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There are several settings (speed, sensitivity, acceleration, tap-to-click) that seem to be independently managed between

  • the built-in gnome Mouse and Touchpad configuration tool and
  • synclient (gpointing-device-settings).

Changes I make in the gnome tool don't show up in synclient and vice versa. This is confusing, and the interactions seem to be making my touchpad very jerky. (I have an HP Folio 13 notebook.)

Can someone explain how these tools interact, and suggest best practices for configuring my touchpad?

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I know that the synclient tool is maintained by the same people writing the synaptics driver as a way to manipulate the driver directly. I assume the built in driver is using a more abstract interface.

The problem with using the synclient tools is persisting the changes that you want to keep. This can be done by some batch file that executes commands on startup through the synclient tool, or saving settings in your Xorg file.

This Arch page has the best writeup on the synaptics tool that I've found.

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