There is a problem with my laptop — jumping cursor. I think the hardware is the source of the problem. Maybe toucpad is just very inaccurate when getting finger coordinates and touching events.

On Ubuntu 14.04 I just set vertical and horizontal hysteresis and high and low finger pressure to make touchpad feel smooth and nice. When I installed 18.04 I found that I can't adjust my touchpad any more (except a few options that are not too helpful in my case).

So, can anybody of you, guys, help me with getting back that beautiful synaptics driver?

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    run this command: " sudo apt install xserver-xorg-input-synaptics ", after that run this command: " synclient TapButton1=1 TapButton2=3 TapButton3=2" – Ryko May 4 at 11:35
  • Is that enough to switch driver? I tried the answer below and nearly broke my system. Keyboard stopped working. – Zephyr Zephyroff May 4 at 17:16
  • Have you tried both of my commands, This command will not remove any package, so this is not going to break your system. If the above command works for you, then I will tell you the further process. I am just checking if the synaptics driver is working for you. – Ryko May 5 at 6:42
  • Couldn't find synaptics properties. No synaptics driver loaded? – Zephyr Zephyroff May 5 at 17:19
  • Then you have to install synaptic driver. Run this command without quotes "sudo apt install xserver-xorg-input-synaptics". Then after installation run this command without quotes: "synclient TapButton1=1 TapButton2=3 TapButton3=2". – Ryko May 5 at 19:53
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I had the same problem and basically solved it by following Ryko's advice.

sudo apt install xserver-xorg-input-synaptics

... did the trick. I didn't uninstall libinput like Pilot6 said and libinput is still happily handling my keyboard, etc.

  • It's not working in my case. Probably there is something missed. Some package or configuration. I'm always seeing the same Couldn't find synaptics properties. No synaptics driver loaded?. I don't know how to get rid of this. – Zephyr Zephyroff May 15 at 16:51
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    Eventually it started working. I installed xserver-xorg-input-synaptics then rebooted the system. And it worked. Thanks! – Zephyr Zephyroff May 17 at 8:33
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    Make sure to run sudo apt update first to avoid getting an 'Unable to locate package' error - doh! – David Jun 27 at 21:54
  • Thanks a lot!!! This worked for me instantly on my Dell Vostro with Ubuntu 18.04. – Swapnil Nov 5 at 11:05

You can do it by

sudo apt remove xserver-xorg-input-libinput
sudo apt install xserver-xorg-input-synaptics

But in most cases libinput is better than synaptics. Anyway it's your choice still.

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    After these operations only touchpad was left working. Keyboard stopped responding. Luckily there was screen keyboard. – Zephyr Zephyroff May 4 at 17:13
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    Removing xserver-xorg-input-libinput caused my keyboard to stop working too after a reboot and logging in again. Had to log in using Wayland option (instead of X11) then reinstall libinput driver. – David Jun 27 at 22:09
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    it brokes keyboard input – makerj Aug 17 at 3:34
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    This worked for me. I think the synaptics driver is much faster, libinput made the touchpad feel sluggish even at max sensitivity. (XPS13) – willbradley Sep 26 at 20:46
  • Not good to give suggestions where things break. Kindly edit your answer atleast after the negative experiences by people. – Logan yesterday

The problem is not necessarily the missing Synaptics drivers, it is more the fact that the libinput driver settings are purposefully left generic so that the user or hardware OEM can adjust them as desired.

Rather than simply uninstalling libinput and installing Synaptics, you can still add Synaptics but to keep everything working you need to provide an "override" by removing/updating references to libinput specifically in relation to your touchpad ONLY and adding in a rule for Synaptics.

A major part of the problem is that there doesn't appear to be any proper GUI tool and few of the hardware OEMs (Dell/HP/Lenovo/etc) provide customized configs optimized to their hardware outside the possible exception of their own preinstalled Ubuntu versions (Dell provides this option at least). I haven't grabbed the latest Dell Ubuntu image and unpacked it to see if they supply any customizations, but it wouldn't surprise me if they did. If not I definitely think it is something they should see about adding, since the XPS13/XPS15 and their business brothers the Precision 55x0 models are amazingly fast running Ubuntu compared to Windows.

This article by Dell has a good start on how to potentially fix the issue (and doesn't necessarily only apply to their systems or their touchpads),

  • can you give instructions on how to do the override? – jvdh Oct 23 at 14:53

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