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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Controlling the touchpad for EeePC in Debian

The oversensitive touchpad on the EeePC is a real nuisance. Whenever I'm typing, my thumb brushes it ever so slightly, and the pointer jumps all over the place. There are two solutions to this, but both involve setting the modifying that blasted xorg.conf file. Here's a snippet from mine:

Section "InputDevice"
  Identifier  "Touchpad"
  Driver    "synaptics"
  Option    "SendCoreEvents" "true"
  Option    "SHMConfig" "on"

Section "ServerLayout"
  Identifier "Default Server Layout"
  Screen "Default Screen"
  InputDevice "Touchpad" "CorePointer"
  InputDevice "Generic Keyboard" "CoreKeyboard"

Make sure to set the SHMConfig option and to register the touchpad in the ServerLayout section.

Next trying typing synclient -l to see if you get a list of options; if you do, it worked. Otherwise you'll get an error about SHMConfig being disabled, meaning you did something wrong.

Now you have two choices.

Disable touchpad while typing

Simply running syndaemon -d will disable the touchpad for 2 seconds after you start typing. Awesome! But since I hate the touchpad and normally have a bluetooth mouse attached, you can also...

Completely disable the touchpad

Running synclient TouchpadOff=1 will do the trick. You can even write a little script to toggle it on and off for your convenience.
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