Difference between revisions of "Touchpad Synaptics"

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(HP's custom touchpads: Not just HPs)
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===Buttonless TouchPads (aka ClickPads)===
===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. HP series 4500 Probooks and X220 and X1 Thinkpads have this kind of a touchpad. Both of the mouse buttons are detected as one, resulting in the second mouse button being unusable and click + drag will not work. To enable the second mouse button you need to install a patched version of the synaptics driver. Install {{Codeline|xf86-input-synaptics-clickpad}} from the [[AUR]].
Some laptops have a special kind of touchpad which has the mouse buttons as part of the tracking plate, instead of being external buttons. HP series 4500 Probooks and X220 and X1 Thinkpads have this kind of a touchpad. Both of the mouse buttons are detected as one, resulting in the second mouse button being unusable and click + drag will not work. To enable the second mouse button you need to install a patched version of the synaptics driver. Install [http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?O=0&K=xf86-input-synaptics-clickpad&do_Search=Go{{Codeline| xf86-input-synaptics-clickpad}}] from the [[AUR]].
==External Resources==
==External Resources==

Revision as of 14:43, 10 October 2011

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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 is now bundled as Template:Package Official, and is available in the [extra] repository:



The primary method of configuration for the touchpad is through an xorg server configuration file. After installation of Template:Codeline, a default configuration file is located at Template:Filename. Template:File

Users can edit this file to configure the various driver options available, for a complete list of all available options users should refer to the synaptics manual page.

Available options

The Synaptics driver allows for a vast amount of options to be tweaked. Luckily, all of them are consistently named and well documented in Synaptic's manpage. Before you proceed to learn about the various configuration methods documented below: read the manpage so that you are aware of the available options.


Frequently used options

The following lists options that many users may wish to configure. Note that all these options can simply be added to the main configuration file in Template:Filename, as shown in this example configuration file where we have enabled vertical, horizontal and circular scrolling: Template:File

  • TapButton1: (integer) configures which mouse-button is reported on a non-corner, one finger tap.
  • TapButton2: (integer) configures which mouse-button is reported on a non-corner, two finger tap
  • TapButton3: (integer) configures which mouse-button is reported on a non-corner, three finger tap
  • RBCornerButton: (integer) configures which mouse-button is reported on a right bottom corner, one finger tap (use Template:Codeline to achieve Ubuntu style tap behaviour for right mouse button in lower right corner)
  • RTCornerButton: (integer) as above, but for top right corner, one finger tap.
  • VertEdgeScroll: (boolean) enables vertical scrolling while dragging across the right edge of the touch pad.
  • HorizEdgeScroll: (boolean) enables horizontal scrolling while dragging across the bottom edge of the touch pad.
  • VertTwoFingerScroll: (boolean) enables vertical scrolling using two fingers.
  • HorizTwoFingerScroll: (boolean) enables horizontal scrolling using two fingers.
  • EmulateTwoFingerMinZ/W: (integer) play with this value to set the precision of two finger scroll.

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.

Note: 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 Template:Codeline to 0.


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 Template:Codeline
  2. Edit the keys in the Template:Filename 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.

Gnome settings daemon may override existing settings (for example ones set in Template:Filename) 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 Template:Codeline
  2. Edit Template:Filename
  3. Uncheck the active setting

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

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 X. There are four ways to do on the fly configuration:

  • GPointingDeviceSettings (recommended)
  • GSynaptics
  • synclient
  • xinput (recommended) [TODO]


Use Template:Codeline to find your device name.

Use Template:Codeline to list the device properties.

Read the xinput and synaptics manuals and such.


GPointingDeviceSettings 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. GPointingDeviceSettings is available through the gpointing-device-settings package on AUR.

GPointingDeviceSettings requires Template:Package Official and Template:Package Official to be installed for use with synaptics touch pads. These are available in the [extra] and [community] repositories, respectively. Both are installable through pacman. Template:Cli

GSynaptics (deprecated but functional)

Note: Although the GSynaptics website mentions that its development has stopped and that it will eventually be outdated, the application functions perfectly with xorg 1.8. Users are suggested to use GPointingDeviceSettings instead, GSynaptics should only be used as a last resort.
Note: The GPointingDeviceSettings info http://live.gnome.org/GPointingDeviceSettings and Template:Package AUR should help.

On the fly configuration can also be done graphically through GSynaptics, a GTK application available in the Template:Codeline repository. GSynaptics allows the user to configure options such as horizontal, vertical and circular scrolling as well as the option to enable or disable the touchpad. GSynaptics requires that the Template:Codeline option is enabled. Template:Cli

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

Fine-tuning with synclient

Synclient is a command line utility to configure and query Synaptics driver settings.

The synclient monitor can display pressure and placement on the touchpad in real-time, allowing further refinement of the default Synaptics settings.

You can start the Synaptics monitor with the following command: Template:Cli Where -m activates the monitor and the following number specifies the update interval in milliseconds.

This monitor provides information about the current state of your touchpad. For example, if you move the mouse with the touchpad, the x and y values in the monitor will change. Therewith you can easy figure out your touchpad's dimension which is defined in the LeftEdge-, RightEdge-, BottomEdge- and TopEdge-Options.

The abbreviations for the parameters are as follow:

Abbreviation Description
time Time in seconds since the logging was started.
x, y The x/y coordinates of the finger on the touchpad. The origin is in the upper left corner.
z The pressure value. It represents the pressure you are using to navigate on your touchpad.
f Number of fingers currently touching the touchpad.
w Value that represents the finger width.
l,r,u,d,m,multi Those values represent the state of the left, right, up, down, middle and multi buttons pressed where zero means not pressed and one means pressed.
gl,gm,gr For touchpads which have a guest device, this are the associated button states for guest left, guest middle and guest right pressed (1) and not pressed (0).
gdx, gdy x/y coordinates of the guest device.

If a value constantly is zero, it implies that this option is not supported by your device.

Now use Template:Codeline to test new values. For example, to adjust minimum pointer speed:

synclient MinSpeed=0.5

To make the changes permanent, they will need to be put in your Template:Filename file.

ALPS Touchpads

Warning: TODO needs to be rewritten for udev

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  "SHMConfig"   "on"
   Option  "Emulate3Buttons"   "on"

Advanced Configuration

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 Template:Filename: Template:File

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.

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 Template:Filename: Template:File

Then finally add a key binding to use the script. It is best to call with xbindkeys like so (file Template:Filename): Template:File

Now just (re)start Template:Codeline and Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress will now toggle your trackpad!

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


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 (Template:Filename) and noticing this: Template:File

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 Template:Codeline to our Template:Filename file: Template:File

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

related bugreport:

related forum topics:

Touchpad detected as Logitech PS/2 mouse on a Samsung notebook

This is a kernel bug affecting Samsung NF210/QX310/QX410/QX510/SF310/SF410/SF510/RF410/RF510/RF710/RV515. Install Template:Package AUR to fix.

Synaptics Special Ability

By default, Synaptics touchpads are able to detect the number of fingers on the touchpad; ALPS touchpads are not. If the touchpad is tapped with two fingers, it will emulate a middle click. If the touchpad is typed with three fingers, a right click will be emulated.

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).

Disable touchpad upon external 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, add the following udev rules to Template:Filename: Template:File

GDM stores Xauthority files in Template:Filename in a randomly-named directory. So udev rules will look like this:

ACTION=="add", KERNEL=="mouse[0-9]", SUBSYSTEM=="input", PROGRAM="/usr/bin/find /var/run/gdm -name *username*", ENV{DISPLAY}=":0.0",
ENV{XAUTHORITY}="$result/database", RUN+="/usr/bin/synclient TouchpadOff=1"
ACTION=="remove", KERNEL=="mouse[0-9]", SUBSYSTEM=="input", PROGRAM="/usr/bin/find /var/run/gdm -name *username*", ENV{DISPLAY}=":0.0",
ENV{XAUTHORITY}="$result/database", RUN+="/usr/bin/synclient TouchpadOff=0"
Note: udev rules must be a single line each, so format accordingly.

Template:Codeline must be enabled (see the #Configuration section for details)

Note: Template:Codeline has been deprecated.

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.


Multitouch functionality seems to be included with the driver...

Touchpad device is not located at Template:Filename

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

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: Template:Command

In this case, the Template:Codeline are Template:Codeline and Template:Codeline, so Template:Filename would be used.

Warning: TODO explain how to apply this in Template:Filename

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 Template:Filename.

Using .xinitrc

Note: You will need to have Template:Codeline enabled in your Template:Filename.

To have the touchpad disabled automatically when you begin typing, add the following line to your Template:Filename before you run your window manager (if not using a login manager): Template:Cli

-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).
starts as a daemon, in the background.

More details are available in the man page: Template:Cli

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

Note: You will need to have Template:Codeline enabled in your Template:Filename.

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. In the Startup Programs tab click the Add button. Name the Startup Program whatever you like and input any comments you like (or leave this field blank). In the command field add:


When you are done, click the Add button in the Add Startup Program dialogue. Make sure the check box next to the startup program you have created is checked, in the list of additional startup programs. Close the Startup Applications Preferences window and you are done.

For KDE: (KDM)

Goto System Settings > Advanced Tab > Autostart, then click Add Program, enter:


Then check Run in terminal.

Firefox and special touchpad events

By default, Firefox is set up to do special events upon tapping or scrolling certain parts of your touchpad. You can edit the settings of those actions by typing about:config in your Firefox address bar. To alter these options, double-click on the line in question, changing "true" to "false" and vise versa.

To prevent Firefox from scrolling (backward/forward) through browser history and instead scroll through pages, edit these settings as shown:

mousewheel.horizscroll.withnokey.action = 1
mousewheel.horizscroll.withnokey.sysnumlines = true

To prevent Firefox from redirecting you to URLs formed from your clipboard content upon tapping the upper-right corner of your touchpad (or middle mouse button), set the following option to "false":

middlemouse.contentLoadURL = false

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:

  • 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 Template:Filename: Template:File

NOTE that 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: [3].

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

Tip: If you want it to be automatically installed after being built, just add -i after Template:Codeline

Other external mouse issues

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


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 the CorePointer in the "Server Layout" section:


and make your external device "SendCoreEvents":


finally add this to your external device's section:


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 Template:Filename


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 Template:Filename:


  • Try another desktop environment. Some users report that this problem only occurs when using XFCE or GNOME, for whatever reason

Delay between a button tap and the actual click

If you experience a delay between the tap on the touchpad and the actual click that is registered you need to enable FastTaps:

To do so, you should add Option "FastTaps" "1" to Template:Filename so that you have: Template:File

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 Template:Filename, 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 Template:Filename 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 Template:Filename: Template:File 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.

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. HP series 4500 Probooks and X220 and X1 Thinkpads have this kind of a touchpad. Both of the mouse buttons are detected as one, resulting in the second mouse button being unusable and click + drag will not work. To enable the second mouse button you need to install a patched version of the synaptics driver. Install Template:Codeline from the AUR.

External Resources

Synaptics TouchPad driver: [4]