I have troubles understanding how my Ubuntu 13.04 is handling the touchpad of my Macbook Pro. Very annoying because I really can't work with the unit as the touchpad keeps being very "touchy", a single slight touch with my palm is enough to move the cursor away while I'm typing stuff on the keyboard.

On a fresh install, I have the "Systeme > Souris et pavé tactil" (sorry, it's in french!) utility with the checkbox "disable while typing". Doesn't work.

So I installed gpointing-devices-settings via the Ubuntu Software Center (gsynaptics isn't maintained anymore, I read it somewhere).


Sounds like gpointingdevices handles my touchpad, but the options I check/uncheck are not persistent. Each time I re-launch gpointingdevices, it's back in the default configuration.

Another way to deal with the touchpad is to use syndaemon in a command line with some parameters to disable touchpad and all (see http://www.webupd8.org/2009/11/ubuntu-automatically-disable-touchpad.html for configurations). But in my fresh install, when I launch syndameon, whatever the parameters are, it just seems to destroy the handling of the touchpad, that is, no more two fingers scrolling and no more "tap to click". I must reload the session to get it working again.

So I'm quite in a mist of conjecture for now: is it a bug specific to the Macbook Pro touchpads? Or am I not pushing the right buttons? Or what? Next to Unity, my main deskop environment, I installed Cynnamon desktop, maybe some package in it is messing up the touchpad settings?

  • I can't find gpointing-devices-settings anywhere
    – Michael
    Jul 7, 2018 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


Well, I think I may have found a solution, with a direct edition of the paremeters for the touchpad from the g-conf-editor.

You have first to install G-conf-editor from the Ubuntu Software Center or via the terminal (sudo apt-get install gconf-editor).

Then switch to the subfolder Desktop > Gnome > Periphericals > bcm5974 where you can check or uncheck the options you need. I checked everything: disable_tapping, palm_detection, palm_detection_depth, palm_detection_width.

After one hour writing stuff with LibreOffice, seems like the touchpad is disabled at last when typping...

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