Tag Archives: typing

Fix inspiron N7110 ALPS Touchpad in Ubuntu

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:
syndaemon mouse support patch- (1.95 kB)

To apply the patch:

  1.  
  2. apt-get install xorg-dev
  3. mkdir synaptics && cd synaptics
  4.  
  5. #install the synaptics driver source package
  6. apt-get source xserver-xorg-input-synaptics
  7.  
  8. # cd to the code directory , your version might be different depending on when you do this
  9. cd xserver-xorg-input-synaptics-1.3.99+git20110116.0e27ce3abe/tools
  10.  
  11. # apply the patch
  12. patch < syndaemon-mouse.diff
  13.  
  14. # go to source main folder
  15. cd ..
  16.  
  17. # configure, compile and install, by default in /usr/local so it will not override the system installed syndaemon
  18. ./configure && make && make install
  19.  

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.

  1.  
  2. # run syndaemon with the -s option this enables mouse support
  3. /usr/local/bin/syndaemon -i 1 -K -d -s
  4.  

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.