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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
How to change ALPS touchpad settings in Quirky
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Joined: 17 Jun 2007
Posts: 186

PostPosted: Sun 07 Nov 2010, 13:32    Post subject:  How to change ALPS touchpad settings in Quirky  

I was having some difficulty figuring out how to turn off tapping-madness and turn on scrolling in Quirky 1.3 with my Toshiba laptop which has an ALPS touchpad.

To get it working, I read up on how xorg.conf works. Below are the relevant sections of xorg.conf. The added or altered parts are in BOLD.

The xorg.conf file is located at /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Make a copy of the file with a different name before messing with it so if you mess it up and can't boot to the desktop, you can copy the original back to xorg.conf.

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "X.org Configured"
Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0
InputDevice "Synaptics Mouse" "CorePointer"
InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Mouse0"
Driver "mouse"
Option "SendCoreEvents"
Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2" #mouse0protocol
Option "Device" "/dev/mouse"
#Option "Emulate3Buttons"
#Option "Emulate3Timeout" "50"
#Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5" #scrollwheel

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Synaptics Mouse"
Driver "synaptics"
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" "0"
Option "MaxTapMove" "110"
Option "VertScrollDelta" "20"
Option "MinSpeed" "0.3"
Option "MaxSpeed" "0.75"
Option "AccelFactor" "0.030"
Option "EdgeMotionMinSpeed" "200"
Option "EdgeMotionMaxSpeed" "200"
Option "UpDownScrolling" "1"
Option "CircularScrolling" "1"
Option "CircScrollDelta" "0.1"
Option "CircScrollTrigger" "2"
Option "SHMConfig" "on"


The program doesn't care what order the InputDevice sections are in.

"An InputDevice section is considered active if it is referenced by an active ServerLayout section, if it is referenced by the -keyboard or -pointer command line options, or if it is selected implicitly as the core pointer or keyboard device in the absence of such explicit references." In my system, the Synaptics section was not called out in the ServerLayout section, so the touchpad was being recognized implicitly as mouse1, therefore none of the adjustments in the Synaptics section had any effect. My ServerLayout section originally had mouse0 as the "CorePointer". It was working like it was because:

"In the absence of an explicitly specified core input device, the first InputDevice marked as CorePointer is used. If there is no match there, the first InputDevice that uses the "mouse" (or "keyboard" or "kbd") driver is used. The final fallback is to use built-in default configurations. "

It was the fallback method that was allowing it to even work at all when no mouse was plugged in.

So, I changed "Mouse0" to "Synaptics Mouse", so the ServerLayout would recognize the identifier for that section.

I made the change to InputDevice Mouse0 because I read,
"Option "SendCoreEvents" "boolean"
When enabled causes the input device to always report core events. This can be used, for example, to allow an additional pointer device to generate core pointer events (like moving the cursor, etc). "

I wanted to make sure I can use a regular mouse if it's plugged in, too. I don't have one here today, so I didn't test whether this works.

The bolded sections in the Synaptics section are what I arrived at to get what I wanted -- no more insane spurious clicks when trying to move the cursor, and vertical scrolling. MaxTapTime 0 kills the tap-to-click behavior. The right edge needed to be adjusted so I could get natural-feeling right scrolling to work. UpDownScrolling needs to be 1 if you want it.

The best explanations I could find out there that are similar enough to Quirky to be usable were found at:



Once you get everything working, save a copy of xorg.conf under another name that you can locate later, just in case you ever run xorgwizard again and possibly lose your settings.

I sincerely hope this helps anyone who is trying to figure out how to control their touchpad settings.

I'm a Linux newbie, so if anyone with lots of Puppy experience wants to add more advice, please do. I have Quirky installed as a full install to hard disk, so something that might help would be an explanation of how to restore the original xorg.conf in a frugal install that won't boot to desktop.

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