After installing, I initially assumed that right-clicking just wasn't a feature. I've been trying to separate myself from what I'm accustomed to in Windows, so I didn't think much of it. I've since read that right-clicking is definitely something other people are able to do.

However, right-clicks, in any context, are behaving as left-clicks. I'm using the touch-pad on an HP Pavilion dv6 laptop. Did something go wrong with my installation? Maybe a driver issue? I've tried quite a few Google searches on the issue, and I haven't come up with any results relating to a complete loss of right-mouse functionality.

I have read that Shift+F10 is the default keyboard shortcut for right-clicking. However, I am finding that it has no noticeable effect whatsoever when used.

I've checked System Settings, and I don't see anything that allows for toggling the right touch-pad button on or off. Lacking experience with the system, I don't really know where to look next.

My questions then, would be:

  • Am I crazy, or does 12.04 normally have a right-click function that brings up a menu pane?
  • Is this a problem that anyone has heard of or encountered previously?
  • If so, how has it been resolved in the past?
  • My buttons are indeed part of a click-pad.

I checked some of the "related" links that showed up with the page. I checked synclient -l and found that quite a few parameters were questionably set at 0.

 RightButtonAreaLeft = 0
 RightButtonAreaRight = 0
 RightButtonAreaTop = 0
 RightButtonAreaBottom = 0

The same goes for the MiddleButtonX parameters, but I'm not concerned about those.

ClickPad = 1

All of the AreaXEdge parameters = 0 At the top of the list, these four parameters stand out:

LeftEdge = 1766
RightEdge = 5378
TopEdge = 1627
BottomEdge = 4331

I haven't tried to adjust these before. I imagine that it could easily vary a great deal between click-pad models, but does anyone know which of the above parameters I actually want to adjust, and to what values?

  • 1
    Do you have an external mouse you can test with? It might be a touchpad issue. Aug 11, 2012 at 21:01
  • I don't have one immediately available, I'm afraid. Also, did I have correct information on Shift+F10 functioning as a right-click shortcut? Because I assume that the keyboard shortcut should operate independently of my click-pad settings.
    – eenblam
    Aug 11, 2012 at 21:38
  • Shift-10 is correct. Aug 11, 2012 at 21:49
  • So, if the shortcut doesn't work either, does that point to a different issue, or perhaps better explain the problem?
    – eenblam
    Aug 11, 2012 at 22:03

3 Answers 3


So, I'm not sure what the original problem was, and I'm not entirely sure how my pad is mapped.

That said, I found an interesting work-around here:

It mentioned changing some options within /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-synaptics.conf, but that directory doesn't seem to exist for me. It suggested changing certain values for the percentage of the click-pad to be dedicated to a given button, and then it suggested checking certain parameters within synclient -l. I wound up just manually editing the parameters to match. The boundaries do not seem to match perfectly with the lines marked on my click-pad, but those are completely arbitrary. The differences could be resolved by trial and error if it became an issue, I suppose.

Shift+F10 still does not work, but I have since learned that right-click was simply mapped elsewhere. I don't know where to find the default settings for that particular shortcut; it is not included in the list shown by holding down Super. However, I have learned that it was mapped by default to a button between my right alt and ctrl keys. The key resembles the usual menu, with one bar highlighted. This probably won't be relevant to many folks on non-HP machines.

Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to work with me.

  • ok one more thing, just mark your answer as the accepted one so it shows up at the top, thanks for sharing your information! Aug 12, 2012 at 18:17
  • "You can accept your own answer tomorrow," says the orange box. I'll get on that once I receive permission. Thanks for the beta, Jorge! This has been a good first experience with the community built up around Linux.
    – eenblam
    Aug 12, 2012 at 18:30

I have an HP Pavilion dv7 and I notice that when all the RightButtonArea[Top/Bottom/Left/Right] parameters are 0, my right mouse button doesn't work (or more accurately it behaves the same as the left button). This recently started (perhaps when I installed ccsm). This is fixed for me by the following terminal commands synclient RightButtonAreaLeft=3572 and synclient RightButtonAreaTop=3984 (which were the defaults when I first installed 12.04). For some reason, putting these values in /etc/X11/xorg.conf and /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf isn't making the changes permanent on my system. I had to make a simple script with the above synclient commands in it that runs at system startup. This question has a lot of info but nothing worked for me except a startup script.

  • Hi! Sorry I'm late in replying, but I'm glad you found a work around. Although I am a bit less detailed in my description, this is the solution given in the page linked in the chosen answer. I found a start-up script to be very useful as well. That said, I haven't had this problem in any of my reinstalls of Precise on the same machine, the first of which was sometime in the spring of 2013.
    – eenblam
    Feb 16, 2014 at 12:28

Does your laptop have "real" buttons or is it a click-pad? In the case of my Asus UX-31 with an Elan Clickpad I had to enable right-click functionality by a workaround. Let me assure you that Linux does know the concept of right clicking.

I don't know if this will help you with your hp but have a look at this link: http://www.theorangenotebook.com/2012/02/call-for-testing-clickpad.html

  • It's a click-pad. I apologize, but your link went a bit over my current level of comprehension.
    – eenblam
    Aug 11, 2012 at 21:26
  • You have to enter the various commands in that page in a terminal window which you can open by pressing CTRL + ALT + T.
    – To Do
    Aug 11, 2012 at 21:39
  • Yes, if you're not familiar with working in a terminal, this might look complicated. But it's easier than it looks. What do you want explained in particular?
    – Hinz
    Aug 11, 2012 at 21:48
  • Maybe wait to see if someone with this notebook notices this question first and can offer a simpler solution? Testing PPAs for new users might be asking for trouble. (A simple solution might not exist, but maybe we'll get lucky with a simple config instead of a testing PPA) Aug 11, 2012 at 21:51
  • I'm aware of the terminal. I meant they were over my head insofar as I wasn't sure to what extent they would address my issue. I'm just trying to be careful before I go throwing things into the terminal as root, since I have no idea what I'm doing. Would manually editing the values of the above parameters (see edited post) be a potential solution? Thanks for all the support so far, by the way.
    – eenblam
    Aug 11, 2012 at 21:53

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