Can I prevent "Disable touchpad while typing" from affecting mouse movements?
Philip Durbin <philipdurbin <at> gmail.com>
2012-05-06 02:43:52 GMT
After using GNOME 2 for 5 years on a workstation I recently switched to
a laptop *and* to GNOME 3.
I realized I kept expressing frustration with GNOME 3 but really the
root of my frustration had more to do with the touchpad on my laptop.
I figured out a workaround to my problem last night and posted a
question and answer combination to a forum. It's gotten a pretty
positive response so far, based on upvotes, so I thought I'd copy and
paste it here. If I should be sending feedback like this to some other
mailing list, please let me know! Thanks for everyone's hard work on GNOME!
Originally posted to
Question: Can I prevent "Disable touchpad while typing" from affecting
When I click my name in the upper right, then click "System Settings",
then "Mouse and Touchpad", and then "Disable touchpad while typing" it
affects affects my mouse movements. I have to wait two seconds before I
can move the pointer with the touchpad.
I like the "Disable touchpad while typing" feature in general, as it
prevents me from accidentally raising another window instead of the one
I'm typing into, but can I have the feature only affect taps of the
touchpad and not my attempts to move the mouse around?
I'm using GNOME 3.2.1 on Fedora 16
On my ThinkPad X220T running GNOME 3 it's pretty easy to be typing along
and accidentally bump the touchpad, causing some window other than the
one you're typing into to be raised.
Ostensibly, the solution to this problem is to click your name in the
upper right, then click "System Settings", then "Mouse and Touchpad",
and then "Disable touchpad while typing" under as shown the screenshot
at http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Synaptics_TouchPad_driver_for_X .
This will cause `syndaemon` (
http://linuxcommand.org/man_pages/syndaemon1.html ) to start up with the
syndaemon -i 2.0 -K -R
Here's what the options mean:
How many seconds to wait after the last key press
before enabling the touchpad. (default is 2.0s).
-k Ignore modifier keys when monitoring keyboard activity.
-K Like -k but also ignore Modifier+Key combos.
-R Use the XRecord extension for detecting keyboard activity
instead of polling the keyboard state.
Having syndaemon running with those options eliminates the original
problem, but it absolutely kills my productivity because the `-t` option
is **not** enabled:
-t Only disable tapping and scrolling, not mouse movements,
in response to keyboard activity.
Without `-t`, as soon as I stop typing and try to move the pointer, I
can't. I have to wait 2 full seconds before the pointer will move.
Now, back at that "Mouse and Touchpad" interface, I do not see any way
to configure which options are given to `syndaemon` and from what I can
tell, the options are hard coded:
The solution is twofold. I can't abide `syndaemon` with its default
options, so I leave "Disable touchpad while typing" unchecked. Then, to
get `syndaemon` to start with the options I want, I run
`gnome-session-properties` to open the "Startup Applications
Preferences" dialog. From there, I click Add, fill in a name (I called
mine "0pdurbin-disable-touchpad-while-typing" so it would appear at the
top), and a command, which for me is the following:
syndaemon -i 1.0 -K -R -t
Again, the major change is the addition of `-t` so `syndaemon` doesn't
paralyze my pointer, but while I was in there I reduced the idle time to
I hope this helps someone because this was driving me crazy.
To avoid using a GUI tool like `gnome-session-properties` it looks like
you could set up a file like this, which was created in my case:
[pdurbin <at> tabby ~]$ cat ~/.config/autostart/syndaemon.desktop
Exec=syndaemon -i 1.0 -K -R -t
[pdurbin <at> tabby ~]$
Incidentally, this seems to be a pretty complete list of applications
that are autostarted, the ones listed in `gnome-session-properties`:
`find /etc/xdg/autostart /usr/share/autostart /usr/share/gdm/autostart/