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Just got a Lenovo T440p - love the laptop, hardware's great - and I was all excited to put Mint Linux on it. Install worked fine, zero show-stopper issues, but there's one persistent annoyance with it that drove me back into Win7: I can't right-click or middle-click with the Trackpoint, and the bottom-right right-click zone for the touchpad takes up nearly a quarter of its surface.

Since the new Lenovos have the Synaptics touchpad replacing the old buttons for the Trackpoint (my annoyance with replacing physical buttons with virtual ones is an entirely separate issue), it needs to be told in software to detect the clicks in the right-click and middle-click areas are, in fact, right and middle clicks, and it's simply not reading clicks in those spots as what they're supposed to be.

I'd be pefectly happy doing away with the bottom-right right-click and having slim right/middle-click areas on the top for the Trackpoint, but I can't figure out how to fix it. I'm not familiar enough with Linux to open the guts of the OS myself (this was to be my first pure Linux load I use day-to-day), and I'm just trying to get this so I can live with it. Is there a GUI-based solution for this, like the Thinkpad tab in the Win7 Mouse controls, or are there any already-edited versions I can just copy/paste in?

Thanks for the help!

Edit: Upon fiddling around more with the Win7 Touchpad settings, something similar to what is built in to Win7 would be fine too: single-finger motions on the touchpad no longer moves the cursor (Trackpoint only moves it), right/middle click are restored to the Trackpoint, and two-finger gestures still work on the touchpad for scrolling. Now, I have to mention that I did not consider the "disable Touchpad" option in the Linux control panel before because I assumed that would disable the touchpad entirely and I wouldn't be able to click on anything. If I'm wrong on that, please let me know and I will happily return to Mint and set it up.

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I bit the bullet and did the .conf file fiddling I was trying to avoid doing, and figured out what I needed to do.

In /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/ is 50-synaptics.conf, which is the conf file that controls the touchpad on the T440p (and others). And in there is this section:

Section "InputClass"
    Identifier "Default clickpad buttons"
    MatchDriver "synaptics"
    Option "SoftButtonAreas" "50% 0 82% 0 0 0 0 0"

That is the default settings for the areas on the touchpad that correspond to the right-click button on the touchpad. After much, much fiddling to get the redefined areas correct, this is what should be copy-pasted in to change the right-click area to be a thin strip on the upper-right area of the touchpad:

Section "InputClass"
    Identifier "Default clickpad buttons"
    MatchDriver "synaptics"
    Option "SoftButtonAreas" "50% 0 0 45% 0 0 0 0"

That is as far as I am capable of taking it at this time, but that gets done most of what I wanted. I'm just reposting it here in case anyone else ever needs to see how to remap the zones on the Synaptics touchpad.

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This script, https://gist.github.com/tfg13/7628614, will configure the touchpad to behave as requested. The top part of the pad will not react to movements anymore but only detect which mouse button gets signalled when pressing the pad.

  • 1
    Usually it is required to give an explanation in answers rather than just posting link. – Sekhemty Dec 17 '13 at 15:14

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