Disabling the touchpad while typing

In a totally shocking turn of events, I over-used my operated arm and am back to typing one-handed again.

If anyone has managed to disable the touchpad while typing on a Dell XPS 1330 running latest Fedora 11, please comment. I apparently need to enable the SHMConfig option for the Synaptics driver in my xorg.conf, but the Synaptics driver won’t even load, and debugging this one-handed while I keep hitting the touchpad and moving the cursor to random spots in the window is an exercise in frustration (even more than usual for configuring X). I’ll be typing two-handed again by the time I get it working.

Update: Some clarifications: I use my laptop as a laptop – external mouse/keyboard not an option. I want to disable the touchpad only while I’m typing, but use it the rest of the time.

11 thoughts on “Disabling the touchpad while typing”

  1. rmmod psmouse

    Just remove the module.. I don’t suppose you are using external PS/2 mouse? Otherwise unbind via sysfs.

  2. Replace the mouse section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf with this:

    Section "InputDevice"
    	Identifier "Mouse0"
    	Driver "synaptics"
    	Option "TouchpadOff" "1"
    EndSection
    

    If you don’t have /etc/X11/xorg.conf, generate it with “X -configure”. Make sure you have CONFIG_INPUT_EVDEV=y in the kernel .config file. I’m on Fedora 10. Hopefully not much is different. But if it really gets frustrating, I hope you can ask some local friend to visit you and help you with it. There is nothing wrong with it.

  3. maybe this helps? dunno.

    I can’t help with the Synaptics not loading, shouldn’t HAL load it automatically?

    To get this working on Ubuntu I had to add the SHMConfig thing and then run syndaemon in your desktop session. I run “syndaemon -K -t”.

    This is also on a m1330 btw. HTH

  4. there was a recent planet fedora blog entry about getting this to work in f10 … I expect f11 will be the same. No link handy – you’ll have to google for it. It mentioned hal and fdi stuff btw. I got gsynclient working on f9 by using the config suggested in the ubuntu forums … Ordering matters apparently and there is something that has to go in the main section too … Sorry for being vague … Typing this on my phone with no cut and paste…good luck!

  5. With the new 1.0.0 xorg synaptics driver, you won’t need SHMConfig anymore :)

    http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/xorg/2009-February/043170.html

    – Support for input device properties (and thus run-time configuration without
    SHM)

    Course, none of that helps you if the driver isn’t loading. I just let HAL handle it:

    (II) config/hal: Adding input device SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad
    (II) LoadModule: “synaptics”
    (II) Loading /usr/lib/xorg/modules/input//synaptics_drv.so
    (II) Module synaptics: vendor=”X.Org Foundation”
    compiled for 1.5.99.902, module version = 0.99.3
    Module class: X.Org XInput Driver
    ABI class: X.Org XInput driver, version 4.0
    (II) Synaptics touchpad driver version 0.99.3
    (**) Option “Device” “/dev/input/event7”
    (II) SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad: x-axis range 1472 – 5472
    (II) SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad: y-axis range 1408 – 4448
    (II) SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad: pressure range 0 – 255
    (II) SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad: finger width range 0 – 0
    (II) SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad: buttons: left right middle double triple
    (–) SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad touchpad found
    (**) SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad: always reports core events
    (II) XINPUT: Adding extended input device “SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad” (type: T$
    (**) SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad: (accel) keeping acceleration scheme 1
    (**) SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad: (accel) filter chain progression: 2.00
    (**) SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad: (accel) filter stage 0: 20.00 ms
    (**) SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad: (accel) set acceleration profile 0
    (–) SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad touchpad found

  6. the evil gentoo installs something called syndaemon with xf86-input-synaptics, the man page of which says “a program that monitors keyboard activity and disables the touchpad when the keyboard is being used”.

    unfortunately i’ve never used it before, and have no idea how much our new HAL overlords have bastardized it since.

  7. maybe this is a totally useless reply, but i have found pssh on a treo to be completely usable with only one hand. yeah, proprietary os, but the whole device is designed to be usable one-handed. (you can run linux on in too, but so far i don’t think there’s an equivalent one-handed input method for familiar/gpe)

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