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"X" and touchpad settings

Posted on 2004-08-15
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
Hello.

I have a laptop that has been sitting around for a while with no O/S on it - a Dell Inspiron 3700. I installed RH8 on it and that was quite OK. I then proceeded to make a RH9 install, from scratch and now I have this killer problem:

The machine has an ALPS toucpad/pointer stick unit, and in RH8 you could disable the "tap = click" feature using a small program called "tpconfig" that was run during startup. So in all GUI's I tried, I had this feature disabled and that's the way I prefer it.

In RH9, however, this does NOT work. The "tpconfig" does its job; I can check from the console ( I startup in runlevel 3) and the tapping is DISABLED. Once I start a window manager however, the setting reverts to "ENABLED" and the tap=click horror is upon me again. I tried, GNOME, KDE, TWM, WindowMaker and Fluxbox - all the same. I dont have to use the touchpad or anyting, it is enough to do "startx" and then bail out of the X server and tapping becomes enabled.

To me it seems this has something to do with how X starts up, the part that is common for all desktops. I can't find it, though....

This is not "urgent", it's not like it is a production machine, but it is quite beyond my scope here. I regard it as "tricky"... but I'll wait patiently for suggestions and try them out as they appear.

Cheers
/RID
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Question by:rid
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by:pjedmond
pjedmond earned 200 total points
ID: 11805371
There's a file called xinitrc that is called by startx before the windows managers take over.

/etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc

Stick the script in here, and it should solve your problem:)
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by:rid
ID: 11805397
OK, I will certainly look into this. It feels a bit odd, though, as the script is already run during the early stages of boot-up, and it does its task in that it does disable the tapping feature (you can call the program and have it display thouchpad settings). Somehow, the X startup very annoyingly seems to undo this setting. And, it is not so in RH8....

Thanks for the suggestion. It will be a couple of days until I can try it out, hope you don't mind that.
/RID
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Accepted Solution

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Gns earned 300 total points
ID: 11807784
Hi Rid,

Likely the mouse driver for RH9s X suddenly natively support setting this, and "someone" thought it best to have this pad bahave "like everiy other pad". Sigh.

Do you have
Option "Protocol" "GlidePointPS/2"
in /etc/X11/XF86Config? You might consider making it a tad ... dumb ... by using plain "PS/2" instead.
According to the README.mouse, the tap action might be done through a mapping of button 4 to button 1... So reversing that might also be a useable venue.
Then again, pjedmonds tip should work OK too.

-- Glenn
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by:rid
ID: 11818893
Thanks for the comments so far. I haven't been able to try anything yet, but i sure will as soon as possible (waiting for a new, clean HD so I won't have to mess up the present working system on my laptop).

One thing to consider is this:
The tpconfig utility seems to be talking to the touchpad and setting the tap function to "Off", in the hardware, by sending some instructions. Resetting this mode to "On" suggests that some other instructions are sent, by another script, or that the unit is reset/reinitialized. I'll certainly look into suggestions and report.
/RID
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by:rid
ID: 11862859
Hello people.

I've tried bot the suggestions and, unfortunately, I don't get the result I desire.

The tpconfig utility is perhaps at fault here, but since it works OK in RH8, I kinda supposed it would work in RH9 as well.

If I understood the behind-the-scene workings correctly, the "tap" gesture will make the hardware generate a signal that is identical to the signal coming from the left button. This is the hardware default setting. Altering the HW settings, by sending the proper instructions to the touchpad, is possible and one specific command will disable the "tap=click" thing. This is what tpconfig does. The command is ususally located in rc.local and the console mouse service must not be loaded/running at the time.

The setup does work as long as I don't start X. That is, I can probe the touchpad and get a verification on taps being disabled. I can manually turn the feature On then Off again and the verification probe will report correctly each mode. When X is started the tap=click thing gets enabled again every time and a s far as I can understand, this can only be done through some kind of enabling instructions being sent to the touchpad (seems improbable) or a "reset", or reinitialization of the device happening during the X startup. It is also not coupled to a particular desktop or window manager (it's the same in GNOME, KDE, WindowMaker and TWM).

If you two don't mind too much I'll leave this Q sitting for some time in the hope you (or someone else) get a bright idea about it.

Cheers

/RID
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Expert Comment

by:Gns
ID: 11868518
> this can only be done through some kind of enabling instructions being sent to the touchpad (seems improbable) or a
> "reset"
Very likely a HW reset, as part of the driver "startup",  yes.
Is it possible to run the tool _after_ X startup?

-- Glenn
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by:rid
ID: 11869421
No, unfortunately not. This may have something to do with the design of tpconfig: the program can't talk to the touchpad if a driver is active.

So I guess it boils down to finding out where the HW reset is introduced... Ah well... RH8 is quite OK.

Cheers
/RID
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Expert Comment

by:Gns
ID: 11870115
You havn't thought about "going fedora" yet? Since the RH line is... dead... Or perhaps WBL/RHES?
Fedora core 2 uses Xorg.org instead of XFree86, which might (or might not:-) make a difference.

-- Glenn
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by:rid
ID: 12720337
Thank you for your participation. I'm practicing very soft finger movements on the touchpad at the moment....
Cheers
/RID
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