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Fixing my Alps Touchpad with the Synaptics Driver November 15, 2005

Posted by Carthik in guides, ubuntu.
72 comments

Ever since I upgraded to Breezy, the touchpad on my laptop has been acting funky. Just moving the pointer over a link would click it, some of the time. Over the last month or so, I have been using my touchpad with extra care, and so now it is not that big a problem, but yesterday a friend of mine was using the laptop and then I saw that I had to fix this.

To find out what touchpad you have, do:
$cat /proc/bus/input/devices

I got:

I: Bus=0011 Vendor=0002 Product=0008 Version=7321
N: Name=”AlpsPS/2 ALPS GlidePoint”
P: Phys=isa0060/serio4/input0
H: Handlers=mouse1 event2 ts1
B: EV=f
B: KEY=420 0 70000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
B: REL=3
B: ABS=1000003

So I have an Alps Touchpad. I went to check if my X.org x-server recognizes this.
I did a:
$cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf
to see what I have in the X configuration.

I got:

Section “InputDevice”
Identifier “Synaptics Touchpad”
Driver “synaptics”
Option “SendCoreEvents” “true”
Option “Device” “/dev/psaux”
Option “Protocol” “auto-dev”
Option “HorizScrollDelta” “0”
EndSection

So though I have an Alps touchpad, my computer is configured for a Synaptics touchpad! Time to go solution-hunting!

My hunt ended soon enough. I found this forum post describing how to get Alps touchpads working, and set out to edit my /etc/X11/xorg.conf file.

The relevant sections of the xorg.conf file looked as follows after I was done editing:

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Alps Touchpad"
        Driver          "synaptics"
        Option          "SendCoreEvents"        "true"
        Option          "Device"                "/dev/input/event2"
        Option          "Protocol"              "event"
        Option          "HorizScrollDelta"      "0"
EndSection
Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Alps Touchpad"
        Driver          "synaptics"
        Option          "SendCoreEvents"        "true"
        Option          "Device"                "/dev/input/event2"
        Option          "Protocol"              "event"
        Option "LeftEdge" "120"
        Option "RightEdge" "830"
        Option "TopEdge" "120"
        Option "BottomEdge" "650"
        Option "FingerLow" "14"
        Option "FingerHigh" "15"
        Option "MaxTapTime" "180"
        Option "MaxTapMove" "110"
        Option "ClickTime" "0"
        Option "EmulateMidButtonTime" "75"
        Option "VertScrollDelta" "10"
        Option "HorizScrollDelta" "0"
        Option "MinSpeed" "0.45"
        Option "MaxSpeed" "0.75"
        Option "AccelFactor" "0.020"
        Option "EdgeMotionMinSpeed" "200"
        Option "EdgeMotionMaxSpeed" "200"
        Option "UpDownScrolling" "1"
        Option "CircularScrolling" "0"
        Option "CircScrollDelta" "0.1"
        Option "CircScrollTrigger" "2"
        Option "SHMConfig" "true"
EndSection

Now I have it all!! Read /usr/share/doc/xorg-driver-synaptics/README.gz to find out what the parameters I have in my xorg.conf file mean, and what you can change, and how.

Also, there is a tool synclient that can enable you to try out changed values without restarting. To use it you must have the SHMConfig option set to true first.

There are GUI tools available to change settings. For details regarding these, and much more, visit The Synaptics Driver’s homepage

Note: If you also use a USB mouse, then the event numbers may change depending on if you use your USB mouse or not. Read this on how to write a udev rule to fix it.

Newbie Questions of a Different Kind November 10, 2005

Posted by Carthik in ubuntu.
11 comments

Responses on Learning about Ubuntu

Questions ranged from “is this really free?? to “you sure you install software like that?? to “and it took you half an hour to install all of this?? to “what is open source?? to “and it runs on your old P2 450??? to “and they sent you the cd’s for free?? to “and I can save to Word .doc format, right??…

I try to keep my linux-evangelism educational, but the questions above were too good – sometimes I am given to asking myself some of these in absolute wonder. Think of the man-hours put into it, think of the sheer impossibility of it all!

Updating Dynamic IP Address Automatically September 8, 2005

Posted by Carthik in administration, ubuntu.
18 comments

If you have a server running at home, using Ubuntu – file server, webserver, ssh server or the kind – using a service such as zoneedit.com or dyndns.org to provide you with DNS services so that you can access your server using a URL, then you might have to update your DNS record at the service periodically whenever the IP address of your computer changes.

Experts recommend that you use ddclient, which updates the IP address whenever it changes. You can install it from the ubuntu repositories by doing a

$sudo apt-get install ddclient

and configure it as neccessary. If you can’t find the public IP address, then you can have ddclient check your public IP address from the web by editing /etc/ddclient.conf and making it use the web by saying:

use = web

 

Adding a startup script to be run at bootup September 7, 2005

Posted by Carthik in ubuntu.
343 comments

So you have a script of your own that you want to run at bootup, each time you boot up. This will tell you how to do that.

Write a script. put it in the /etc/init.d/ directory.
Lets say you called it FOO. You then run

% update-rc.d FOO defaults

You also have to make the file you created, FOO, executable, using
$chmod +x FOO

You can check out
% man update-rc.d for more information. It is a Debian utility to install scripts. The option “defaults” puts a link to start FOO in run levels 2, 3, 4 and 5. (and puts a link to stop FOO into 0, 1 and 6.)

Also, to know which runlevel you are in, use the runlevel command.