Disabling The Touchpad On The Acer 5920

Disabling The Touchpad On The Acer 5920

Follow this at your own risk. It's pretty involved and you could screw up your X installation to the point that your xwindows won't start.

This tutorial was written for Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy.

The Acer 5920 has a beautiful big touchpad. Big enough that your hands will hit it while typing. The typical tutorial in Ubuntu of how to fix that doesn't work because the Acer 5920 actually contains TWO touchpad devices - the media buttons on the right side are also a touchpad, and they report as the default touchpad.

So, here's a tutorial I've patched together from various sources that will help you do two things. One, it will let you configure the media keys. Two, it will let you set things up so that when typing the touchpad tapping is disabled for two seconds (while still allowing the buttons and movement.)

First, install the following:

sudo apt-get install xbindkeys

Then, backup your xorg.conf file:

sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.original

Now we need to make some changes to your X configuration:

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Within this file, we need to do a couple of things. We want to replace the default touchpad and mouse setup. Comment out your original "Synaptics Touchpad" input device section like so:

#Section "InputDevice"
#       Identifier      "Synaptics Touchpad"
#       Driver          "synaptics"
#       Option          "SendCoreEvents"        "true"
#       Option          "Device"        "/dev/psaux"
#       Option          "Protocol"      "auto-dev"
#       Option          "HorizEdgeScroll"       "0"

Now, we want to change the "Configured Mouse" section to the following so that if you plug a USB mouse in later it will still work:

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Configured Mouse"
        Driver          "mouse"
#       Option          "CorePointer"
        Option          "SendCoreEvents" "true"

Above the mouse input device section, add the following:

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "TouchPad"
        Driver          "synaptics"
        Option          "CorePointer"
        Option          "Protocol" "event"
        Option          "Device" "/dev/input/eventtouchpad"
        Option          "SHMConfig" "true"

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "AcerMediaKeys"
        Driver          "evdev"
        Option          "Device" "/dev/input/eventkeys"
        Option          "SendCoreEvents" "true"

And last in this file, we need to configure X to know what pointer devices to look for. Near the bottom of the file change the ServerLayout section to read:

Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier      "Default Layout"
        screen "Default Screen"
#       Inputdevice     "Synaptics Touchpad"
        InputDevice     "TouchPad"
        InputDevice     "AcerMediaKeys"
        InputDevice     "Configured Mouse"

Save and exit this. Next we need to configure the pointer hardware. Do the following:

sudo gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/10-acersynaptics.rules

Add the following text into this file:

SUBSYSTEMS=="input", ATTRS{phys}=="isa0060/serio4/input0", KERNEL=="event*", NAME="input/eventtouchpad"
SUBSYSTEMS=="input", ATTRS{phys}=="isa0060/serio3/input0", KERNEL=="event*", NAME="input/eventkeys"

Now, configure a couple of startup apps to run when you log in. From the menu pick "System" "Preferences" "Sessions".

Add two entries, one you can call XBindKeys with a command of:


And another you can call "Disable Touchpad" with:

syndaemon -t -d

Lastly, we configure XBindKeys to control exaile media player (hey, this is GTK right?) by running this:

gedit ~/.xbindkeysrc

Insert the following text into that file:

"exaile -t"

"exaile -s"

"exaile -r"

"exaile -f"

If you prefer Amarok, you can replace "exaile" in each line with "amarok" and it will do the same thing.

Reboot and voila! You not only have media keys, but your touchpad will stop interfering with typing!

Posted by Tony on Aug 29, 2008 |