Disabling annoying touchpad while typing in Ubuntu

Most of Windows touchpad drivers have option to disable the touchpad when external USB mouse is connected. But Ubuntu hasn’t got this option as far as I know. There is only one option by default in Ubuntu which is to completely disabled the touchpad and this is not a solution but kind of a workaround.

I used desktop for a long time and recently purchased a laptop. I am used to keep fingers on the keyboard with style some gamer use it  and thumb is always on the spacebar. So whenever i start typing the thumb always hit the touchpad accidently and the mouse cursor moves away and I end up typing in completely different location. It was driving me crazy until I found a better workaround.

The little program “syndaemon” monitors and disables the touchpad while typing. So if you want to disable the touchpad temporary when typing you have to use this program to do so. This can be done by typing in terminal

syndaemon -i 3 -d

Where

  • -i parameter defines number of seconds to wait after keyboard is used – ( 3 seconds suites me. )
  • -d  parameter is used for running syndaemon in background mode ( as a daemon ).

In Ubuntu 9.04 new synadaemon version is being used and after typing above command it shouldn’t give any error. If above command throws some error then you are using other than 9.04 release. To get it working type in terminal,

wget http://people.ubuntuwire.com/~fujitsu/syndaemon
chmod +x syndaemon
sudo mv syndaemon /usr/bin/
syndaemon -i 3 -d

Again type the syndaemon command in terminal, it shouldn`t give any error.

Above command has to be executed each time machine is rebooted. To execute above command automatically we can create a tiny bash script and add it to startup items.

1. Create a new file somewhere ( I put all my scripts in my home/Scripts folder ) and copy paste following into it.

#!/bin/bash
syndaemon -i 2.5 -d

2. Rename that file to something like “touchpad-fix.sh”, go to its properties and make sure its its ticked next to “Execute” in “Permissions” tab.

3. To add above script to startup items, go to System > Preferences > Sessions >  Add. In new  pop-up box name it something meaningful and browse to it manyally in “Command” section. After that click “Add”.

Above script will be executed automatically each time Ubuntu is started and you will find touchpad disabled temporarily when you start typing using keyboard. I hope this was useful.

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