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How To Disable Touchpad via Command Line in Ubuntu

Ubuntu 17

In this article, we will delve into the process of disabling your touchpad via the command line in Ubuntu. This can be particularly useful if you are looking to automate this process or if you simply prefer using the command line over a graphical interface.

Quick Answer

To disable the touchpad via the command line in Ubuntu, you can use either the synclient or xinput commands. For synclient, run synclient TouchpadOff=1 to disable the touchpad and synclient TouchpadOff=0 to enable it again. For xinput, use xinput set-prop <id> "Device Enabled" 0 to disable the touchpad and xinput set-prop <id> "Device Enabled" 1 to enable it. Alternatively, if you are using the Gnome or Unity environments, you can use dconf-editor to disable the touchpad.

Using synclient

synclient is a command-line utility that allows you to modify and view Synaptics driver options.

To disable the touchpad using synclient, you would run the following command:

synclient TouchpadOff=1

In this command, TouchpadOff=1 is the parameter that instructs the system to turn off the touchpad. If you want to enable the touchpad again, you would use:

synclient TouchpadOff=0

Please note that synclient may not work on all systems or configurations.

Using xinput

xinput is a utility to configure and test X input devices. This method is more versatile and should work on most systems.

First, you need to list your input devices by running the following command:

xinput list

This will display a list of all your input devices. Identify the ID of your touchpad in this list.

Next, to disable the touchpad, run:

xinput set-prop <id> "Device Enabled" 0

In this command, <id> is the ID of your touchpad, and "Device Enabled" 0 is the parameter that disables the touchpad.

To enable the touchpad again, use:

xinput set-prop <id> "Device Enabled" 1

Disabling Touchpad in Gnome or Unity

If you are using the Gnome or Unity environments, you can disable the touchpad using the dconf-editor.

First, you need to install dconf-editor if it is not already installed. You can do this by running:

apt-get install dconf-editor

Next, run dconf-editor and navigate to /org/gnome/settings-daemon/plugins/mouse/ or /org/cinnamon/settings-daemon/plugins/mouse/.

Here, unclick the checkbox for active to disable the touchpad.

You will need to logout or reboot for the changes to take effect.

Using a Python Script

If you want to automate the process or create a shortcut, you can use a Python script to toggle the touchpad enable/disable using xinput.

Remember that the effectiveness of these methods may vary depending on your system and configuration. It’s recommended to try different solutions to find the one that works best for you.

By following these steps, you should be able to disable the touchpad on your Ubuntu system via the command line. Happy coding!

Can I re-enable the touchpad after disabling it via the command line?

Yes, you can re-enable the touchpad by running the appropriate command in the terminal. For synclient, you would use synclient TouchpadOff=0. For xinput, you would use xinput set-prop <id> "Device Enabled" 1. In Gnome or Unity environments, you can re-enable it by checking the checkbox for active in the dconf-editor.

Will disabling the touchpad via the command line persist after rebooting?

No, disabling the touchpad via the command line is not permanent and will revert to its default state after rebooting. If you want to disable the touchpad permanently, you may need to modify system settings or use additional methods specific to your system.

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