Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I need a way to automaticallay turn the touchpad off when an external pointing device is in use. I tried setting "turn off touchpad while typing" in System Settings, but that didn't work.

A slight caveat is that I use both bluetooth and USB pointing devices, so perferably a solution would be able to detect both of these.

I really don't want to have to use commands or a script to accomplish this.

I have tried the two touchpad apps in the software center, but neither of these had a setting for this.

Thanks in advance.

Well... I had mentioned in my original post that I tried the app called "synaptiks" which I found on the Ubuntu Software Center, but apparently someone re-wrote my whole original post and left out that (and other) important details... I installed the "synaptiks" app, and it did work, but I discovered that a bunch of other apps had been installed without my knowledge or consent when I installed synaptiks. I felt that this was wrong and seemed like a potential security breech on my machine so I tried to remove these other apps individually and found that trying to remove one ended up removing them all, including the touch pad app... seems really suspicious to me so I made sure all of it was removed... at least I hope... no telling what else it could have installed on my laptop without my knowledge. And to the asshat who deleted half of my original post... thanks for making me have to waste my time to retype all of this to explain it all over again... and for wasting the time of the person who replied telling me to use the synaptiks app... if you had not edited my original post it would have saved us all the trouble.

share|improve this question
Possible duplicate of:… – Kevin Bowen Mar 27 '13 at 5:15
I left that part out because you don't mention any thing else about these "suspicious" apps. I installed Synaptiks and didn't get any extra anything... What are these "apps" that you're talking about? – Seth Mar 27 '13 at 16:55
@maggotbrain That's pretty out of date... – Seth Mar 27 '13 at 16:56
The following extra apps were installed with the Synaptiks package from Ubuntu Software Center: K3B, Nepomuk Backup, Nepomuk File Indexer, Akonaditray. There were a couple more as well, but I didn't write them down, I just wanted to uninstall this crap. I did get a message when I clicked on "install" in the Ubuntu Software Center something along the lines that the package wasn't trusted, so I clicked "fix package" or something like that and it seemed to install fine till I realized there was a bunch of suspicious looking stuff suddenly all over my laptop. – Jason Mar 28 '13 at 4:02
Ah. That's because this is a KDE app and so might need some other KDE stuff. Funny I didn't get anything when I did it though... I must already have those. There isn't anything wrong with any of them. – Seth Mar 30 '13 at 23:22

Yes, don't worry, these are safe packages, they are part of the KDE desktop and required by KDE apps, you might as well install them because in the future if you need to use another KDE app (there are many good ones like KDEnlive, Okular, Digicam, etc) you'll have them already there and won't have to install them again. Waste a bit of HD space but no security risk.

share|improve this answer
Thanks very much for the feedback! I'm using the MATE DE... just want to make sure none of these apps will break anything in MATE though. – Jason Mar 31 '13 at 19:48
Why would I want to install a bunch of apps I don't want or need? Why can't I just get the touchpad app by itself? This doesn't make any sense. – Jason Apr 7 '13 at 4:36

There used to be an app called Synaptic (the mouse app, not package manager) that was supposed to be able to do that (but I couldn't find it in the Software Center anymore), other suggestion is installing Cuttlefish, it can detect when a bluetooth or USB device is plugged and fire an action in response, maybe you can work something out with that. Good luck.

share|improve this answer

I don't know if there is an option as a stand-alone package; but if you decide to use gnome-shell in the future, you can try this gnome extension.

share|improve this answer

correct name of this application is synaptiks and you ca find it in Ubuntu Software Center, there is option automatically switched off tuchpad if mouse is plugged, hope it will help

share|improve this answer
There are options. – Hilmi Erdem KEREN Mar 31 '13 at 20:38
What are the options? It's been months now and I still haven't gotten a fix for this :-( This is a standard feature for Mac and Windows OSes... as far as I'm concerned this is a fail for Ubuntu. – Jason Nov 26 '13 at 8:08

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.