I have a laptop with an Ubuntu 11.10/Win7 dual boot system. In Windows, I use double-stroke to scroll, which I've got working in Ubuntu as well. This I did by changing the settings under System Settings\Mouse and Touchpad - real easy.

However, in Windows I can also use double-tap as a "middle click" in some contexts - for example, if I double-tap a tab in Chrome, the tab closes; if I double-tap a link, it opens in a new tab. In Ubuntu, double-tap instead behaves like a right-click. On double tap in both the previous examples, a context menu is shown instead of the action I want.

How do I change this configuration in Ubuntu to do what I want and am used to?


There is no good way to do this. This plagues me as well, but I've gotten used to hitting both mouse buttons to get middle-click. A bug has been reported as well.

It has been happening for quite some time. There are some workarounds, such as making a script run the following at startup:

synclient TapButton2=2; synclient TapButton3=3;

But when you come out of suspend or hibernate the problem will come back up and you'll have to run it manually.

So short answer, it's a problem without a good resolution, but you can kinda work around it in an unsatisfactory fashion.

  • Added this to .bashrc - works like a charm! I almost never use suspend or hibernate, though. – Tomas Aschan Oct 25 '11 at 23:34

If you want your double-finger tap to be middle-click permanently you could check which TapButton works with which configuration with synclient as user28857 suggests and change it permanently on /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf. What you need to do is:

gksu gedit /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "touchpad catchall"
        Driver "synaptics"
        MatchIsTouchpad "on"
        MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
            Option "TapButton1" "1"
            Option "TapButton2" "2" or "3"
            Option "TapButton3" "3" or "2" 

This article although from ArchLinux explains well on touchpad configuration for synaptics touchpad which most laptops are.

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