I'm using Xubuntu 15.04 (xfce4 environment) and want to configure the laptops touchpad for lefthanded.

I'm changing the configuration by using the section mouse/toucpad in the controlpanel provided by xfce. For the hardware button it works so far. the button functions simply switch. But when I do a tap "click" - simply tap on the touchpad, the system do a rightclick.

I already found a launchpad bug report for it, but there is no running workaround.

Here I found this workaround

synclient tapbutton1=3
synclient tapbutton2=1

This works so far but is obviously gone after rebooting. I tried writing it in a script and run it at booting up (by crontab @reboot and /etc/rc.local), but without any results.

Edit 07/15/15

The Script:

synclient tapbutton1=3
synclient tapbutton2=1
  1. Method tried to start at bootup:

    sudo crontab -e


@reboot [path_to_script]
  1. Method

in /etc/rc.local

  • What was the script you wrote and how exactly did you get it to execute the script at startup (or at least attempt to get it to)? Could you please provide more detail about this. – user364819 Jul 15 '15 at 17:13
  • I added theses information but I think a script is just a workaround and a not optimal solution. if there isn't any other solution i will use the workaround of curse – JonnyTischbein Jul 16 '15 at 5:41
  • 1
    Did you try putting the script in the /bin, marking it as executable, and then just putting its name to be executed as a command in /etc/rc.local? – user364819 Jul 16 '15 at 9:13
  • no. does /etct/rc.local only read from /bin ? I didn't know, but will try it. – JonnyTischbein Jul 16 '15 at 9:42

This worked for me in Xubuntu:

Add the lines

synclient tapbutton1=3  
synclient tapbutton2=1  

in /etc/rc.local (somewhere above exit 0)

And then from the XFCE menu type "start"
You'll see the Session and Startup app.
Launch it
Click on the Application AutoStart tab
Click Add
then fill out the boxes
in the Command Box type /etc/rc.local
Save it


This is a very annoying bug. Here is a workaround: By running the commands below in a terminal window, a small script and a configuration file is written to swap the tap action into a right-click at desktop startup, which is then swapped back into a left-click when the mouse is configured. (I have the lower left corner as right-click).

sudo sh -c 'cat > /usr/local/bin/set-left-tap.sh' <<'EOF'

# Reconfigure touchpad to report tap actions as right-click
# and lower-corner tap as left-click, which will subsequently
# be switched by the left-hand mouse configuration into left
# and right clicks, respectively.

# <https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xserver-xorg-input-synaptics/+bug/1706199>

# get a list of input devices that are mouse pointers, and process each of them
for id in $(xinput --list --short | grep "\[slave\ \ pointer\ \ ([0-9]*)\]" | sed -n "s,.*\tid=\([0-9]*\)\t.*,\1,p" | xargs); do

  # get the id of the tap action property of this mouse
  tap=$(xinput --list-props 10 | sed -n "s,.*\ Tap Action\ (\([0-9]*\)):.*,\1,p")

  # only touchpads have tap actions, and those are the devices that we want to change
  if [ -n "$tap" ]; then

    # reconfigure the tap action (8 is the number of bits in each number)
    # according to `man synaptics` section "Synaptics Tap Action", the
    # order of the numbers are first tap in each of the four corners,
    # followed by from one to three finger clicks on the pad surface
    # we must set the assignment to opposite of what we want it to end up
    # as, since the left-hand configuration will swap the button assignment
    xinput set-prop --type=int --format=8 $id $tap 0 0 0 1 3 0 0
sudo chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/set-left-tap.sh

cat > ~/.config/autostart/set-left-tap.desktop <<'EOF'
[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Swap Touchpad Tap Action

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