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I installed Ubuntu 17.10 when I received this laptop and when I was able I updated to 18.04. From the start the touchpad sensitivy and smoothness wasn't perfect, but it was nice enough combined with the touchscreen. I never switched any De, using the default from Ubuntu's main distro (in 18.04 it's GNOME I think).

I would like to make it more similar to the smoothness of a mac touchpad, since when I use this touchpad I find the sensitivy isn't as good as the experience I had with my old Macbook Pro mid 2012.

I have tried to make the touchpad load the Synaptic driver to test if it would be better, but I couldn't achieve it. I also tried booting in X and making it use the Synaptic driver, but I couldn't make it either, and an issue with the Ctrl key appears that makes imposible to work with Firefox/Chrome's Developer Console's CSS styles because when I try to edit a css property it unfocuses as if I pressed Escape.

So my questions would be:

  1. How can I install synaptics only for the touchpad in Wayland?
  2. Would it be easier/better experience if I switched to X? Could there be downsides to not using Wayland?

I think once I can load the synaptic driver under wayland or fix the keyboard issue under X I can continue on my own, since right now xinput or libinput is not printing any device configuration attributes. System info follows:

$    
xinput --list
⎡ Virtual core pointer                      id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                id=4    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ xwayland-pointer:15                       id=6    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ xwayland-relative-pointer:15              id=7    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                     id=3    [master keyboard (2)]
↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard               id=5    [slave  keyboard (3)]
↳ xwayland-keyboard:15                      id=8    [slave  keyboard (3)]

$
xinput list-props 6
Device 'xwayland-pointer:15':
Device Enabled (119):   1
Coordinate Transformation Matrix (121): 1.000000, 0.000000, 0.000000, 0.000000, 1.000000, 0.000000, 0.000000, 0.000000, 1.000000
Device Accel Profile (244): 0
Device Accel Constant Deceleration (245):   1.000000
Device Accel Adaptive Deceleration (246):   1.000000

$
xinput list-props 7
Device 'xwayland-relative-pointer:15':
Device Enabled (119):   1
Coordinate Transformation Matrix (121): 1.000000, 0.000000, 0.000000, 0.000000, 1.000000, 0.000000, 0.000000, 0.000000, 1.000000
Device Accel Profile (244): 0
Device Accel Constant Deceleration (245):   1.000000
Device Accel Adaptive Deceleration (246):   1.000000
Device Accel Velocity Scaling (247):    10.000000

Device Accel Velocity Scaling (247):    10.000000

$
libinput list-devices  

...

Device:           DLL07BE:01 06CB:7A13 Touchpad
Kernel:           /dev/input/event17
Group:            7
Seat:             seat0, default
Size:             102x77mm
Capabilities:     pointer gesture
Tap-to-click:     disabled
Tap-and-drag:     enabled
Tap drag lock:    disabled
Left-handed:      disabled
Nat.scrolling:    disabled
Middle emulation: disabled
Calibration:      n/a
Scroll methods:   *two-finger edge 
Click methods:    *button-areas clickfinger 
Disable-w-typing: enabled
Accel profiles:   none
Rotation:         n/a    

...    

Device:           AT Translated Set 2 keyboard
Kernel:           /dev/input/event4
Group:            11
Seat:             seat0, default
Capabilities:     keyboard 
Tap-to-click:     n/a
Tap-and-drag:     n/a
Tap drag lock:    n/a
Left-handed:      n/a
Nat.scrolling:    n/a
Middle emulation: n/a
Calibration:      n/a
Scroll methods:   none
Click methods:    none
Disable-w-typing: n/a
Accel profiles:   n/a
Rotation:         n/a

Thank you all for your time!

0
  1. How can I install synaptics only for the touchpad in Wayland?

You can't.

Oddly, I can't find elaborate links to libinput vs synaptics comparison, but the gist was that synaptics couldn't work under Wayland for some architectural reasons.

libinput was created as a solution (and as I vaguely remember from whot's articles, another reason was that synaptics driver was full of legacy cruft and unclear code paths). Later, in order to α) reduce maintainance, and β) increase coverage of actual users, X11 got xf86-input-libinput driver, as a replacement to xf86-input-synaptics. And then, after some maturing, the later got deprecated.

  1. Would it be easier/better experience if I switched to X? Could there be downsides to not using Wayland?

I assume this question focused specifically on input, since by now there's too many posts/discussions for "Wayland vs X11" in general.

So, if you mean "switching to X11 and still using libinput", then, with regard to input, the only difference I can think of is that you can use DE-independent xinput on X11. But that's it.


Side notes:

  1. It's usually nice to use the latest libinput version. E.g. as a MacOS user you might enjoy recently added horizontal/vertical scroll-lock (but ATM it's only available in git; it will be part of 1.12 release).
  2. if you find any problems or have suggestions for improvement, you can report them.
  3. Just in case, don't confuse xf86-input-synaptics with the device driver.
  • Thanks for the information! What I see is that when I'm using the nvidia GPU instead of the Intel one the mouse movement is visually much smoother, not sure if it the lack of hardware acceleration under Gnome on Wayland. On X I have a much smoother movement, using Synaptics driver. – quimere Sep 14 '18 at 15:31
  • @quimere I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with synaptics or libinput. I vaguely imagine it could be something to do with either acceleration per se, or maybe the GPU where the cursor hardware plane resides… Either way, you might get better result if you formulate this as terse and informative as possible, and ask either on IRC Freenode server, #radeon channel, or on mesa-users mailing list. – Hi-Angel Sep 14 '18 at 17:30

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