Installing debian on EeePC 1201HA: the synaptics touchpad

As usual debian’s wiki is a great resource, look it’s page about Synaptics Touchpad and most of the configuration is done.

So here I got the finger tap to work, but is spite of my efforts, the two finger scroll would not work. Well actually it did work using synclient but it was lost by next restart… And the hint was on the wiki but on Elantech Touchpad‘s page, near the end, in “GUI assistance” section: “Beware that they can override the global X settings in xorg.conf.”

So if you’re using gnome, look at the Mouse setting in gnome menu. You can also try gsynaptics, but while gnome mouse settings are reloaded each time you switch VT or suspend the computer, gsynaptics has to be reloaded manually.

Gnome didn’t let me check the two finger scroll option, so I opened gconf-editor searched for the touchpad key and found it as /desktop/gnome/peripherals/touchpad and changed scroll_method to 2. It’s still grey in the menu, but it’s checked an it works!

There is one remaining issue with gnome, if you want a different button for 2 finger tap than button 3, you can’t! I first fell on the fedora bug report about it which lead me to gnome’s one. So as of today, there is a patch, but not integrated in gnome, and I did not test it.

So I was tempted to switch to my old wm fluxbox, but didn’t take the time to configure it yet. Also reading Who-T’s blog, and especially this post xmodmap keyboard deconfiguration made me think that configuring one’s desktop trough Gnome and the like is going to be “the right way” in near future. As fluxbox session is just a plain bash script, we’ll need more working CLI tools for the hotplug configuration…

Well to come back, the touchpad is not going to be hotplug so a plain old config file like xorg.conf should in my opinion remain a valid choice (especially now that it does no goes through some other xml stuff as with hal). But then, the desktop configuration (ie Gnome) shouldn’t mess with it as it’s doing now!