Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How to get Tap To Click back on your Debian 9 XFCE Linux install

We are at an early point in Debian 9, and therefore many of the "downstream" distributions in Linux-Land these days.

Debian just made Debian 9, Stretch, the Stable version.  It also came out with an upgrade to 9.1 a couple days ago.

Since my own laptop was a Debian 9.0 install, I had a problem.  The track pad no longer did a "tap to click".  It was there in the earlier versions, and removed in a Debian 9.0 install.  They migrated to libinst.  It promises to be new and shiny and do many new things but most of these things are in the future - or so my lack of Tap To Click would show.

I don't use many of the more complex mouse options with my laptop.  It's a non touch screen, Lenovo Thinkpad T530.  I heavily use Tap to Click so I want it back.  My other laptop, a Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga S1 had the same problem.  After a lot of research, this was shown to be a design decision.  Debian is my go-to operating system distribution due to the absolute depth of software and documentation out there.

So I set about to "fix it".

DISCLAIMER:  I was able to do so on two computers but with some thrashing around.  I will give here the information that I have, but that thrash may make it less solid than my usual "cook book recipe" guarantee of any technical articles that I write.

Give it a shot.  If it works, let me know if you did anything different and I'll mention it here.

Background - the documentation for Debian 9, Stretch, is still incomplete.  The files that I created had to be placed in Xsession.d and the directories that Debian gave were either missing or empty for me.  What they have is correct for the earlier versions and the docs need to be proofread.

Or I went crosseyed and got the wrong damn directory...

Since this blog is a place I put documentation for my own uses (Linux as well as recipes and photography), I'll put it here.  I'd rather not have the heat of an official inquiry on me since I live in Florida and it is quite hot enough as it is.

First:  Create a 50-synaptic.conf - the file should probably not be there on a "clean install"
1) edit /etc/X11/Xsession.d/50-synaptics.conf
2) at the top merge (Copy and Paste) in the following lines:

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "touchpad catchall"
        Driver "synaptics"
        MatchIsTouchpad "on"
MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
        Option "TapButton1" "1"
        Option "TapButton2" "2"
        Option "TapButton3" "3"
# This option is recommend on all Linux systems using evdev, but cannot be
# enabled by default. See the following link for details:
# http://who-t.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-to-ignore-configuration-errors.html
#       MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
EndSection

Second, copy that file to /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf 

Third open terminal and sign into root to install a package:
apt install xserver-xorg-input-synaptics

Fourth: reboot.

On return, you should have tap to click working.  Entering "synclient TapButton1=1" on a command line should give you information for further research.

You may diagnose what the touchpad is doing by running as root "synclient".

Entering "synclient TapButton1=1" on a command line should give you information for further research.

Further options such as multitouch, double finger tap for scrolling, and coast speeds and so forth are described in detail in the Debian Wiki Synaptics touch pad page at https://wiki.debian.org/SynapticsTouchpad

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