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These days many laptop devices come with a touchpad that have sensor next to them. By double clicking these sensor (or single clicking on some of them) the touch pad is disabled until the sensor is double clicked again. However, this happens only in Windows.

Ever since I have switched to Linux (using Arch Linux this time) this shortcut method does not work.

Although I have seen a couple of scripts to disable touchpad and some packages available on the internet, it's good to be able to have it done by an easy method as using the in-built sensor.

Anyone knows how we can do this?

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2 Answers

Have you read this? https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Touchpad_Synaptics

The "sensor" is likely just a button that has been mapped by the driver in Windows to toggle the touchpad. Otherwise it would always function, regardless of OS (Motorola Lapdock's touchpad toggle for instance).

You may be able to map it with xbindkeys or perhaps add it to /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-synaptics.conf, however perhaps you'd be better off with either detecting palm detection when typing or adding a udev rule if you are using a USB mouse.

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I created a solution to disable the touchpad when a mouse is connected, and enable it when the mouse goes away. In summary, I use udev to do this (my distro is Ubuntu, so you might need to tweek it for yours), but I created /etc/udev/rules.d/95-mouse.rules with :

ACTION=="add",KERNEL=="mouse[0-9]",SUBSYSTEM=="input" RUN+="/bin/sh -c '/usr/bin/logger TouchpadOff; export DISPLAY=:0;/usr/bin/synclient TouchPadOff=1'"
ACTION=="remove",KERNEL=="mouse[0-9]",SUBSYSTEM=="input" RUN+="/bin/sh -c '/usr/bin/logger TouchpadOn; export DISPLAY=:0;/usr/bin/synclient TouchPadOff=0'"

I also blogged about it, as there were a few gotchas - you can read them here.

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