Where do I find those features? In Ubuntu there's only an option to enable Two-Finger-Scrolling.


  • 1
    Thanks user 25656 and spacemonkeyPDX..both of these worked for me. I must say the CTRL+2 finger scroll is more convenient. Thanks once again guys...
    – user324836
    Sep 8, 2014 at 13:34

7 Answers 7


Holding down CTRL while pinching or zooming will allow you to perform the gesture.

  • 1
    @Bakly is right. AFAIK Ubuntu out of the box is oblivious to the pinch gesture. And the documentation is silent about it as well... Jul 13, 2013 at 7:45
  • 14
    Is there a way to activate this without having to hold ctrl?
    – red888
    Dec 12, 2015 at 18:54
  • 1
    I will make a new question for asking how to make this without holding the ctrl Aug 13, 2019 at 19:15
  • This does not work on Ubuntu 18.04 in Chrome 84.0.4147.89
    – lucidbrot
    Jul 26, 2020 at 14:31
  • Does not work on Ubuntu 22.04
    – Cranio
    May 10, 2023 at 14:40


Its not the real pinch to zoom gesture as expected. Its scrollUp + Ctrl zooms in ,scrollDown+Ctrl zooms out.

and because you have the Two-Finger-Scrolling enabled it seems like it but the right gesture is to scrollup and down with your two fingers while pressing ctrl button

  • 8
    Thats not a gesture, this is just normal behaviour. Zoom was always ctrl + scroll
    – Sina
    Mar 15, 2014 at 17:22
  • Ctrl + Pinch works as well, so it is a real pinch.
    – Elin Y.
    Apr 7, 2017 at 19:26
  • @ЕлинЙ. at the time of your answer sure, but at the time this was answered pinch was not supported yet
    – Bakly
    Oct 18, 2018 at 18:59
  • @ЕлинЙ. <kbd>Ctrl</kbd> + <kbd>Pinch</kbd> doesn't work here, Ubuntu 20.10. Ctrl+Scroll does Apr 9, 2021 at 14:09

I know it is a bit late but for others who may drop by

Type synclient to list all touchpad features then create a file to execute them at startup.

For example on 12.10 I am using these lines in my script:

synclient TapButton2=2
synclient TapButton3=3
synclient HorizEdgeScroll=1
synclient HorizTwoFingerScroll=1
synclient CircularScrolling=1
synclient PalmDetect=1

These enable Horizontal edge, two finger horizontal scroll, middle mouse button by tapping with two fingers and right mouse button by tapping with three fingers and palm detection to avoid unwanted clicks while typing...

But for pinch zoom. It seems there is nothing available at the moment.

  • 5
    Doesn't answer the question Mar 13, 2013 at 14:54
  • @asymptotically did you try?
    – wakeup
    Mar 13, 2013 at 18:50
  • 4
    The OP wanted to know how to enable pinch to zoom and twisting. And yes, I have used synclient before, and it doesn't have an option to allow pinch to zoom. Mar 14, 2013 at 0:52
  • @asymptotically then I edited my question. last paragraph
    – wakeup
    Mar 14, 2013 at 13:23
  • 1
    @wakeup thanks for this answer. it gives me a hell lot of more control on my touchpad and system than ever before. Instead of creating a script I added to my bashrc. Pretty cool! Thanks again!
    – Ubuntuser
    Aug 14, 2014 at 7:28

Friends, I am on Ubuntu 21.04 now. And two-fingures-pinch-zoom works out of the box with Firefox. Real pinch zoom mac-style. Not just page scaling CTRL+[+], which makes responsive pages to change layout to mobile. But real useful zoom. which I use a lot when viewing images and sometimes paragraphs.


I had success using Fusuma and xdotool. Install xdotool and the Fusuma gem and then create its config file at ~/.config/fusuma/config.yml and include the following:

          command: 'xdotool key ctrl+plus'
          threshold: 0.15
          command: 'xdotool key ctrl+minus'
          threshold: 0.15

You may have to fiddle with the threshold and interval values until it responds to your liking.

  • I tried it but it is not smooth at all Apr 14, 2021 at 23:09

Some multi-touch features can be activated with the instructions here (at least on hp dv9000, not sure about other laptops) http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1999255

  • 4
    In those instructions there is no pinching gesture... Jul 13, 2013 at 7:48

Working for me, finded this solutoin today. Install gnome tweaks -> open it -> go to kyboard & mouse: find section "mouse click emulation" and choose "Area" After this I can pinch to zoom on my touchpad in google chrome browser.

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