of finger to generate a scroll event.

CircScrollTrigger (Integer) - Trigger region on the touchpad to start circular scrolling

0 All Edges
1 Top Edge
2 Top Right Corner
3 Right Edge
4 Bottom Right Corner
5 Bottom Edge
6 Bottom Left Corner
7 Left Edge
8 Top Left Corner

CircularPad (Bool) - Instead of being a rectangle, the edge is the ellipse enclosed by the Left/Right/Top/BottomEdge parameters. For circular touchpads.

PalmDetect (Bool) - If palm detection should be enabled. Note that this also requires hardware/firmware support from the touchpad.

PalmMinWidth (Integer) - Minimum finger width at which touch is considered a palm.

PalmMinZ (Integer) - Minimum finger pressure at which touch is considered a palm.

CoastingSpeed (Float) - Coasting threshold scrolling speed. 0 disables coasting.

Disclaimer

This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for NetIQ/Novell/SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:3067387
  • Creation Date:05-APR-07
  • Modified Date:26-APR-12
    • SUSESUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop

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