Debian/Ubuntu Tips and Tricks

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Debian/Ubuntu Tips and Tricks

How To: Setting up Touchpad on a Laptop – A Complete Guide

Posted by chantra on June 18th, 2006

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series How To: Setting up Touchpad on a Laptop - A Complete Guide

Every laptop comes with a usefull thing when you don't want to carry your mouse around: a Touchpad, most of the time, touchpads do work out of the box but not all the goodies are activated by default.

On a basic setup, you can use the touchpad to move your mouse around as well as the left and right click.

There is much more you can get from it, for instance dragging and dropping items, vertical scrolling, right click by tapping the pad....

This how-to will show you how to get the most of it.

This how-to being quite long, it is going to be divided in 5 parts:

  1. Setting up Touchpad on a Laptop: Introduction
  2. Setting up Touchpad on a Laptop: Installation
  3. Setting up Touchpad on a Laptop: Configuration
  4. Setting up Touchpad on a Laptop: Explanation
  5. Setting up Touchpad on a Laptop: How to use it, conclusion and links

People wanting to get it working quickly might just want to check for parts 2,3 and 5.
1. Introduction:
Since kernel 2.6.x, the synaptics driver is included by default, so you don't need to patch and recompile your kernel in order to make your touchpad work.

Synaptics touchpad, by default, emulate a standard mouse, so you can basically use the touchpad to move your mouse pointer around as well as left and right click by using the dedicated buttons.

However, you can get much more out of it by using a dedicated driver.

This how-to will show you how you get get the following features to run on your laptop:

  • Movement with adjustable, non-linear acceleration and speed.
  • Button events through short touching of the touchpad.
  • Double-Button events through double short touching of the touchpad.
  • Dragging through short touching and holding down the finger on the touchpad.
  • Middle and right button events on the upper and lower corner of the touchpad.
  • Vertical scrolling (button four and five events) through moving the finger on the right side of the touchpad.
  • The up/down button sends button four/five events.
  • Horizontal scrolling (button six and seven events) through moving the finger on the lower side of the touchpad.
  • The multi-buttons send button four/five events, and six/seven events for horizontal scrolling.
  • Adjustable finger detection.
  • Multifinger taps: two finger for middle button and three finger for right button events. (Needs hardware support. Not all models implement this feature.)
  • Run-time configuration using shared memory. This means you can change parameter settings without restarting the X server.

Series NavigationHow To: Setting up Touchpad on a Laptop – A Complete Guide — page 2 >>

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