less is more or usable clickpad


One of the unfair advantages of Apple hardware is the quality of their touchpads.

The synaptics clickpad in my yoga 2 ain’t Apple-quality, that’s for sure. It’s still quite nice to use, though, but the default configuration is pretty conservative. Here’s what makes it working for me on xenial with x11:

  • The libinput driver. Tweaking the synaptics one is an interesting exercise if one has hours for experimentation, but, ultimately, one will fail. So, let’s get rid of synaptics and make sure it’s libinput (requires X11 session restart):
sudo apt purge xserver-xorg-input-synaptics
sudo apt install xserver-xorg-input-libinput
  • No soft buttons. Soft buttons are evil. One-, two- and three-finger clicks are fine. Also, tapping is good.
#!/usr/bin/env bash

xinput --set-prop "SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad" "libinput Click Method Enabled" 0 1
xinput --set-prop "SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad" "libinput Tapping Enabled" 1

(I’m lazy, so this gets executed on every login instead of being put into an X11 configuration snippet.)