I use "tap to click", so when I'm performing a click-and-drag, I tap-tap-drag. If my finger reaches the edge of the touchpad and I still need to drag the cursor farther, I quickly lift and place my finger closer the center of the pad so I can continue dragging. As long as I replace my finger on the touchpad quickly enough, it doesn't treat the finger-lift as the end of the drag-and-drop action.

This has worked for me on other distros. I had NixOS w/Gnome installed on my current machine before installing Ubuntu Gnome on it, and it worked, but I can't figure out how to make it work on Ubuntu.

Is there some hidden setting I need to configure?


Check the output of synclient -l | grep -i drag. You'll see something like this:

LockedDrags             = 0
LockedDragTimeout       = 5000
TapAndDragGesture       = 1

I think LockedDragTimeout is the setting you want. To change it temporarily, run synclient LockedDragTimeout=value. Once you are happy with the value, add the command to startup applications.

  • It turns out my system doesn't have synclient, because gnome is using libinput rather than synaptics. The feature I was looking for is "drag lock", and it's settable via xinput. Now I just need to figure out how to store it's configuration rather than manually setting it each time my graphical shell starts. – ivan Oct 14 '17 at 3:20
  • Even weirder, after finding that my system was using libinput rather than synaptics, I set the appropriate libinput settings and got drag-lock to work, but after a reboot, I find that my system is now using synaptics rather than libinput. I have no idea what's going on :O – ivan Oct 14 '17 at 14:44

To expand on mikewhatever's answer:

synclient TapAndDragGesture=1 LockedDrags=1 LockedDragTimeout=200

should do the trick temporarily. Specifically, you need the LockedDrags=1 option to enable them.

  • TapAndDragGesture=1 ensures that tap-and-drag gestures are enabled (just in case).
  • LockedDrags=1 enables locked drags (locks drag-and-drop until you tap again or a timeout happens).
  • LockedDragTimeout=200 lowers the locked drag timeout from 5000 ms (default) to 200. If left at 5000, drag-and-drop will be locked until you tap on the touchpad (or wait 5 seconds).

For more info, run man synaptics. For a list of available options and their current values, run synclient -l. Once you have figured out your favorite settings, add them to a startup script as mikewhatever suggests.

  1. First of all remove synaptics by the command:

sudo apt install xserver-xorg-input-synaptics

  1. Then do the following :

Go to /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/40-libinput.conf (it is a file edit with text editor in root mode) and paste the following:

Option "TappingDragLock" "1"

at here in the Touchpad Section

Section "InputClass" Identifier "libinput touchpad catchall" MatchIsTouchpad "on" MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*" Driver "libinput" Option "TappingDragLock" "1" EndSection

Thank You

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