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I was talking to a friend who owns a Mac. He has his set up so that when he swipes three fingers across his touchpad, it moves to the workspace in that direction. Is it possible to set this up in ubuntu?

Thank you.

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I can't personally vouch for whether this method works, but there is a program called EasyStroke that may do what you're looking for. See here for setup instructions. – JamesG Mar 29 '12 at 10:29
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Your touchpad (hardware) needs to support this feature and you then may need to configure your touchpad (Ubuntu automatically recognizes and enables some hardware).

One common drier is synaptic. You can enable two finger scrolling from the mouse and touchpad section in the control panel.

control panel

If you wish additional options you will need to manually edit a few configuration files and the options are hardware dependent.

There is a debugging page here:

Take a look at that page, if you can identify your hardware we can perhaps give you more specific assistance.

An example of hardware specific guides:

Consider easystroke

You can also take a look at "easystroke"

Here is a demo of easystroke in action:

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I don't see the horizontal scrolling option on Ubuntu 14.04. Does this have to do with my hardware config? – grant Jun 9 '14 at 12:57

How to change workspaces using touchpad gestures in ubuntu

Complete tutorial using touchegg, easystroke is better to be used with mouse rather than touchpad.

In case you are using unity you may experience some conflicts with build-in gestures. The tutorial I gained information from deals with this issue (please see the link below). I didn't have any build in gestures, so this how-to provides only information how to set up things.

1) download touchegg:

sudo apt-get install touchegg

2) run it, but kill just after that, it will create a file


3) open it in an editor you desire and add those three lines below into the name="All" section

    <gesture type="DRAG" fingers="3" direction="RIGHT">
       <action type="SEND_KEYS">Control+Alt+Left</action>
    <gesture type="DRAG" fingers="3" direction="LEFT">
       <action type="SEND_KEYS">Control+Alt+Right</action>

4) run touchegg to try it out

touchegg &

5) edit the config file as you wish and then add touchegg to the list of startup applications

The tutorial I mentioned can be found here - there some things out of date (you don't have to compile it). Anyway thx to the creator!

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Gestures are not recognized on my computer :( – Jonah Jan 16 '14 at 3:34
This is not working on Ubuntu 15.04 – Lucio Oct 1 '15 at 0:17
Yeah, not working on my XPS13 either, running 15.04, or (today) 16.04 nightly. I wonder if there's a useful way to trouble shoot it, since the O/S does recognise 3-finger taps (mostly), but touchegg isn't interested. – Scaine Feb 24 at 18:56
It's working fine :D with elementary OS – Akbar Sha Ebrahim Apr 28 at 10:58

This was my solution: 4 fingers and natural direction.

 <gesture type="DRAG" fingers="4" direction="RIGHT">
       <action type="SEND_KEYS">Control+Alt+Right</action>
    <gesture type="DRAG" fingers="4" direction="LEFT">
       <action type="SEND_KEYS">Control+Alt+Left</action>
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What program does one need for this? – g3mini Jun 2 at 15:21

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