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Disable Touchpad Temporarily When Typing September 20, 2006

Posted by Carthik in commands, guides, looks and feel, ubuntu.
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Earlier, I wrote about how to enable/disable your touchpad using the synclient command.

Recently, I faced a different problem. When typing on the new laptop that I got, my thumb often accidentally brushes the touchpad, and this leads to me continuing to type things in entirely a different place. This is because the thumb moves the mouse pointer to a different spot that where the typing cursor is, and then there is an accidental click. Argh! very annoying.

The good news is, I figured out how to fix this using syndaemon!

syndaemon watches activity on the keyboard and can disable your synaptics touchpad for a variable period after it detects activity on the keyboard. Here’s how I use it:

First, I edited the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and added the Option “SHMConfig” “on” line to the section called “Input Device” for the Synaptic Touchpad input device.

Then I restarted X (by using the ctrl+alt+backspace key combination).
Once I was logged in, I used syndaemon as $syndaemon -t -d

The -t option specifies that only the tapping and scrolling actions are to be disabled, I can still move the cursor around while typing on the keyboard.
The -d option asks syndaemon to run in the background as a daemon, so I don’t have to keep the terminal open after executing the command.

You can disable the touchpad entirely by not using the -t option.

By default, syndaemon disables the touchpad for 2 seconds after the last keyboard activity. You can change this by specifying the idle-time using the -i option. Read the manual for all details: $man syndaemon.

To make syndaemon start up by default each time you login, add it to the list of Startup Programs in System->Preferences->Sessions. I have the following command added there now: syndaemon -t -d. Log out and log back in to see if its working for you.

Comments»

1. Disable Synaptics Touchpad « Ubuntu Blog - September 20, 2006

[...] Update: To learn how to disable the touchpad temporarily when you are typing, read this other recent article. I needed a quick way to disable and enable my synaptics touchpad at will, and I found one. [...]

2. Arun - September 20, 2006

Pretty useful one.

3. nemehox - September 20, 2006

yep awesome, but i have already got used to not touch it will typing :P. That’s definitely a must have feature for laptop.

4. towsonu2003 - September 21, 2006

that’s great. I would file it as a feature request (integrated part of edgy, as an option under system > preference > keyboard)

5. In the Trenches » Damned Thumbs… - September 21, 2006

[...] Ever get tied of your touchpad…  you want to keep it enabled, but wouldn’t it be nice to sort of disable it automatically while your typing?  Well…  you can — check this out. [...]

6. Murray Cumming - September 21, 2006

I like the idea of this happening automatically when I am typing.It’s the right thing to do.

Alternatively, I filed a bug for the mouse control panel a while ago, requesting a checkbox to turn off touchpad clicking permanently:
http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=324612

7. Stoffe - September 21, 2006

This should be the default. :)

8. rheinfire - September 21, 2006

Can some one tell me how to change my password

9. Stuart Langridge - September 24, 2006

This should indeed be the default; a checkbox that’s automatically ticked by default can go into preferences if it’s really important, although I think that it should just do this. The only issue is that SHMConfig is a bit of a risk in multi-user environments where any other user can turn off your touchpad! I’d recommend submitting this as a feature request, definitely. Thanks for the tip!

10. Ali - October 29, 2006

Thanks for the useful post!

11. Desabilitar touchpad durante digitação » jlcarneiro.com - January 21, 2007

[...] de pesquisar um pouco, encontrei uma dica para desabilitar o touchpad e um bom tutorial para configurá-lo. Combinando as duas com uma dica de um amigo (valeu, [...]

12. jordy - January 28, 2007

my touchpad doesnt work for like.. 1 month now, fn+f7 doesnt work i tried reinstalling.. it doesnt work.. anyone knows what to do ? plz e-mail me at rs_jtbtje@hotmail.com

13. jordy - January 28, 2007

i also dont get the option to turn it on or off, at device manager

14. Paul - February 15, 2007

Created a simple on/off script (bash) and assigned it to a key combo on my keyboard (t in my case)

Make sure “SHMConfig” “on” is set in xorg.conf like stated above.
#– script –

#!/bin/bash

STATE=`synclient -l | grep TouchpadOff | awk ‘{ print $3 }’`

if [ "$STATE" == "0" ]
then
synclient TouchpadOff=1 | zenity –info –text “TouchPad is now off”
else
synclient TouchpadOff=0 | zenity –info –text “Touchpad is now on”
fi

#–end script–

As you can see i used zenity (gnome) to notify the current state in your X session, you can change it or even leave it out if you do not want to be notified about the state.

15. stone mind » Toward Less Mousing - April 5, 2007

[...] thing that continues to be annoying is the sensitivity of the touchpad. I did find a helpful post for disabling the touchpad while typing, which was a significant help. Still, when I do try to use the touchpad, it sometimes seems to have [...]

16. What is Ubuntu? - May 26, 2007

In Fedora there is a touchpad utility that controls syndaemon, but I cannot find it in Ubuntu. Any idea what it is called? This Dell Inspiron has the most sensitive touchpad you’ve ever seen.

17. Blendor » Disable Touchpad Temporarily When Typing - June 4, 2007

[...] Here’s a great tip from Ubuntu Blog: Recently, I faced a different problem. When typing on the new laptop that I got, my thumb often accidentally brushes the touchpad, and this leads to me continuing to type things in entirely a different place. This is because the thumb moves the mouse pointer to a different spot that where the typing cursor is, and then there is an accidental click. Argh! very annoying.The good news is, I figured out how to fix this using syndaemon! [...]

18. Cristi Cobzarenco - July 4, 2007

thanks for the post, t’was great help! before it would’ve been hell to write this comment :)

19. philip - July 10, 2007

try this software:
http://www.kingzm.com/eng/files/download/MouseManager.zip
This software is designed for these people who use several mouse.
For example, a person uses notebook PC and installed USB mouse as well.
it can set the different work state for each mouse and quickly switch primary and secondary buttons .
My e-mail address is zmxiu_2004@163.com

20. Danielle - August 16, 2007

How to enable the touchpad after I have already disabled it? Because now I cannot move the mouse around and I’m basically stuck without it until I figure out how to turn it back on.

21. Nathan - August 24, 2007

Just goto Dell’s driver page and download the latest “Dell” driver set. It has a toggle option to disable touchpad and stick when a USB pointing device is present.

22. Nathan - August 24, 2007

Sorry all, I just realized that you all were talking about linux… I think. Nevermind my posts.

23. 超声波流量计 - August 30, 2007

I think ICQ’s logo lends themselves to always

24. 网站推广 - August 30, 2007

How to enable the touchpad after I have already disabled it? Because now I cannot move the mouse around and I’m basically stuck without it until I figure out how to turn it back on.

25. Ballenato - September 9, 2007

Danielle, 网站推广, use the keyboard. Alt+F1 opens the “applications” menu and you can run a terminal.

26. www.lsltg.cn - October 16, 2007

By the way… I have heard of folks trying to get their hands on copies of the Green Apron Book.

They are intended to be a partner-only tool… and have been printed in a limited number.

If you want to learn more, check out the book “The Starbucks Experience” by Joseph Machello. He talks all about the books… and more.

27. 1234451 - October 16, 2007
28. Joe’s Blog! » Blog Archive » MacBook and Ubuntu. - October 28, 2007

[...] Touchpad – syndaemon  [...]

29. .bootstrap » Disable Touchpad Temporarily When Typing (Synaptic Touchpad) - November 24, 2007

[...] blog post provides a simple solution to this annoying problem. Synaptic Touchpad [...]

30. leah - December 2, 2007

just his fn and f7 together.
atleast thats what disables mine and when your done typing then hit them again together. smiple as that

31. Tony Yarusso’s Blog » Blog Archive » It may be a link day… - December 6, 2007

[...] Dad and other people that deal with laptop touchpads: http://ubuntu.wordpress.com/2006/09/20/disable-touchpad-temporarily-when-typing/; apparently you can make the touchpad disable itself while you’re typing, to avoid the [...]

32. allie - July 24, 2008

The Dell Ispiron 6400 has a terrific touchpad but I don’t always want to use it — so, please – what IS the bottom line? My much older HP had a great touchpad with it’s own on-off incorporated section. Also, when on, that old HP Pavillion pad had a light around it, and when off, no light. Easy! With the DELL, I want the ability to use my plug in mouse with the touchpad OFF, and when I want the touchpad, I want to be able to simply turn it back on easily. There is no disable option in the device manager screen. Is there a proven safe fix for an easy on-off?
Thanks, Allie

33. allie - July 24, 2008

oooops, I meant its — not it apostrophe s!!!! And me a grammarian.
(Must have been the touchpad getting in the way!)

Allie

34. mosgjig - July 30, 2008

new to ubuntu, but i followed the instructions and ran into this

mosgjig@mosgjig-laptop:~$ syndaemon -t -d
Can’t access shared memory area. SHMConfig disabled?

my xorg.conf reads like so:
.
.
.
Section “InputDevice”
# generated from default
Identifier “Mouse0″
Driver “mouse”
Option “Protocol” “auto”
Option “Device” “/dev/psaux”
Option “Emulate3Buttons” “no”
Option “ZAxisMapping” “4 5″
Option “SHMConfig” “on”
EndSection

Section “InputDevice”
# generated from default
Identifier “Keyboard0″
Driver “kbd”
Option “SHMConfig” “on”
EndSection
.
.
.
Placed on both for good measure. I restarted with ctrl+alt+bkspc

I am runing 8.04_64 on Asus M51Sn-X2

Plz help

35. Sloan1919 - August 7, 2008

YOU my friend, are the man!

36. Sistemas Operativos SOS » Cómo instalar Ubuntu (8.04) en un MacBook - October 16, 2008

[...] touchpad not use click or scroll events while you are typing. The information for this was found here. Make syndaemon start up by default each time you login, add it to the list of Startup Programs in [...]

37. Scott Baker - November 11, 2008

This is excellent! I had gotten so fed up with touchpad clicks while typing that I disabled touchpad clicking completely. This is a great solution! Thank you.

38. Runas caur biezpienu » Viena no tām reizēm - December 21, 2008

[...] daudz rezultātu, yes!!! Bet visu prieku sabojāja tuvāka iedziļināšanās tekstā. Ak jā, viss priekš Ubuntu [...]

39. mo - February 18, 2009

best help EVER. God. You just made me sane again. THANKS SO MUCH.

40. Sanjay M - April 22, 2009

nice one – missing this feature on windows! ;)

41. AnonyMouse - April 27, 2009

FYI in Jaunty (Ubuntu 9.04) you need to issue the command as-

syndaemon -S -t -d

Mike - April 29, 2009

Tried doing ‘syndaemon -S -t’ (no -d until I can get it working) but no go. I didn’t have anything in xorg.conf for my touchpad until I created the section:

Section “InputDevice”
Identifier “Synaptics Touchpad”
Driver “synaptics”
Option “CorePointer”
Option “SendCoreEvents” “true”
Option “Device” “/dev/psaux”
Option “Protocol” “auto-dev”
Option “SHMConfig” “on”
EndSection

It says in the terminal “Disabling… Enabling…” as I type/don’t type but nothing is actually getting disabled – I can click as normal. Tried poking around in ‘man syndaemon’ etc but didn’t find anything useful except the -S param, which seems to change nothing for me.

Anyone else figured this out?

Mike - April 29, 2009

AH! Got it to work, just by logging out & logging in again (with it added to startup options). Dunno why it wasn’t working when I started it during the session, but works like a charm now.

O.o & \o/

42. enli00 - May 1, 2009

My intentions are not to spam here. But there is easier method to get rid of annoying touchpad using the syndaemon program. It may not work OOB so we have to download a patched binary.

I have written about that here, http://enli.co.cc/tutorials/disable-annoying-touchpad-when-typing-in-ubuntu/

43. Maximilian - May 9, 2009

Cool post! Thanks! This annoyed me for a while now!

44. Maximilian - May 9, 2009

It should be the default for the laptop-scheme of most distributions, by the way!

45. Peter - July 5, 2009

Hi.
Im usingm kubuntu 9 and there is no such option in the xorg file….what to do?

46. Alexander - July 6, 2009

Alex Says:

“Without the driver, hardware will not work”
(most probably your touchpad is ps2)
So all you have to do is:
[b]sudo modprobe -r psmouse[/b]

and to enable it again:
[b]sudo modprobe psmouse[/b]

add to blacklist if you permanently want to disable it at startup.

ENJOY!

47. Roy Haroush - July 22, 2009

i understand this might post might be obsolete

im trying to configure the follow feature
though when coming to edit xorg files it doesnt show me the specified paragraph

would be great if you knew this problem and could help

Roy

48. Jumping cursor, - openSUSE Forums - October 8, 2009

[...] [...]

49. Jon Spriggs (jontheniceguy) 's status on Friday, 16-Oct-09 09:49:15 UTC - Identi.ca - October 16, 2009

[...] I discovered http://embraceubuntu.com/2006/09/20/disable-touchpad-temporarily-when-typing/ to help my aunt with her !Ubuntu [...]

50. suresh - January 17, 2010

My God, it helped me a lot. Thanks

thinkerrick - February 14, 2010

I am new at computors while i am learnbing how use my lapetop i try to understand what others are saying i do not know how my touch pad turned off now i can not turn it on

51. bayan escort - May 2, 2010

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52. sikiş izle - September 26, 2010

This should be the default. :)

53. antalya ilaçlama - September 27, 2010

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54. porno sikiş - September 27, 2010

i also dont get the option to turn it on or off, at device manager

55. sex sikiş - September 28, 2010

How to enable the touchpad after I have already disabled it? Because now I cannot move the mouse around and I’m basically stuck without it until I figure out how to turn it back on.

56. güvenlik kamerası - September 30, 2010

im trying to configure the follow feature
though when coming to edit xorg files it doesnt show me the specified paragraph

57. pornoizle - October 28, 2010

though when coming to edit xorg files it doesnt show me the specified paragraph

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61. konteyner - February 7, 2012

notebooks and other electronic devices with touch screen feature is actually very developed. I have no idea about the cause, but an expected future investment and technology development.


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