The issue at hand

My aim is to enable natural scrolling on system start (or session start), which - up until now - could be easily achieved using a startup script, but since migrating from 12.04 (32 bit) to 13.04 (64 bit) I'm not able to automate this task.

Here's the script used:

xinput set-prop 12 273 -25 -25

it works when running independently, so it seem to be overridden by a later call. How to resolve this?

What have I tried?

  • Adding an entry in the Startup Applications for the trackpad script
  • Using a @reboot flagged entry in crontab to call the xinput command
  • Calling the trackpad script in .bash_login, or in .profile
  • Adding a .conf file in /etc/init
  • I think at some point I even tried to mess around with sequencing directories and sequencing file names under /etc/rc*
  • Including a call in various scripts under /etc/pm (that actually got things working for the boot phase, but any subsequent suspend/sleep would deactivate the trackpad custom settings, again).


Dell XPS 13, Ubuntu 13.04 64 bit.


This doesn't explain why it is happening, it's just a workaround.

You could automatically reset the property whenever it changes. Use this script:

while true; do
  xinput list-props 12 | grep -q "Synaptics Scrolling Distance (273):.*-25, -25" || xinput set-prop 12 273 -25 -25
  sleep 5
  • that's great, man. i was thinking along these lines (i.e. having a sleep once to avoid override by other scripts on startup), but it seems too dirty a solution. still it's the only thing that works for now. thanks – Eliran Malka Jun 28 '13 at 16:22

I recently installed Ubuntu 13.04 on a Dell Inspiron 17R, and my touchpad was only recognized as a PS/2 mouse. I found a post on the Ubuntu Forums that contained a custom driver to enable the touchpad features. Once I installed it, Ubuntu's System Settings > Mouse and Touchpad settings listed the touchpad options. And then a post on how to enable Natural Scrolling using dconf-editor. I hope this helps.

  • 1
    this is hardly related to the issue, my trackpad is working fine, and i can configure natural scrolling with no particular problem. the problem i'm having has to do with startup scripts, please read the question thoroughly before posting an answer. – Eliran Malka Jun 27 '13 at 14:01

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