Two Wrongs

Touchpad Pointer Speed in Xorg on Debian Linux

Touchpad Pointer Speed in Xorg on Debian Linux

The X11 touchpad configuration can sometimes be a bit unclear, so I’ll just paste my /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf as a jumping-off point for any future adjustments.

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "touchpad catchall"
        MatchIsTouchpad "on"
        Driver "synaptics"

        Option "TapButton1" "1"
        Option "TapButton2" "3"
        Option "TapButton3" "2"
        Option "ClickFinger1" "1"
        Option "ClickFinger2" "3"
        Option "ClickFinger3" "2"
        Option "HorizTwoFingerScroll" "on"
        Option "VertTwoFingerScroll" "on"
        Option "SoftButtonAreas" "0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0"
        Option "PalmDetect" "1"
        Option "PalmMinWidth" "10"
        Option "PalmMinZ" "100"
        Option "MaxSpeed" "3"
        Option "AccelFactor" "0.0791541"


I’m going to just make an ass out of you and me here by assuming a bunch of stuff because I don’t have time to look it up. I think this is what’s going on:

  • The first three lines is saying, “Hey use the Synaptics driver for any touchpad, and configure it with the following parameters.”
  • The next six lines assigns two fingers to right click, and three fingers to middle mouse button.11 I have learned that this may be unconventional, but it’s how I’m used to doing things. There are plenty of rational reasons to change it around, but meh. At some point, maybe.
  • The following two lines allow me to scroll with two fingers.
  • The one line after that ensures that no area is reserved to automatically click.22 I don’t understand why anybody would want to click when hovering their finger over a certain portion of the touchpad. That’s antithetical to basically all user interface best practises.
  • The three lines following that configures palm detection, i.e. “don’t wiggle the mouse cursor with the base of your thumb while you’re typing.” I’m not sure my parameters are any good, but I haven’t spent time looking for better ones either.
  • The final two lines set the maximum speed and acceleration of the cursor. These are the ones I’ve fiddled with the most to find some middle ground combining both speed and accuracy at reasonable levels.