MATE: Better touchpad support
by clem 27

Work started on MATE.


Today it received support for 2-finger and 3-finger clicks as well as natural scrolling.

27 thoughts on “MATE: Better touchpad support

  1. peter Sep 3,2015 17:25

    what is “natural scrolling”?

  2. Mike Sep 4,2015 21:24

    These enhancements removed the last objections that I had to running Mint. Thank you! Especialy more control over the mouse sensitivity, two finger scrolling, disabling the mousepad while typing, and tap to click.

    This was huge for me. Thanks!

  3. martywd Sep 5,2015 17:26

    Any improvements to touchpad support (in MATE) are always welcomed.

    ‘Disable touchpad while typing’ enabled has never really worked well for me.

    I.e., frequently without warning (in a browser) typing in say, Gmail, the typed text in the body of the message may start to appear wherever the cursor was placed last, instead of at the position of my actual typing because of an accidental tap on the touchpad as I’m typing. One would think that this is NOT supposed to happen when ‘Disable touchpad while typing’ is enabled! But, unfortunately it does.

    I’ve always figured this issue was a synaptics (syndaemon) bug since playing around with syndaemon’s -i -k -K switches has never helped much to fix this issue. But if MATE touchpad support improvements can fix this I’d really be pleased.

    • clem Sep 6,2015 08:47

      I noticed monsta committed a change, changing -k to -K in the syndaemon call.

      • martywd Sep 6,2015 17:07

        I noticed monsta committed a change, changing -k to -K in the syndaemon call.

        Thanks, and yes I am using the ‘-K’ switch in a script that kills the syndaemon at login to X and then restarts the syndaemon like this: ‘syndaemon -i 1 -K -d’ . And experimented with varying idle times for the ‘-i’ switch as well.

        I’ve also enabled ‘PalmDetect=1’ in my script and played around with various alternate (from default) settings for ‘PalmMinWidth’ and ‘PalmMinZ’. No joy thus far.

      • Monsta Sep 7,2015 20:05

        There are some other interesting commits at – I just pulled in a few least intrusive ones (having 1.10.x releases in mind). :)

  4. M.Z. Sep 7,2015 05:28

    The one thing that always bothers me about using the touch pad to click is that a any attempt to move the cursor is so often mistaken for a single finger tap. Perhaps it’s just me or there is some ‘right way’ to touch the pad, but that always prevented me from using touch to click on a laptop.

    I stayed away from using the pad for any sorts of clicks until i noticed that KDE let me turn on or off & set one, two, or three finger click emulation separately. Using two or thing finger clicks seems so much more natural & functional to me because your intentions can’t be mistaken nearly as easily as single finger clicks. Last time I checked Cinnamon & I believe MATE both required single finger clicks to be enabled in order to set two or three finger clicks to do anything & I’m wondering if there any chance that this change this any time soon in either DE?

    • Kleer Kut Apr 7,2016 00:31

      I agree with this. Maybe it is because I am not a smart phone user, but I find it troublesome using touch screens and pads with clicks initiated by a single finger tap. This goes double with slow internet or certain websites (Amazon) that pop new items when you try to move the pointer to move to the next page. Sometimes I go to move the pointer and things pop up so I let off and it registers as a click and does the exact opposite of what I wanted. I greatly prefer physical buttons, but the multi finger solution sounds great!

      If they added a “Single-finger click emulation” option that has “None” or “No action” as an option it would be much more user friendly.

  5. Capivara Sep 13,2015 09:48

    Good work, as usual. I know that an option to switch off the touchpad completely would be appreciated by many. Now I tell them to use xinput set-prop and add it to the startup programs to do that.


    • peter Sep 14,2015 13:32

      I agree, I don’t use the touchpad at all.
      but a failsafe is needed, dead mouse = dead computer

      elegant would be something like a prolonged press on the touchpad to toggle it on/off

  6. rmad17 Sep 14,2015 10:29

    Really awesome. But I don’t see the changes reflected, neither have I received any update. I am using 17.2 with Mate.
    Also it would be awesome if you could work on the palm detection thing to improve it. Right now I am using gpointing devices to fix palm detection but thats not reliable too.

  7. Justin Oct 3,2015 06:26

    I have waited this feature for a long time, it is helpful.
    Thank you so much!

  8. Eridanus7 Oct 26,2015 14:46

    At our local club it is very noticeable that older, and many not so old, prefer to use a mouse, rather than the touchpad.
    Most have their Win mch’s set up to automatically turn off the touch pad when a mouse is plugged in.
    This is a sadly lacking feature in Mint. I think Win10 with its cloud drive which makes it a bit of a dog in rural areas, with slow broadband, will create a lot of interest in using Linux. One would expect to be able to select this feature from control center -> mouse. It’s these small subtle differences of detail that put users off.

  9. Andrew Oct 27,2015 18:47

    This whole synaptic touchpad thing needs a LOT more thought from developers. A multi finger touchpad (aka clickpad) should be a pleasant and intuitive thing to use. Yet in every implimentation of linux there’s a raft of upset uses struggling with fixes to bring these rediculous things under control.

    Is this really the linux experience – one accidental tap (that you never knew you did) moving critical system files to goodness knows where. A complete inability to type because the touchpad jumps the curser all over the place even when you don’t mean it. Wild scrolling between desktops. No middle or right button. As an experienced user I’m over it.

    Having taken over a week to figure out all the config system files to bring the touchpad on my new dell under control, making it safe, usable and predictable (mostly) I’m convinced that this is now a serious barrier to new users taking up linux. The stuff I did is fine for the intermediate user. With time on their hands. But am I really going to infict this config file work on my friends, parents, others who I’d otherwise recommend these excellent distros to.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love linux. But the clickpad issues have been going on for years for users and they are making laptops frustrating, unpleasant and unusable for many users. It’s long past time all the major distro’s started thinking about how these things should and shouldn’t work. The big square thing underneath the keypad shouldn’t be a bomb waiting to ruin your life.

  10. Steve Richardson Nov 22,2015 15:33

    On my laptop, I use a USB wireless mouse. What would be convenient (and needed) is a switch on the touchpad tab of the mouse control that simply turns the touchpad off. I agree with the previous authors that Mint is an awesome release. As an IT R&D architect, I personally love Linux. The simple fact remains, however, that for Linux to become mainstream in both the personal user and business community, these nuances such as the touchpad issue are going to have to be resolved. Bottom line, it needs to become an OS that simply works “out of the box”.

  11. stek29 Dec 7,2015 16:52

    How can I stop Mate from capturing two and three finger gestures?
    My TouchEgg configuration just stopped to work:(

  12. SSS NNN Apr 28,2016 17:14

    This IS a big deal. Typing this on a Lenovo E530 laptop with a rather
    odd touchpad setup (“mouse” buttons are the bottom edges of the pad)
    but everything works fine. Much appreciate details like this Clem!

  13. Ryan Jun 19,2016 03:28

    tab “Touchpad” disappeared on LMDE 2 :( can you help me?

  14. Ole Oct 19,2016 12:57

    tab “Touchpad” disappeared on LMDE 2 :( can you help us, please?

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