Seth Forshee created a kernel patch and now the ALPS touchapd on this laptop and probably others is recognized as a touchpad instead of falling back to a psmouse.
So now you can use the Touchpad tab in the "Mouse and touchpad settings" (gnome) to control the "click to tap", scrolling and other features and you don't have to use the patched syndaemon from my previous post.
To install this fix on ubuntu just download this deb package, install and reboot. ( tested on Ubuntu 11.10 x86_64 ).
If you want to know all the details go through the comments on this bug report #545307
I recently purchased a new dell inspiron N7110. The laptop is great and Ubuntu 11.04 works quite well but there is one important problem.
The problem with most touchpads on laptops is that you'll often touch them accidentally while typing, this gets recorded as a tap/click and the typing cursor might move to another location and thus you might and up tying to a whole different place.
With synaptics touchpads or ALPS touchpads ( this is what N7110 has - ALPS Glidepoint) you can use syndaemon, a program that would run in background, monitor the keyboard and disable the touchpad while you type. But this program only works for touchpads which are being recognized as synaptics or ALPS touchpads. The touchpad on N7110 was recognized as a simple mouse, Xorg loaded the evdev driver instead of synaptics.
So I thought that maybe I can modify syndaemon to make it work with mice too. And I did. I noticed a lot of other people have the same problem so this could be useful even if you have a different touchpad that's also recognized as a mouse.
Download the patch for syndaemon here:
To apply the patch:
apt-get install xorg-dev
mkdir synaptics && cd synaptics
#install the synaptics driver source package
apt-get source xserver-xorg-input-synaptics
# cd to the code directory , your version might be different depending on when you do this
# apply the patch
patch < syndaemon-mouse.diff
# go to source main folder
# configure, compile and install, by default in /usr/local so it will not override the system installed syndaemon
./configure && make && make install
The patch adds a new option to syndaemon to tell it to disable the mouse instead of a touchpad, without this the program will just exit when it can't find the touchpad.
# run syndaemon with the -s option this enables mouse support
/usr/local/bin/syndaemon -i 1 -K -d -s
Don't forget to start it every time you start X.
Of course this is more like a quick hack then a real fix. A real fix would make Xorg or the kernel ( not sure exactly where the problem really is ) recognize this touchpad as a touchpad not as a mouse.