Tweaking your Touch Pad..

You would have thought that a touch pad tutorial would have been one of the first things that I’d have posted about on this site, seeing as though it’s one of the most commonly used parts of a laptop. Truth be told, I didn’t really see much point. It’s not like I ever use any of the advanced features of a touch pad.. ever!

By all the hits on the site from people looking for help on this though, It’s plain to see that others do use those features quite a lot &would welcome a tutorial on it. With this in mind I decided to give it a try & I’m surprisingly glad that I did.

After completing the tutorial I found that my touch pad was more responsive, felt a lot more natural to use & all in all it just worked better. I haven’t bothered with any of the advanced features yet, but I still feel that it was worth the effort πŸ™‚

Any way, on with the tutorial..

Entering cat /proc/bus/input/devices into a terminal should give you these results (or at least something very close)..

I: Bus=0011 Vendor=0002 Product=0008 Version=7321
N: Name=”AlpsPS/2 ALPS GlidePoint
P: Phys=isa0060/serio4/input0
S: Sysfs=/class/input/input3
H: Handlers=mouse2 ts2 event3
B: EV=f
B: KEY=420 0 70000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
B: REL=3
B: ABS=1000003

If the name you get back is AlpsPS/2 ALPS GlidePoint, then it’s safe to follow the rest of the tutorial. As far as I’m aware all VGN-FS laptops use the same touch pad, but it’s always best to check.

You don’t need to worry too much about the event number from the results. This is the true address that your touch pad works on, but Ubuntu sets it up to use /dev/psaux in xorg as default.

In the terminal again, enter sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf to open your xorg file in a text editor.

My xorg.conf touch pad section before editing:

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

All this can be kept the same except the line that reads Option “HorizScrollDelta” “0”. You need to remove that for now, as you’ll be adding it again in a moment & you don’t want two lines the same.

All that you need to do is add all the lines below, that aren’t typed in Bold.

WARNING: Don’t copy & paste the parts typed in BOLD.

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

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"


Once you’ve added the lines & made any other changes that you want, you just need to save the file (make sure that you enter all your new lines before the EndSection line).

Restart your laptop now & you should be able to feel the difference straight away.

Once your laptops restarted, you’ll soon realise that It’s going to be a pain having to edit the xorg file every time you want to change a setting. It’s a much better idea to install a GUI program to do it for you.

The GUI program for the Gnome desktop is GSynaptics. This is currently a very sparse looking program with only one option on the first page & two options on the second page. The third page seems like the only one that’s actually worth the download. It’s strange that they haven’t re-done this program to include all options on the one page, but as long as it works..

Go back into a terminal & enter sudo apt-get install gsynaptics to install it. Once installed, you can find it by heading to the Gnome System menu, clicking on Preferences & choosing Touchpad at the bottom of the list.

I’m sure that with these options enabled, you will now be able to set the touch pad to suit your individual tastes.

Congratulations.. you should now have a fully working Alps touch pad on your laptop πŸ™‚

Optional Changes:

If you want to be completely anal (like me), you might want to fully complete the tutorial by changing the Identifier name of your touch pad. To do this you need to change two lines in your xorg file..

Identifier “Synaptics Touchpad

needs to be changed to something like..

Identifier     "Alps Touchpad"

And if you change that, then you must also change the Server Layout line that’s down at the bottom of the file to exactly the same name..

InputDevice “Synaptics Touchpad

needs to become..

InputDevice    "Alps Touchpad"

Changing the name won’t make it work any better, but it could make you feel like you’ve done a more complete job πŸ˜‰

If you tend to hit your touch pad a lot by accident when typing, you might be interested in this tutorial by Chantra at WARNING: I’ve not tried this myself yet, but it seems like a good tutorial.

They also have a more complete tutorial on Setting Up a Touchpad. Head over there if you have trouble with this one πŸ™‚


2 thoughts on “Tweaking your Touch Pad..

  1. Pingback: Touchpad Driver « Ubuntu-FS

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