Thursday, May 2, 2013

Disable the touch pad while typing on Linux

The Problem:

If you have a Synaptics touch-pad like the one I have on my HP ProBook 6560b, you might want to learn how to disable the touch-pad while typing. This particular laptop has a touch-pad that is positioned poorly so it is common for your palm to be in contact with the pad while you type. The solution is to disable it for 2 seconds while typing. It is a minor inconvenience to have to wait two seconds to use it again but at least your typing is uninterrupted which could be a major inconvenience. 

The solution:

Use the syndaemon tool that ships with the synaptics packages. In my case they shipped by default. You could always try the gui...
david.latham@davepc:~> cat bin/touchpad.sh
#!/bin/bash
syndaemon -k -i 2 -d
Now just configure your desktop manager to run this script on start up. It is a trivial thing to do in KDE under system settings -> Sartup and Shutdown, Add Script...
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