I am running Ubuntu Natty Narwhal on pre-unibody MacBook Pro (2007 I believe).

There seems to be a problem with trackpad - it barely works, in order to move cursor you have to move your finger a lot, and it terminates the 'gestures' abruptly - say you are moving the cursor with your finger and out of the blue it just stops, although the finger is still in contact with the surface of the trackpad.

Those issues seem to dissapear as soon as I boot Mac OS X, so I suspect it is something Ubuntu-specific.

Also, if I try to move the cursor with not just fingertip but increase the contact area, it seems to work just fine, although it is hardly convenient.

2 Answers 2


Good news,

The solution to your problem is the synaptic client settings accessible through the Terminal.

You can check the settings: synclient | grep -e 'FingerHigh\|FingerLow' You can set the settings: synclient FingerLow=01 && synclient FingerHigh=10

The default settings:

FingerLow               = 29
FingerHigh              = 35

Command: synclient FingerLow=29 && synclient FingerHigh=35

Did not allow me to use the points of my fingertips to move the cursor which was frustrating having to press harder to register a movement than in OSX.

Some people report that the following settings were better:

FingerLow               = 10
FingerHigh              = 16

Command: synclient FingerLow=10 && synclient FingerHigh=16

I setteled on the following, always responds not matter how I touch the pad, perhaps even better than the default OSX settings in my opinion:

FingerLow               = 1
FingerHigh              = 10

Command: synclient FingerLow=01 && synclient FingerHigh=10

Party on linux style! ^_^

  • You are champion!!!
    – Art
    Nov 30, 2011 at 8:48
  • Strangely enough, after fixing this issue I started getting another one - now it's impossible to move pointer diagonally - it just jumps - see more here: ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=813884&page=5
    – Art
    Jan 9, 2012 at 13:36

user35553 is right, setting the FingerHigh and FingerLow values via synclient should produce the effect you're after.

synclient is a con­ve­nient way to play around with the var­i­ous options the Synap­tics dri­ver offers, but if you’re happy with your changes, you’ll prob­a­bly want to make them per­ma­nent for all users rather than run­ning synclient manually or at login.

Normally you'd do that via the xorg.conf file, but Ubuntu, along with sev­eral other dis­tros, has effec­tively dep­re­cated the use of xorg.conf in favour of device-specific scripts inside /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d. You may or may not have this direc­tory, and if you do, you may or may not already have a file inside it called 50-synaptics.conf. Cre­ate the direc­tory if nec­es­sary, then open the file (sub­sti­tut­ing gedit for your edi­tor of choice):

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

Edit the file to include Option lines that set your desired Fin­ger­High and Fin­ger­Low val­ues. Mine looks like this:

Section "InputClass"
    Identifier "touchpad catchall"
    Driver "synaptics"
    MatchIsTouchpad "on"
    MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
    Option "FingerLow" "10"
    Option "FingerHigh" "16"

Save the file, and when you restart, your new set­tings will apply every­where in X.


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