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I understand my MSI x350 notebook comes with a Sentelic trackpad, which supports multi-touch (according to the MSI website). Is there a way to enable multitouch on Ubuntu? I've been having difficulty finding info about this on google, and since it's not a synaptics touchpad I haven't been able to find much info in ubuntu docs. My mouse preferences doesn't have a trackpad tab like it does on, say, a Macbook.

Running "xinput list" returns: FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad id=11

And in my Xorg.0.log:

[    17.481] (II) config/udev: Adding input device FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad (/dev/input/event6)
[    17.481] (**) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: Applying InputClass "evdev pointer catchall"
[    17.481] (**) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: always reports core events
[    17.481] (**) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: Device: "/dev/input/event6"
[    17.500] (II) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: Found 11 mouse buttons
[    17.500] (II) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: Found scroll wheel(s)
[    17.500] (II) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: Found relative axes
[    17.500] (II) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: Found x and y relative axes
[    17.500] (II) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: Configuring as mouse
[    17.500] (**) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: YAxisMapping: buttons 4 and 5
[    17.500] (**) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: EmulateWheelButton: 4, EmulateWheelInertia: 10, EmulateWheelTimeout: 200
[    17.500] (II) XINPUT: Adding extended input device "FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad" (type: MOUSE)
[    17.500] (II) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: initialized for relative axes.
[    17.500] (II) config/udev: Adding input device FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad (/dev/input/mouse0)
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4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted
+25

There is an open bug report for this issue on Launchpad. While support for this touchpad has improved quite a bit since I bought my MSI X-Series notebook, it's obviously incomplete, as you noticed. From what I've gathered in that bug report, Sentelic released an open source Linux driver for the touchpad awhile ago, which has been partially merged into the Linux kernel. Unfortunately, from comment 71 of the bug report, it sounds like Sentelic has also raised patent concerns, which seem to be blocking the current development of the open source driver.

The ultimate goal, at least from what I've read on the mailing list, is to hand off the control of scrolling (and multi-touch?) to the Synaptics driver. And to quote the bug report one more time, "To fix this bug properly, Sentelic’s source for absolute positioning needs to be re-added to the driver."

Right now, I don't know of anyone actively working on this, but I'm in the same boat as you, and I would love to have multi-touch (or at least usable edge-scrolling) working on my laptop. Maybe we should start bribing people. :)

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3 solutions you might want to give a shot:

  • Try GPointing-Device-Settings. It is the successor of GSynaptics, and has a wider range of hardware devices supported (it is not limited only to Synaptics)

  • Upgrade your kernel to (at least) 2.6.32. Thats the default in Ubuntu 10.04 and beyond. Quoting from Gentoo Wiki: The Sentelic touchpad comes with a couple of laptops/Netbooks. They have recently released a driver for linux that will need patching the kernel. Note: From 2.6.32 the driver is included in the kernel

  • Try this official driver. There is a detailed how-to at http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=9603498&postcount=3

I hope one of them works for you! :)

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Neither gpointing-device-settings nor the official driver configure anything related to multi-touch, unfortunately, and I'm using the latest kernel, so I don't think that's related. –  Jon Mar 9 '11 at 5:10
    
So you only choices are either wait until official driver (or gnome's generic driver) incorporates multitouch functions; OR hack Synaptics driver to control your touchpad (if thats even possible). 2 lousy solutions, I admit. –  MestreLion Mar 9 '11 at 16:20

Unfortunately I can only give you a half answer but it might be a good pointer - no pun intended.

The Sentelics touchpad is not a Synaptics touchpad. Different hardware, different drivers - both for Windows and for Linux. You need to uninstall all the synaptics stuff - well you don't need to but it isn't doing anything :)

You don't say which version of Ubuntu you're running - I use 10.10 on my laptop that has a Synaptics touchpad and 11.04 with Unity switched off because it's dreadful on the Sentelics machine. I presume you are using Lucid (10.04) or above. Otherwise there is a bit of extra stuff to do which I don't know as the support for this type of driver is not in the kernel :(

But if you are on Lucid or above... try this:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/fsp-lnxdrv/

download the appropriate version for you - i386 for a 32-bit ubuntu or amb64 for 64-bit ubuntu or static build and build your own if you are using something more exotic. I use gdebi to install these sorts of things, you can use the command line it makes very little difference. Then go to the command line and type "sudo fspc" and up pops the driver window.

It's not brilliant. But it's much better than what you have now :)

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Well, in the comment above MichaelMS says that this driver has already been partially integrated into the kernel. It's not that my touchpad won't work--it works fine--it's just that multitouch functionality is absent. The sourceforge project you link to doesn't add multitouch functionality, from what I've seen. –  Jon Aug 25 '11 at 21:18

I have a asus zenbook ux31e also with a sentelic touchpad, from this page https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AsusZenbook#Sentelic_touchpad_synaptics.2BAC8-multitouch there is some useful info:

Reuben Bond has begun work on a synaptics driver for the Sentelic touchpad on github.com/ReubenBond/sentelic-multitouch but is awaiting further documentation from Sentelic regarding the multi touch.

Also, Oskari Saarenmaa has managed to get two finger scrolling working in his git repo at https://github.com/saaros/sentelic/, which Chris D aims to refine further in his fork at github.com/thaelim/sentelic.

People do appear to be working on it, but I tried the last two patches, and they are both terrible as of jan 4, 2011. Here's hoping it gets better !!

Edit: There has been some work again, it works well now! check out the saaros link

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That's great news--I'm glad this is coming along. Sorry for the newbie question, but do you know how one would go about using one of those drivers? They say to copy the files to /drivers/input/mouse or thereabouts, but I woulnd't know where to find such a path--is it something that requries compiling a kernel? –  Jon Jan 9 '12 at 23:55
    
Yup you have to re-compile the kernel. It's not to difficult actually. –  vanjoe Jan 10 '12 at 17:46
    
See my answer here: askubuntu.com/a/107331/43568 Some have made the process easier. –  Geoff Feb 24 '12 at 16:24

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