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How can I set up two-finger scrolling on an ALPS touchpad that doesn't support multiple fingers?

The relevant output from xinput list is as follows:

⎡ Virtual core pointer                     id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                id=4    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ PS/2 Mouse                                id=12   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ AlpsPS/2 ALPS GlidePoint                  id=13   [slave  pointer  (2)]

and the output of synclient -l is:

Parameter settings:
    LeftEdge                = 153
    RightEdge               = 870
    TopEdge                 = 115
    BottomEdge              = 652
    FingerLow               = 12
    FingerHigh              = 14
    FingerPress             = 127
    MaxTapTime              = 180
    MaxTapMove              = 56
    MaxDoubleTapTime        = 180
    SingleTapTimeout        = 180
    ClickTime               = 100
    FastTaps                = 0
    EmulateMidButtonTime    = 75
    EmulateTwoFingerMinZ    = 139
    EmulateTwoFingerMinW    = 7
    VertScrollDelta         = 25
    HorizScrollDelta        = 25
    VertEdgeScroll          = 1
    HorizEdgeScroll         = 0
    CornerCoasting          = 0
    VertTwoFingerScroll     = 0
    HorizTwoFingerScroll    = 0
    MinSpeed                = 1
    MaxSpeed                = 1.75
    AccelFactor             = 0.156495
    TrackstickSpeed         = 40
    EdgeMotionMinZ          = 14
    EdgeMotionMaxZ          = 79
    EdgeMotionMinSpeed      = 1
    EdgeMotionMaxSpeed      = 102
    EdgeMotionUseAlways     = 0
    TouchpadOff             = 1
    LockedDrags             = 0
    LockedDragTimeout       = 5000
    RTCornerButton          = 2
    RBCornerButton          = 3
    LTCornerButton          = 0
    LBCornerButton          = 0
    TapButton1              = 1
    TapButton2              = 3
    TapButton3              = 2
    ClickFinger1            = 1
    ClickFinger2            = 1
    ClickFinger3            = 1
    CircularScrolling       = 0
    CircScrollDelta         = 0.1
    CircScrollTrigger       = 0
    CircularPad             = 0
    PalmDetect              = 0
    PalmMinWidth            = 10
    PalmMinZ                = 99
    CoastingSpeed           = 20
    CoastingFriction        = 50
    PressureMotionMinZ      = 14
    PressureMotionMaxZ      = 79
    PressureMotionMinFactor = 1
    PressureMotionMaxFactor = 1
    ResolutionDetect        = 1
    GrabEventDevice         = 1
    TapAndDragGesture       = 1
    AreaLeftEdge            = 0
    AreaRightEdge           = 0
    AreaTopEdge             = 0
    AreaBottomEdge          = 0
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My apologies to everyone who generously contributed their time to this question. My free time for playing around with things like this has virtually disappeared, so I am unable to test any of these answers. Thanks again for your help! –  zpletan Mar 10 '11 at 21:58
    
Since installing 11.10, this question once again intrigues me, and I am willing to test. –  zpletan Nov 17 '11 at 4:38

4 Answers 4

I just found the dirver from an ubuntu DELL image shipped with my Latitude, check this answer: http://askubuntu.com/a/278133/65801

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On the Sony VAIO VPCF136FM, the following command works to add edge scrolling on the ALPS touchpad in Ubuntu 12.04 (and Linux Mint 11, as an aside, if anyone cares):

Run from the terminal:

echo "options psmouse proto=imps"|sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/psmouse.conf; sudo modprobe -r psmouse; sudo modprobe psmouse

Or, for readability, follow these steps instead, which do the same thing:

Create a file called "psmouse.conf" in /etc/modprobe.d:

sudo vim /etc/modprobe.d/psmouse.conf

Add the following line to this file, and save:

options psmouse proto=imps

Lastly, reload the drivers:

sudo modprobe -r psmouse
sudo modprobe psmouse

While this isn't two-finger scrolling, it's the next best thing, and the only type of touchpad scrolling that I've been able to get working on this platform. I'm pretty happy with it, and I hope it helps others.

The source was from Oscar's link: Source: [regression] Alps touchpad detected, but scrolling not working LP bug #737051, but I didn't need to install the driver or do anything else mentioned in that thread. I even undid some of the other things I tried, just to be sure the psmouse.conf file in /etc/modprobe.d is all I needed.

Also, note that this is a bit of a hack, as the touchpad is loaded as a ImPS/2 Generic Wheel Mouse, and the Touchpad tab disappears from the Mouse Settings menu. However, this is a lot less annoying than having to drag the mouse pointer to the sidebar everytime I want to scroll.

Lastly, I haven't yet rebooted on Linux Mint 11 (not that it matters much here), so the modprobe commands may need to be added to a startup script, if the edge scroll doesn't survive the reboot. However, on Ubuntu 12.04, the one that matters on AskUbuntu, the scroll continues to work even after the reboot.

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I was able to activate the two finger scrolling using the hack described by this post:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=9058534&postcount=2

Unfortunately, the options get reset by some other daemon every once in a while and when the computer goes to sleep.

Hopefully someone can figure out another way to do this.

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First of all, to identify which touchpad you have, run

xinput list 

If it shows something like

...
↳ AlpsPS/2 ALPS GlidePoint                  id=14   [slave  pointer  (2)]
...

then you most probably do not have multitouch support. The Alps touchpads tend not to have multitouch, while they use the same driver as the Synaptic touchpads.

You can use synclient -l to obtain information on your touchpad.

Still, the definitive way to see how many fingers are supported on your touchpad, is to

  1. Enable SHMConfig in your xorg.conf file
  2. Run synclient -m 100, which will show in real time the status of your touchpad. The fifth column labeled f is for fingers, therefore you can see up to how many fingers you can tap at the same time.

To enable SHMConfig in xorg.conf, see http://mjg59.livejournal.com/118588.html and then add

Section "InputClass"
   Identifier "enable synaptics SHMConfig"
   MatchIsTouchpad "on"
   MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
   Option "SHMConfig" "on"
EndSection

to your xorg.conf. You can remove the above snippet once you performed your testing.

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Ok, but on Ubuntu 10.10 there is not /etc/X11/xorg.conf ... where we have to add those lines for enable SHMConfig? Regards! –  Martín Casco Jan 31 '11 at 20:33
    
You can create a xorg.conf with this data. Once you complete the testing, you can remove the xorg.conf. Any changes to this file require to restart the X server (typically, logout and log in again). –  user4124 Jan 31 '11 at 20:34
    
I've read some people who has created this field on Maverick and X did not start till, with a Live Session, deleted that field. –  Martín Casco Feb 1 '11 at 11:39
    
OK, my touchpad doesn't detect more than one finger, but can I somehow emulate it by detecting more pressure? (e.g. EmulateTwoFingerMinZ/W which I don't know how to use.) –  zpletan Feb 1 '11 at 17:32
    
Sure. Send the output of synclient -l so that we can see what your existing values for EmulateTwoFinger* are. In addition, write the name of your touchpad (the output of xinput list). –  user4124 Feb 1 '11 at 17:42

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