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I know that I can check if the touchpad is active with

gconftool-2 --get /desktop/gnome/peripherals/touchpad/touchpad_enabled 

and I can set it disabled / enabled with

gconftool-2 --set --type boolean /desktop/gnome/peripherals/touchpad/touchpad_enabled true

With lsusb I can see all connected USB-devices. Which is for my mouse:

Bus 003 Device 002: ID 046d:c00e Logitech, Inc. M-BJ58/M-BJ69 Optical Wheel Mouse

More information with lsusb -v:

Bus 005 Device 002: ID 046d:c00e Logitech, Inc. M-BJ58/M-BJ69 Optical Wheel Mouse
Device Descriptor:
  bLength                18
  bDescriptorType         1
  bcdUSB               2.00
  bDeviceClass            0 (Defined at Interface level)
  bDeviceSubClass         0 
  bDeviceProtocol         0 
  bMaxPacketSize0         8
  idVendor           0x046d Logitech, Inc.
  idProduct          0xc00e M-BJ58/M-BJ69 Optical Wheel Mouse
  bcdDevice           11.10
  iManufacturer           1 
  iProduct                2 
  iSerial                 0 
  bNumConfigurations      1
  Configuration Descriptor:
    bLength                 9
    bDescriptorType         2
    wTotalLength           34
    bNumInterfaces          1
    bConfigurationValue     1
    iConfiguration          0 
    bmAttributes         0xa0
      (Bus Powered)
      Remote Wakeup
    MaxPower               98mA
    Interface Descriptor:
      bLength                 9
      bDescriptorType         4
      bInterfaceNumber        0
      bAlternateSetting       0
      bNumEndpoints           1
      bInterfaceClass         3 Human Interface Device
      bInterfaceSubClass      1 Boot Interface Subclass
      bInterfaceProtocol      2 Mouse
      iInterface              0 
        HID Device Descriptor:
          bLength                 9
          bDescriptorType        33
          bcdHID               1.10
          bCountryCode            0 Not supported
          bNumDescriptors         1
          bDescriptorType        34 Report
          wDescriptorLength      52
         Report Descriptors: 
           ** UNAVAILABLE **
      Endpoint Descriptor:
        bLength                 7
        bDescriptorType         5
        bEndpointAddress     0x81  EP 1 IN
        bmAttributes            3
          Transfer Type            Interrupt
          Synch Type               None
          Usage Type               Data
        wMaxPacketSize     0x0004  1x 4 bytes
        bInterval              10

And here is the information from tail -n 10 -f /var/log/messages:

Aug 27 08:36:47 pc08 kernel: [ 1795.936583] usb 5-2: USB disconnect, address 3
Aug 27 08:36:55 pc08 kernel: [ 1804.208042] usb 5-2: new low speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 4
Aug 27 08:36:56 pc08 kernel: [ 1804.384272] usb 5-2: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
Aug 27 08:36:56 pc08 kernel: [ 1804.400743] input: Logitech USB-PS/2 Optical Mouse as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.0/usb5/5-2/5-2:1.0/input/input13
Aug 27 08:36:56 pc08 kernel: [ 1804.400923] generic-usb 0003:046D:C00E.0004: input,hidraw0: USB HID v1.10 Mouse [Logitech USB-PS/2 Optical Mouse] on usb-0000:00:1d.0-2/input0

And even more information:

$ udevadm info --query=all --name=/dev/input/mouse1
P: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.0/usb5/5-2/5-2:1.0/input/input15/mouse1
N: input/mouse1
S: char/13:33
S: input/by-id/usb-Logitech_USB-PS_2_Optical_Mouse-mouse
S: input/by-path/pci-0000:00:1d.0-usb-0:2:1.0-mouse
E: UDEV_LOG=3
E: DEVPATH=/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.0/usb5/5-2/5-2:1.0/input/input15/mouse1
E: MAJOR=13
E: MINOR=33
E: DEVNAME=/dev/input/mouse1
E: SUBSYSTEM=input
E: ID_INPUT=1
E: ID_INPUT_MOUSE=1
E: ID_VENDOR=Logitech
E: ID_VENDOR_ENC=Logitech
E: ID_VENDOR_ID=046d
E: ID_MODEL=USB-PS_2_Optical_Mouse
E: ID_MODEL_ENC=USB-PS\x2f2\x20Optical\x20Mouse
E: ID_MODEL_ID=c00e
E: ID_REVISION=1110
E: ID_SERIAL=Logitech_USB-PS_2_Optical_Mouse
E: ID_TYPE=hid
E: ID_BUS=usb
E: ID_USB_INTERFACES=:030102:
E: ID_USB_INTERFACE_NUM=00
E: ID_USB_DRIVER=usbhid
E: ID_PATH=pci-0000:00:1d.0-usb-0:2:1.0
E: DEVLINKS=/dev/char/13:33 /dev/input/by-id/usb-Logitech_USB-PS_2_Optical_Mouse-mouse /dev/input/by-path/pci-0000:00:1d.0-usb-0:2:1.0-mouse

How can I use this to automatically deactivate my touchpad when a USB-mouse is connected and activate it again as soon as the USB-mouse disappears?

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3 Answers

For natty there is a touchpad indicator app. it can be set to disable/enable the touchpad when a mouse is plugged in or out. I have no idea if it might also work for older Ubuntu versions.

https://launchpad.net/touchpad-indicator

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/atareao
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install touchpad-indicator
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You can set up udev rules to disable/enable touchpad. ArchLinux wiki has these rules for toggling a Synaptic touchpad from udev:

ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="input", KERNEL=="mouse[1-9]", ENV{DISPLAY}=":0.0", 
ENV{XAUTHORITY}="/home/USERNAME/.Xauthority", ENV{ID_CLASS}="mouse", RUN+="/usr/bin/synclient TouchpadOff=1"

ACTION=="remove", SUBSYSTEM=="input", KERNEL=="mouse[1-9]", ENV{DISPLAY}=":0.0", 
ENV{XAUTHORITY}="/home/USERNAME/.Xauthority", ENV{ID_CLASS}="mouse", RUN+="/usr/bin/synclient TouchpadOff=0"
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I couldn't get it working. I added /etc/udev/rules.d/10-local.rules with ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEMS=="input", KERNELS=="mouse[1-9]", RUN+="gconftool-2 --set --type boolean /desktop/gnome/peripherals/touchpad/touchpad_enabled false" ACTION=="remove", SUBSYSTEMS=="input", KERNELS=="mouse[1-9]", RUN+="gconftool-2 --set --type boolean /desktop/gnome/peripherals/touchpad/touchpad_enabled true" and then sudo service udev reload; sudo udevadm trigger; sudo service udev restart but nothing happened. –  moose Aug 27 '11 at 7:11
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I'm not sure if all the laptops use Synaptiks, but you could try to use it. In case you haven't installed, write in a terminal: $sudo apt-get install kde-config-touchpad, then $synaptiksand finally in the menu «Touchpad management» check:

  • Automatically start at logon
  • Automatically switch off touchpad, if a mouse is plugged

I hope this information has been valuable for you!

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