Difference between revisions of "Touchpad Synaptics"

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#synclient PalmDetect=1
Option "PalmDetect" "1"
Option "PalmDetect" "1"
#synclient PalmMinWidth=10
Option "PalmMinWidth" "10"
Option "PalmMinWidth" "10"
#synclient PalmMinZ=200
Option "PalmMinZ" "200"
Option "PalmMinZ" "200"

Revision as of 14:50, 24 December 2014

zh-CN:Touchpad Synaptics

This article details the installation and configuration process of the Synaptics input driver for Synaptics (and ALPS) touchpads found on most notebooks.



The Synaptics driver can be installed with the package xf86-input-synaptics, available in the official repositories.


The primary method of configuration for the touchpad is through an Xorg server configuration file. After installation of xf86-input-synaptics, a default configuration file is located at /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf. Users can copy this file to /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/ and edit it to configure the various driver options available. For a complete list of all available options, users should refer to the synaptics(4) manual page.

Frequently used options

The following lists options that many users may wish to configure. This example configuration file enables vertical, horizontal and circular scrolling:

Section "InputClass"
    Identifier "touchpad"
    Driver "synaptics"
    MatchIsTouchpad "on"
        Option "TapButton1" "1"
        Option "TapButton2" "2"
        Option "TapButton3" "3"
        Option "VertEdgeScroll" "on"
        Option "VertTwoFingerScroll" "on"
        Option "HorizEdgeScroll" "on"
        Option "HorizTwoFingerScroll" "on"
        Option "CircularScrolling" "on"
        Option "CircScrollTrigger" "2"
        Option "EmulateTwoFingerMinZ" "40"
        Option "EmulateTwoFingerMinW" "8"
        Option "CoastingSpeed" "0"
        Option "FingerLow" "35"
        Option "FingerHigh" "40"
(integer) configures which mouse-button is reported on a non-corner, one finger tap.
(integer) configures which mouse-button is reported on a non-corner, two finger tap
(integer) configures which mouse-button is reported on a non-corner, three finger tap
(integer) configures which mouse-button is reported on a right bottom corner, one finger tap (use Option "RBCornerButton" "3" to achieve Ubuntu style tap behaviour for right mouse button in lower right corner)
(integer) as above, but for top right corner, one finger tap.
(boolean) enables vertical scrolling while dragging across the right edge of the touch pad.
(boolean) enables horizontal scrolling while dragging across the bottom edge of the touch pad.
(boolean) enables vertical scrolling using two fingers.
(boolean) enables horizontal scrolling using two fingers.
(integer) play with this value to set the precision of two finger scroll.
(integer) when finger pressure drops below this value, the driver counts it as a release.
(integer) when finger pressure goes above this value, the driver counts it as a touch.

An example with a brief description of all options. As usual settings will vary between machines. It is recommended that you discover your own options using synclient.

  • If you find that your hand frequently brushes your touchpad, causing the TapButton2 option to be triggered (which will more than likely paste from your clipboard), and you do not mind losing two-finger-tap functionality, set TapButton2 to -1.
  • Recent versions include a "Coasting" feature, enabled by default, which may have the undesired effect of continuing almost any scrolling until the next tap or click, even if you are no longer touching the touchpad. This means that to scroll just a bit, you need to scroll (by using the edge, or a multitouch option) and then almost immediately tap the touchpad, otherwise scrolling will continue forever. If wish to avoid this, set CoastingSpeed to 0.
  • If your touchpad is too sensitive, use higher values for FingerLow and FingerHigh and vice versa. Remember that FingerLow should be smaller than FingerHigh

Other options

VertScrollDelta and HorizScrollDelta
(integer) configures the speed of scrolling, it's a bit counter-intuitive because higher values produce greater precision and thus slower scrolling. Negative values cause natural scrolling like in OS X.


Users of GNOME may have to edit its configuration as well, because in default it is set to disable tapping to click, horizontal scrolling and not to allow touchpad disabling while typing.

To change these settings in Gnome 2:

  1. Run gconf-editor
  2. Edit the keys in the /desktop/gnome/peripherals/touchpad/ folder.

To change these settings in Gnome 3:

  1. Open System Settings.
  2. Click Mouse and Touchpad.
  3. Change the settings on the Touchpad tab.

To change these settings in Cinnamon:

  1. Open Cinnamon System Settings.
  2. Click Mouse and Touchpad.
  3. Change the settings on the Touchpad tab.

Gnome settings daemon may override existing settings (for example ones set in xorg.conf.d) for which there is no equivalent in any of the graphical configuration utilities. It is possible to stop gnome from touching mouse settings at all:

  1. Run dconf-editor
  2. Edit /org/gnome/settings-daemon/plugins/mouse/ (or /org/cinnamon/settings-daemon/plugins/mouse/ for cinnamon)
  3. Uncheck the active setting

It will now respect your system's existing synaptics configuration.

Remember: Since Gnome works on a user by user basis, when you run dconf-editor or gconf-editor, this should be done in your current user session. Repeat this procedure for each and every user you have for this computer.


As with GNOME, it is possible configure the way MATE handles the touchpad:

  1. Run dconf-editor
  2. Edit the keys in the org.mate.peripherals-touchpad folder.

To prevent Mate settings daemon from overriding existing settings, do as follows:

  1. Run dconf-editor
  2. Edit org.mate.SettingsDaemon.plugins.mouse
  3. Uncheck the active setting.

Configuration on the fly

Next to the traditional method of configuration, the Synaptics driver also supports on the fly configuration. This means that users can set certain options through a software application, these options are applied immediately without needing a restart of Xorg. This is useful to test configuration options before you include them in the configuration file.

Warning: On-the-fly configuration is non-permanent and will not remain active through a reboot, suspend/resume, or restart of Xorg. This should only be used to test, fine-tune or script configuration features.

Console tools

  • Synclient (Recommended) — command line utility to configure and query Synaptics driver settings on a live system, the tool is developed by the synaptics driver maintainers and is provided with the synaptics driver
http://xorg.freedesktop.org/ || xf86-input-synaptics
  • xinput — small general-purpose CLI tool to configure devices
http://xorg.freedesktop.org/ || xorg-xinput

Graphical tools

  • GPointing Device Settings — provides graphical on the fly configuration for several pointing devices connected to the system, including your synaptics touch pad. This application replaces GSynaptics as the preferred tool for graphical touchpad configuration through the synaptics driver
http://live.gnome.org/GPointingDeviceSettings || gpointing-device-settings
  • kcm-touchpad — A new touchpad configuration tool for KDE, provides a module under input devices in system settings. Released in February 2014, works under KDE SC 4.12+. It is to be considered a replacement for synaptiksAUR and kcm_touchpadAUR.
https://projects.kde.org/projects/playground/utils/kcm-touchpad/repository || kcm-touchpad

Advanced configuration

Using xinput to determine touchpad capabilities

Depending on your model, synaptic touchpads may have or lack capabilities. We can determine which capabilities your hardware supports by using xinput.

  • left, middle and right hardware buttons
  • two finger detection
  • three finger detection
  • configurable resolution

First, find the name of your touchpad:

$ xinput -list

You can now use xinput to find your touchpad's capabilities:

$ xinput list-props "SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad" | grep Capabilities

      Synaptics Capabilities (309):  1, 0, 1, 0, 0, 1, 1

From left to right, this shows:

  • (1) device has a physical left button
  • (0) device does not have a physical middle button
  • (1) device has a physical right button
  • (0) device does not support two-finger detection
  • (0) device does not support three-finger detection
  • (1) device can configure vertical resolution
  • (1) device can configure horizontal resolution

Use xinput list-props "SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad" to list all device properties.


Synclient can configure every option available to the user as documented in $ man synaptics. A full list of the current user settings can be brought up:

$ synclient -l

Every listed configuration option can be controlled through synclient, for example:

  • Enable palm detection: $ synclient PalmDetect=1
  • Configure button events (right button event for two finger tap here): $ synclient TapButton2=3
  • Disable the touchpad: $ synclient TouchpadOff=1

After you have successfully tried and tested your options through synclient, you can make these changes permanent by adding them to /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf.


The tool evtestAUR can display pressure and placement on the touchpad in real-time, allowing further refinement of the default Synaptics settings. The evtest monitoring can be started with:

$ evtest /dev/input/eventX

X denotes the touchpad's ID. It can be found by looking at the output of cat /proc/bus/input/devices.

evtest needs exclusive access to the device which means it cannot be run together with an X server instance. You can either kill the X server or run evtest from a different virtual terminal (e.g., by pressing Ctrl+Alt+2).

Circular Scrolling

Circular scrolling is a feature that Synaptics offers which closely resembles the behaviour of iPods. Instead of (or additional to) scrolling horizontally or vertically, you can scroll circularly. Some users find this faster and more precise. To enable circular scrolling, add the following options to the touchpad device section of /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf:

Section "InputClass"
    Option      "CircularScrolling"          "on"
    Option      "CircScrollTrigger"          "0"

The option CircScrollTrigger may be one of the following values, determining which edge circular scrolling should start:

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

Specifying something different from zero may be useful if you want to use circular scrolling in conjunction with horizontal and/or vertical scrolling. If you do so, the type of scrolling is determined by the edge you start from.

To scroll fast, draw small circles in the center of your touchpad. To scroll slowly and more precise, draw large circles.

Natural scrolling

It is possible to enable natural scrolling through synaptics. Simply use negative values for VertScrollDelta and HorizScrollDelta like so:

Section "InputClass"
    Option      "VertScrollDelta"          "-111"
    Option      "HorizScrollDelta"         "-111"

Software toggle

You may find it useful to have a software toggle that will turn on or off your touchpad, especially if it is extremely sensitive and you are doing a lot of typing. Please also see #Disable touchpad upon external mouse detection as that may be better solution, a matter of choice. The advantage here is you have the control, while the other solution has a daemon determine when to turn off the trackpad.

You will want to grab xbindkeys if you do not already have key binding software.

Then save this script to something such as /usr/bin/trackpad-toggle.sh:


synclient TouchpadOff=$(synclient -l | grep -c 'TouchpadOff.*=.*0')

Then finally add a key binding to use the script. It is best to call with xbindkeys like so (file ~/.xbindkeysrc):

    m:0x5 + c:65
    Control+Shift + space

Copy either one of the last two lines, do not copy both. Now just (re)start xbindkeys and Ctrl+Shift+Space will now toggle your trackpad.

Of course you could easily use any other keybinding software, such as the ones provided by Xfce4 and GNOME.

Disable trackpad while typing

Using automatic palm detection

First of all you should test if it works properly for your trackpad and if the settings are accurate:

$ synclient PalmDetect=1

Then test the typing. You can tweak the detection with:

$ synclient PalmMinWidth=

which is the width of the area your hand touches, and

$ synclient PalmMinZ=

which is the minimum Z distance at which the detection is performed.

Once you have found the correct settings, save them into /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf like this:

Option "PalmDetect" "1"
Option "PalmMinWidth" "10"
Option "PalmMinZ" "200"
Warning: For some touchpads, an issue with the kernel can cause the palm width to always be reported as 0. This breaks palm detection in a majority of cases. Pending an actual fix, you can patch the synaptics package to use only Z for palm detection.

Using .xinitrc

To have the touchpad disabled automatically when you begin typing, add the following line to your ~/.xinitrc (before any line starting with exec, otherwise the command will not be executed):

$ syndaemon -t -k -i 2 &
-i 2
sets the idle time to 2 seconds. The idle time specifies how many seconds to wait after the last key-press before enabling the touchpad again.
tells the daemon not to disable mouse movement when typing and only disable tapping and scrolling.
tells the daemon to ignore modifier keys when monitoring keyboard activity (e.g.: allows Ctrl+Left Click).

More details are available in the man page:

$ man syndaemon

If you are using a login manager, you will need to specify the command where your DE allows you to do so.

Using a login manager

The -d option is necessary to start syndaemon as a background process for post login instructions.


To start syndaemon you need to use Gnome's Startup Applications Preferences program. Login to Gnome and go to System > Preferences > Startup Applications, or from terminal (Gnome 3): § gnome-session-properties Next Add an entry, with the following in the command field:

syndaemon -t -k -i 2 -d &

close the dialogue and re-login to check.

For KDE: (KDM)

Goto System Settings > Startup and Shutdown > Autostart, then click Add Program, enter:

$ syndaemon -t -k -i 2 -d &

Then check Run in terminal.

Disable touchpad on mouse detection

With the assistance of udev, it is possible to automatically disable the touchpad if an external mouse has been plugged in. To achieve this, use one of the following rules.

Basic desktop

This is a basic rule generally for non-"desktop environment" sessions:

SUBSYSTEM=="input", KERNEL=="mouse[0-9]*", ACTION=="add", ENV{DISPLAY}=":0", ENV{XAUTHORITY}="/home/username/.Xauthority", RUN+="/usr/bin/synclient TouchpadOff=1"
SUBSYSTEM=="input", KERNEL=="mouse[0-9]*", ACTION=="remove", ENV{DISPLAY}=":0", ENV{XAUTHORITY}="/home/username/.Xauthority", RUN+="/usr/bin/synclient TouchpadOff=0"


GDM stores Xauthority files in /var/run/gdm in a randomly-named directory. For some reason multiple authority files may appear for a user, so a rule like will be necessary:

SUBSYSTEM=="input", KERNEL=="mouse[0-9]", ACTION=="add", PROGRAM="/usr/bin/find /var/run/gdm -name username -print -quit", ENV{DISPLAY}=":0", ENV{XAUTHORITY}="$result/database", RUN+="/usr/bin/synclient TouchpadOff=1"
SUBSYSTEM=="input", KERNEL=="mouse[0-9]", ACTION=="remove", PROGRAM="/usr/bin/find /var/run/gdm -name username -print -quit", ENV{DISPLAY}=":0", ENV{XAUTHORITY}="$result/database", RUN+="/usr/bin/synclient TouchpadOff=0"
With syndeamon running

syndaemon whether started by the user or the desktop environment can conflict with synclient and will need to be disabled. A rule like this will be needed:

SUBSYSTEM=="input", KERNEL=="mouse[0-9]", ACTION=="add", PROGRAM="/usr/bin/find /var/run/gdm -name username -print -quit", ENV{DISPLAY}=":0", ENV{XAUTHORITY}="$result/database", RUN+="/bin/sh -c '/usr/bin/synclient TouchpadOff=1 ; sleep 1; /bin/killall syndaemon; '"

An AUR package touchpad-state-gitAUR has been created around the udev rules above. It includes a udev rule and script:

touchpad-state [--off] [--on]


If using KDE, the package kcm-touchpad can be set to disable the touchpad on mouse detection.

System with multiple X sessions

Tango-inaccurate.pngThe factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.Tango-inaccurate.png

Reason: Hard-coded DISPLAY variable does not work with multiple X sessions. (Discuss in Talk:Touchpad Synaptics#)

For an environment where multiple users are present, a slightly different approach is needed to detect the current users X environment. This script will help achieving this:

## $1 = "add" / "remove"
## $2 = %k from udev 

## Set TRACKPAD_NAME according to your configuration. 
## Check your trackpad name with: 
## find /sys/class/input/ -name mouse* -exec udevadm info -a {} \; | grep 'ATTRS{name}'
TRACKPAD_NAME="SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad"

USERLIST=$(w -h | cut -d' ' -f1 | sort | uniq)
MOUSELIST=$(find /sys/class/input/ -name mouse*)

for CUR_USER in ${USERLIST}; do
         CUR_USER_XAUTH="$(sudo -Hiu ${CUR_USER} env | grep -e "^HOME=" | cut -d'=' -f2)/.Xauthority"

        ## Can't find a way to get another users DISPLAY variable from an isolated root environment. Have to set it manually.
        #CUR_USER_DISPL="$(sudo -Hiu ${CUR_USER} env | grep -e "^DISPLAY=" | cut -d'=' -f2)"

        export XAUTHORITY="${CUR_USER_XAUTH}"
        export DISPLAY="${CUR_USER_DISPL}"

        if [ -f "${CUR_USER_XAUTH}" ]; then
                case "$1" in
                                /usr/bin/synclient TouchpadOff=1
                                /usr/bin/logger "USB mouse plugged. Disabling touchpad for $CUR_USER. ($XAUTHORITY - $DISPLAY)"
                                ## Only execute synclient if there are no external USB mice connected to the system.
                                for CUR_MOUSE in ${MOUSELIST}; do
                                        if [ "$(cat ${CUR_MOUSE}/device/name)" != "${TRACKPAD_NAME}" ]; then
                                if [ "${EXT_MOUSE_FOUND}" == "0" ]; then
                                        /usr/bin/synclient TouchpadOff=0
                                        /usr/bin/logger "No additional external mice found. Enabling touchpad for $CUR_USER."
                                        logger "Additional external mice found. Won't enable touchpad yet for $CUR_USER."

Update the TRACKPAD_NAME variable for your system configuration. Run find /sys/class/input/ -name mouse* -exec udevadm info -a {} \; | grep 'ATTRS{name}' to get a list of useful mice-names. Choose the one for your trackpad.

Then have udev run this script when USB mices are plugged in or out, with these udev rules:

SUBSYSTEM=="input", KERNEL=="mouse[0-9]*", ACTION=="add", RUN+="/usr/bin/mouse-pnp-event-handler.sh add %k"
SUBSYSTEM=="input", KERNEL=="mouse[0-9]*", ACTION=="remove", RUN+="/usr/bin/mouse-pnp-event-handler.sh remove %k"


Touchpad does not work after resuming from hibernate/suspend

Occasionally touchpads will fail to work when the computer resumes from sleep or hibernation. This can often be corrected without rebooting by

  • Switching to a console and back again,
  • entering sleep mode again, and resuming again, or
  • locating the correct kernel module, then removing it and inserting it again.
Note: You can use Ctrl-Alt-F1 through F8 to switch to a console without using the mouse.
modprobe -r psmouse #psmouse happens to be the kernel module for my touchpad (Alps DualPoint)
modprobe psmouse

Now switch back to the tty that X is running on. If you chose the right module, your touchpad should be working again.

Emulate middle (3rd) mouse button

Add this:

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "Emulate Middle Butten"
        MatchIsPointer "on"
        Option "Emulate3Buttons" "on"

to your /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-evdev.conf (or any Xorg conf you want) and you will have middle click emulation.

Thx to augegr

xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf doesn't seem to apply under GNOME and MATE

GNOME and MATE, by default, will overwrite various options for your touch-pad. This includes configurable features for which there is no graphical configuration within GNOME's system control panel. This may cause it to appear that /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf isn't applied. Please refer to the GNOME section in this article to prevent this behavior.

ALPS Touchpads

Tango-view-fullscreen.pngThis article or section needs expansion.Tango-view-fullscreen.png

Reason: please use the first argument of the template to provide a brief explanation. (Discuss in Talk:Touchpad Synaptics#)

Tango-view-refresh-red.pngThis article or section is out of date.Tango-view-refresh-red.png

Reason: needs to be rewritten for udev (Discuss in Talk:Touchpad Synaptics#)

For ALPS Touchpads, if the above configuration does not provide the desired results, try the following configuration instead:

  Section "ServerLayout"
    InputDevice    "USB Mouse" "CorePointer"
    InputDevice    "Touchpad"  "SendCoreEvents"

  Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier  "Touchpad"
    Driver  "synaptics"
    Option  "Device"   "/dev/input/mouse0"
    Option  "Protocol"   "auto-dev"
    Option  "LeftEdge"   "130"
    Option  "RightEdge"   "840"
    Option  "TopEdge"   "130"
    Option  "BottomEdge"   "640"
    Option  "FingerLow"   "7"
    Option  "FingerHigh"   "8"
    Option  "MaxTapTime"   "180"
    Option  "MaxTapMove"   "110"
    Option  "EmulateMidButtonTime"   "75"
    Option  "VertScrollDelta"   "20"
    Option  "HorizScrollDelta"   "20"
    Option  "MinSpeed"   "0.25"
    Option  "MaxSpeed"   "0.50"
    Option  "AccelFactor"   "0.010"
    Option  "EdgeMotionMinSpeed"   "200"
    Option  "EdgeMotionMaxSpeed"   "200"
    Option  "UpDownScrolling"   "1"
    Option  "CircularScrolling"   "1"
    Option  "CircScrollDelta"   "0.1"
    Option  "CircScrollTrigger"   "2"
    Option  "Emulate3Buttons"   "on"

The touchpad is not working, Xorg.0.log shows "Query no Synaptics: 6003C8"

Due to the way synaptics is currently set-up, 2 instances of the synaptics module are loaded. We can recognize this situation by opening the xorg log file (/var/log/Xorg.0.log) and noticing this:

 [ 9304.803] (**) SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad: Applying InputClass "evdev touchpad catchall"
 [ 9304.803] (**) SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad: Applying InputClass "touchpad catchall"

Notice how 2 differently named instances of the module are being loaded. In some cases, this causes the touchpad to become nonfunctional.

We can prevent this double loading by adding MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*" to our /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf file:

Section "InputClass"
    Identifier "touchpad catchall"
    Driver "synaptics"
    MatchIsTouchpad "on"
    MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
        Option "TapButton1" "1"
        Option "TapButton2" "2"
        Option "TapButton3" "3"

Restart X and check xorg logs again, the error should be gone and the touchpad should be functional.

related bugreport: FS#20830

related forum topics:

Touchpad detected as "PS/2 Generic Mouse" or "Logitech PS/2 mouse"

This can be caused by a number of issues;

Elantech touchpads

This can happen with some laptops with an Elantech touchpad, for example the ASUS x53s. In this situation you need psmouse-alps-driverAUR package from AUR.

Laptops with touchscreen & touchpad

There also seems to be a problem with laptops which have both a touchscreen & a touchpad, such as the Dell XPS 12 or Dell XPS 13. To fix this, you can blacklist the i2c_hid driver, this does have the side-effect of disabeling the touchscreen though.

This seems to be a known problem. Also see this thread.

Post kernel 3.15, having the module blacklisted may cause touchpad to stop working completely. Removing the blacklist should allow this to start working with limited functionality, see FS#40921.

Non-functional Synaptics special abilities (multi-tap, scrolling, etc.)

In some cases Synaptics touchpads only work partially. Features like two-finger scrolling or two-finger middle-click do not work even if properly enabled. This is probably related to the The touchpad is not working problem mentioned above. Fix is the same, prevent double module loading.

If preventing the module from loading twice does not solve your issue, try commenting out the toggle "MatchIsTouchpad" (which is now included by default in the synaptics config).

If clicking with either 2 or 3 fingers is interpreted as a right-click, so you cannot get a middle click either way regardless of configuration, this bug is probably the culprit: https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=55365

Cursor jump

Some users have their cursor inexplicably jump around the screen. There currently no patch for this, but the developers are aware of the problem and are working on it.

Another posibility is that you're experiencing IRQ losses related to the i8042 controller (this device handles the keyboard and the touchpad of many laptops), so you have two posibilities here:

1. rmmod && insmod the psmouse module. 2. append i8042.nomux=1 to the boot line and reboot your machine.

Touchpad device is not located at /dev/input/*

If that is the case, you can use this command to display information about your input devices:

$ cat /proc/bus/input/devices

Search for an input device which has the name "SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad". The "Handlers" section of the output specifies what device you need to specify.

Example output:

$ cat /proc/bus/input/devices
 I: Bus=0011 Vendor=0002 Product=0007 Version=0000
 N: Name="SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad"
 P: Phys=isa0060/serio4/input0
 S: Sysfs=/class/input/input1
 H: Handlers=mouse0 event1
 B: EV=b
 B: KEY=6420 0 7000f 0

In this case, the Handlers are mouse0 and event1, so /dev/input/mouse0 would be used.

Tango-view-fullscreen.pngThis article or section needs expansion.Tango-view-fullscreen.png

Reason: TODO: explain how to apply this in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf (Discuss in Talk:Touchpad Synaptics#)

Firefox and special touchpad events

You can enable/disable some special events that Firefox handles upon tapping or scrolling certain parts of your touchpad by editing the settings of those actions. Type about:config in your Firefox address bar. To alter options, double-click on the line in question.

Firefox 17.0 and later

Horizontal scrolling will now by default scroll through pages and not through your history. To reenable Mac-style forward/backward with two-finger swiping, edit:

mousewheel.default.action.override_x = 2

You may encounter accidental forwards/backwards while scrolling vertically. To change Firefox's sensitivity to horizontal swipes, edit:


The optimum value will depend on your touchpad and how you use it, try starting with 10. A negative value will reverse the swipe directions.

Opera: horizontal scrolling issues

Same as above. To fix it, go to Tools > Preferences > Advanced > Shortcuts. Select "Opera Standard" mouse setup and click "Edit". In "Application" section:

Tango-inaccurate.pngThe factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.Tango-inaccurate.png

Reason: Description here is not so clear and i don't use Opera,Please make it clear :) (Discuss in Talk:Touchpad Synaptics#)
  • assign key "Button 6" to command "Scroll left"
  • assign key "Button 7" to command "Scroll right"

Scrolling and multiple actions with Synaptics on LG laptops

These problems seem to be occurring on several models of LG laptops. Symptoms include: when pressing Mouse Button 1, Synaptics interprets it as ScrollUP and a regular button 1 click; same goes for button 2.

The scrolling issue can be resolved by entering in xorg.conf:

Option "UpDownScrolling" "0"
Note: This will make Synaptics interpret one button push as three. There is a patch written by Oskar Sandberg[1] that removes these clicks.

Apparently, when trying to compile this against the latest version of Synaptics it fails. The solution to this is using the GIT repository for Synaptics[2].

There is also a package build file in the AUR to automate this: xf86-input-synaptics-lgAUR.

To build the package after downloading the tarball and unpacking it, execute:

$ cd synaptics-git
$ makepkg

Other external mouse issues

First, make sure your section describing the external mouse contains this line (or that the line looks like this):

Option     "Device" "/dev/input/mice"

If the "Device" line is different, change it to the above and try to restart X. If this does not solve your problem, make your touchpad is the CorePointer in the "Server Layout" section:

InputDevice    "Touchpad" "CorePointer"

and make your external device "SendCoreEvents":

InputDevice    "USB Mouse" "SendCoreEvents"

finally add this to your external device's section:

Option      "SendCoreEvents"    "true"

If all of the above does not work for you, please check relevant bug trackers for possible bugs, or go through the forums to see if anyone has found a better solution.

Touchpad synchronization issues

Sometimes the cursor may freeze for several seconds or start acting on its own for no apparent reason. This behavior is accompanied by records in /var/log/messages.log

psmouse.c: TouchPad at isa0060/serio1/input0 lost synchronization, throwing 3 bytes away

This problem has no general solution, but there are several possible workarounds.

  • If you use CPU frequency scaling, avoid using the "ondemand" governor and use the "performance" governor when possible, as the touchpad may lose sync when the CPU frequency changes.
  • Avoid using an ACPI battery monitor.
  • Attempt to load psmouse with "proto=imps" option. To do that, add this line to your /etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf:
options psmouse proto=imps
  • Try another desktop environment. Some users report that this problem only occurs when using XFCE or GNOME, for whatever reason

Xorg.log.0 shows SynPS/2 Synaptics touchpad can not grab event device, errno=16

If you are using Xorg 7.4, you may get a warning like this from /var/log/Xorg.0.log, thais is because the driver will grab the event device for exclusive use when using the Linux 2.6 event protocol. When it fails, X will return this error message.

Grabbing the event device means that no other user space or kernel space program sees the touchpad events. This is desirable if the X config file includes /dev/input/mice as an input device, but is undesirable if you want to monitor the device from user space.

If you want to control it, add or modify the "GrabEventDevice" option in you touchpad section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf:

Option "GrabEventDevice" "boolean"

This will come into effect when X is restarted, though you can also change it by using synclient. When changing this parameter with the synclient program, the change will not take effect until the Synaptics driver is disabled and re-enabled. This can be achieved by switching to a text console and then switching back to X.

Synaptics loses multitouch detection after rebooting from Windows

Many drivers include a firmware that is loaded into flash memory when the computer boots. This firmware is not necessarily cleared upon shutdown, and is not always compatible with Linux drivers. The only way to clear the flash memory is to shutdown completely rather than using reboot. It is generally considered best practice to never use reboot when switching between operating systems.

Touchpad not recognized after shutdown from Arch

Certain touchpads (elantech in particular) will fail to be recognized as a device of any sort after a standard shutdown from Arch linux. There are multiple possible solutions to this problem:

  • Boot into a Windows partition/install disk and shutdown from there.
  • Wait approximately 1 minute before turning on the computer after shutdown.
  • Apply the kernel patch listed in this thread (comment 135) and rebuild your kernel: https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=81331#c135
    • This patch is unlikely to make it upstream, as it is a somewhat 'hacky' solution to this problem.

Buttonless touchpads (aka ClickPads)

Some laptops have a special kind of touchpad which has the mouse buttons as part of the tracking plate, instead of being external buttons. For example HP series 4500 ProBooks, ThinkPad X220 and X1 ThinkPad series have this kind of a touchpad. By default whole button area is detected as a left button resulting in the second mouse button being unusable and click + drag will not work. Previously support for such devices was achieved by using third party patches, but from version 1.6.0 the synaptics driver has native multitouch support (using the mtdev library). Note that although the driver registers multiple touches, it does not track individual fingers (as of version 1.7.1) which results in confusing behavior when using physical buttons of a clickpad for drag-and-drop and other gestures. You can look into the xf86-input-mtrackAUR driver for better multitouch support.

To enable other buttons modify the touchpad section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf (or better, of your custom synaptics configuration file prefixed with a higher number):

Option "ClickPad"         "true"
Option "EmulateMidButtonTime" "0"
Option "SoftButtonAreas"  "50% 0 82% 0 0 0 0 0"

These three options are the key, first one will enable multitouch support, second will disable middle button emulation (not supported for ClickPads), and third will define the button areas.

Format for the SoftButtonAreas option is (from man 4 synaptics):

RightButtonAreaLeft RightButtonAreaRight RightButtonAreaTop RightButtonAreaBottom  MiddleButtonAreaLeft MiddleButtonAreaRight MiddleButtonAreaTop MiddleButtonAreaBottom

The above example is commonly found in documentation or synaptics packages, and it translates to right half of the bottom 18% of the touchpad to be a right button. There is no middle button defined. If you want to define a middle button remember one key piece of information from the manual; edge set to 0 extends to infinity in that direction.

In the following example right button will occupy 40% of the rightmost part of the button area. We then proceed to setup the middle button to occupy 20% of the touchpad in a small area in the center.

Option     "SoftButtonAreas"  "60% 0 82% 0 40% 59% 82% 0"

You can use synclient to check the new soft button areas:

$ synclient -l | grep -i ButtonArea
        RightButtonAreaLeft     = 3914
        RightButtonAreaRight    = 0
        RightButtonAreaTop      = 3918
        RightButtonAreaBottom   = 0
        MiddleButtonAreaLeft    = 3100
        MiddleButtonAreaRight   = 3873
        MiddleButtonAreaTop     = 3918
        MiddleButtonAreaBottom  = 0

If your buttons aren't working, soft button areas are not changing, ensure you do not have a synaptics configuration file distributed by a package which is overriding your custom settings (ie. some AUR packages distribute configurations prefixed with very high numbers).

These settings cannot be modified on the fly with synclient, however, xinput works:

xinput set-prop "SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad" "Synaptics Soft Button Areas" 4000 0 4063 0 3000 4000 4063 0

You cannot use percentages with this command, so look at /var/log/Xorg.0.log to figure out the touchpad x and y-axis ranges.

Trackpoint and Clickpad

Newer Thinkpads don’t have physical buttons for their Trackpoint anymore and instead use the upper area of the Clickpad for buttons (Left, Middle, Right). Apart from the ergonomic viewpoint this works quite well with current Xorg. Unfortunately mouse wheel emulation using the middle button is not supported yet. Install xf86-input-evdev-trackpointAUR from the AUR for a patched and properly configured version if you intend to use the Trackpoint.

Clickpad/Forcepad: double-click, click-and-drag

On newer laptops such as the HP Envy 15 x360 a ButtonRelease event is not sent when releasing the physical button, but only when moving all fingers off the Clickpad. [3] This is due to a kernel bug in drivers/media/input/synaptics.c [4]; see [5] for a temporary workaround.

See also