I have an usb radio mouse, so I would like to disable the trackpad to while i have the mouse plugged in. Is there a nice and easy way to do this ?


If you have a Synaptics touchpad (very common in laptops), you can disable the trackpad using the synclient command. See http://embraceubuntu.com/2006/03/24/disable-synaptics-touchpad/ for a thorough explanation.

You could either bind that command to a key, or have it executed automatically when the USB mouse is (un)plugged by putting an appropriate script into udev. The latter might be a bit tricky though.

If you are just annoyed that you brush the touchpad while typing, there's a daemon to disable the touchpad while typing: http://embraceubuntu.com/2006/09/20/disable-touchpad-temporarily-when-typing/


Even though this question already has an accepted answer I would like to add one more. The reason is that many laptops have a hardware switch (possibly reached with the Fn modifier key) that allows you toggling the touchpad on/off. So, instead of spending a lot of time on finding a way to disable/enable the touchpad through configuration, the solution might be as simple as pressing a button.

  • On Thinkpad it's Fn-F8. – Adrian May 11 '11 at 22:25

Completely disabling Touchpad Some systems don't have the option to permanently disable the touchpad via BIOS or it's located in an external keyboard. To fully disable you can do the following:

Determine the device id (the device name should be something with touchpad or glidepoint)

xinput list

Disable it (e.g. here the device id is 15)

xinput set-prop 15 "Device Enabled" 0

You may run the command during session startup

Original link: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SynapticsTouchpad


You can use xinput package for Python.

It's a very tiny code which allows you to disable/enable the touchpad from terminal.


Simply follow the Instructions below:


$ pip install xinput

Disable touchpad:

$ disable-touchpad

Enable touchpad:

$ enable-touchpad

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