Out of the box, I get gestures for scrolling and right clicking. I'm very interested in three finger gestures (like slide three fingers up to see all open windows), but it seems there is no way to get those working.

I have tried with the Extended Gestures GNOME-shell extension and touchegg, neither of which are working.

Any ideas on how to get these?

up vote 26 down vote accepted

I am using XPS 15 with Ubuntu 18.04 (X.org). I have managed to get multi-gestures working for me. Kohei Yamada has developed an application called Fusuma to enable multi-touch gestures on Linux. It requires you to install Ruby on your machine if it isn't already installed.

Follow the instructions from fusuma GitHub's Readme page or you could follow these steps which worked for me:

First of all check if your current user is part of the input group. You can do that by

sudo gpasswd -a $USER input  

Then log out and log back in. Now install xdotool and libinput-tools.

sudo apt-get install libinput-tools  

sudo apt-get install xdotool  

If you haven't installed Ruby you can do that now:

sudo apt install ruby  

Now install fusuma

sudo gem install fusuma  

Deciding your gestures

This is basically creating a .yml file with the desired configuration. If you want standard gestures you can follow these instructions or feel free to tweak around to get desired gestures.

Go to your config folder in home directory.

cd ~/.config    

Now create a folder named fusuma

mkdir fusuma  
cd fusuma

In there create a file called config.yml

touch config.yml   

Now you can use your favourite text editor to enter the contents in this file.

nano config.yml   

Copy and paste the following instructions if you are using GNOME, which is the default environment in 18.04.

swipe:
  3: 
    left: 
      command: 'xdotool key alt+Right'
    right: 
      command: 'xdotool key alt+Left'
    up: 
      command: 'xdotool key super'
    down: 
      command: 'xdotool key super'
  4:
    left: 
      command: 'xdotool key ctrl+alt+Down'
    right: 
      command: 'xdotool key ctrl+alt+Up'
    up: 
      command: 'xdotool key ctrl+alt+Down'
    down: 
      command: 'xdotool key ctrl+alt+Up'
pinch:
  in:
    command: 'xdotool key ctrl+plus'
  out:
     command: 'xdotool key ctrl+minus'

threshold:
  swipe: 0.4
  pinch: 0.4

interval:
  swipe: 0.8
  pinch: 0.1

Note that the gestures that this configuration has created for you are the following:

Mult-touch Gesture | Action |
3 Fingers - Left | Go Next on Browser |
3 Fingers - Right | Go Back on Browser |
3 Fingers - Up | Show all Windows|
3 Fingers - Down | Close Exposé (Esc) |
4 Fingers - Left | Next Desktop |
4 Fingers - Right | Previous Desktop|
4 Fingers - Up | Next Desktop|
4 Fingers - Down | Previous Desktop|

After this you can run the command in terminal to test if it has installed

sudo fusuma  

nothing will happen in the terminal. Just start using your multi-touch gestures - swipe away on your touchpad.

Now all you have to do is add Fusuma and the command for it in your start-up applications.

Hope this helps.

  • 1
    even though this works, it's not a packaged app that can be used by any user, needs minimal technical expertise. But yeah, it does work great – akabhirav Jun 27 at 10:40
  • thanks akabhirav. I don't know how to make packaged apps but I would love to st art... can this one be repurposed into a package? and would you be willing to help me do that? – Rachit Kinger Jun 28 at 10:52
  • I don't have much experience with it, I was looking into it and found an easy way to do it. Go here - github.com/phusion/traveling-ruby. Sorry, can't be of much help, but if you need any help with writing code do reply – akabhirav Jun 28 at 12:10
  • 1
    Works great! Thanks a lot. Note, it should be: sudo gem install fusuma – mace Sep 17 at 7:44
  • 1
    Thanks for the suggestion @Ghos3t while I have mentioned that the config file should be created inside the fusuma folder, I guess you are right that if one looks only at the code then one is likely to miss that. I have added a line to change directory now. – Rachit Kinger Oct 14 at 4:38

Ubuntu 18.04 uses Xorg as the default display server instead of Wayland. The mentioned Extended Gestures extension currently works only with Wayland.

What you need to do is choose Wayland while logging in after a restart. This link shows the same procedure but the other way around (from Wayland to Xorg).

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