Alps (Synaptics) touchpad configuration in Lucid and Maverick Meerkat

The procedure for modifying touchpad settings has changed in Lucid Lynx. Today I installed the Beta 1 and found that the earlier techniques for configuring touchpad settings in Jaunty and Karmic no longer work. In Ubuntu 10.04, the entire HAL system has died and is replaced with something called udev.

Alternatively, we can change the touchpad settings in the xorg.conf.d folder. Thanks for the tip Jensel!

Let’s look at both techniques

Using Udev

Users can place their configuration files for udev inside “/etc/udev/rules.d” The files have a certain syntax, but of course it’s best to simply copy someone else’s file and just modify it to what you want. I created a file called touchpad.rules (the file must have the extension “rules”). Here is what I put into it:

ACTION!=”add|change”, GOTO=”xorg_synaptics_end”
KERNEL!=”event*”, GOTO=”xorg_synaptics_end”

ENV{ID_INPUT_TOUCHPAD}!=”1″, GOTO=”xorg_synaptics_end”



See the bold section? That’s where you put in your own settings similar to the rules we used to put into our .fdi files. Here are the settings in my earlier fdi file and here is the full list of options you can use.

I had to reboot the system to apply the changes – logging off didn’t work. If I find a better way to do this, I’ll post it here. The command posted on the official instruction page didn’t work for me either.

Using .conf files in xorg.conf.d

This is simple. Go to the folder “/usr/lib/X11/xorg.conf.d”. In there, find the file that has your synaptics settings. For me it was “10-synaptics.conf”. You can add your synaptics settings after the “Driver” line in the relevant “Identifier” section. My Identifier line was: Identifier “touchpad catchall”

Option        “HorizEdgeScroll”    “1”
Option        “MaxTapTime”        “300”

This will change the HorizEdgeScroll and MaxTapTime parameters. Just modify for whichever parameters you want to change. When you log out and log in again, your settings should be applied.

If you learn something more about these rules, be sure to let me know!

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  1. There’s a hardware lock of the touchpad on the Lenovo T410S also, but it’s Fn+F8.


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