Fixing ThinkPad touchpad speed on Linux

Fixing ThinkPad touchpad speed on Linux

Recently, I have installed Linux on my ThinkPad X250 laptop. Everything functions as expected except touchpad. It is working but it is not smooth. There is a bad speed problem with it. Whenever I touch it the mouse cursor moves away quickly. This makes controlling the cursor fairly difficult. That is not the only issue. Two-finger scrolling and two-finger tap, to register a right-click, is not working either. The good news is I have found a fairly simple for it. In this article, I go through fixing ThinkPad touchpad speed on Linux.

The issue culprit is because by default libinput handles the touchpad. It is a newer library built for Wayland but it has some issues, especially with ThinkPad touchpad. On the other hand, xserver-xorg-input-synaptics package works alright. The only downside is the library is in the maintenance mode and doesn’t get much attention.

Since the input-synaptics is in fading out slowly, they are not installed by default in most of the distros. Without that the speed and control of the touchpad are crazy. This alone could disappoint many Linux enthusiasts and new users who want to use Linux. Of course, always there is an option to use the pointing stick. But that’s not everybody’s favor. Surprisingly, this problem exists in known and beginner-friendly distros like Ubuntu Mate, and Linux Mint.

Fixing ThinkPad touchpad speed on Linux
Touchpad matters

Enough of ranting, let’s get down to the solution.

For Debian/Ubuntu-based distros, you can install input-synaptics package with the below command,

$ sudo apt install xserver-xorg-input-synaptics

For the Arch base distro, the package name is different. It is called xf86-input-synaptics. To install it, use pacman command as follows,

$ sudo pacman -S xf86-input-synaptics

After that just reboot the system and you should have a working touchpad as smooth as the one on Windows.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to remove libinput. Still, it can be used to handle your keyboard happily.


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