Turning off touchpad tapping?

Justin Mason jm at jmason.org
Fri Feb 10 23:26:18 UTC 2006

Hash: SHA1

On my Thinkpad, I was getting unwanted "mouse click" events from my
touchpad; the slightest touch (e.g. attempting to move the pointer
slightly) was being interpreted as a "click".

I eventually worked it out -- the xorg.conf that was written for me during
install had *both* a "Synaptics Touchpad" InputDevice *and* a fallback to
/dev/input/mice .  The touchpad device was not working correctly, so the
/dev/input/mice driver was used instead, and the kernel's built-in
Synaptics driver enforces this tapping behaviour.

YOu can verify this by looking at /var/log/Xorg.0.log and checking
for warnings about the native touchpad driver not being loaded,
for some reason or another.

This thread: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=78904 was very
useful in figuring part of this out.   However, it didn't fix the entire
issue; I eventually also figured out that the default Ubuntu kernel didn't
compile in one module that the Synaptics driver requires, and due
to all this falling-back and error-handling, this was being quietly

As http://web.telia.com/~u89404340/touchpad/trouble-shooting.txt notes,

    grep Handlers /proc/bus/input/devices

should return something like this:

    H: Handlers=event2 ts0 mouse0

note the "eventN" handler.

So there were two bugs:

- - 1. the kernel driver should not enforce this tapping behaviour
  without a way to turn it off; it's awful.

- - 2. the Ubuntu kernel should include the "evdev" module by default,
  since at least Thinkpads require this.

for what it's worth, I *think* both were Ubuntu bugs, but I haven't
reported them since I upgraded from Debian long ago, and these could
have been left-over artifacts from that.

- --j.

"Joseph Vella" writes:
> There are several threads on this topic in the Ubuntu forums.  It was a 
> problem for a long time.  Eventually someone came up with an answer that 
> worked for my alps pad.  It's an xorg.conf thing.  I have no time right now, 
> but I'll get back to you with what worked for me.  Meanwhile you might want 
> to search the forums.
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Chuck Mattsen" <>
> To: <kubuntu-users at lists.ubuntu.com>
> Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 8:35 AM
> Subject: Turning off touchpad tapping?
> New to Kubuntu, and about to tear my hair out (and I have too little to be
> able to afford tearing out any) because of unwanted "tap events" occurring
> while typing.  I've tried turning it off under System Settings | Touch Pad,
> but those settings seem to have no effect whatsoever.
> What am I missing here?  Anyone?  TIA.
> -- 
> Chuck MATTSEN / Mahnomen, MN, USA / mattsen at arvig.net
>                 ___________________
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