Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fix for 'Ubuntu Lucid Touchpad not working'

Ubuntu 10.04 is intended as a Long Term Support (LTS) release, but surely it's not less of bugs. Touchpad stopped working when disable button is pressed, is surely one major bug of Lucid by usability wise. My friend Subash and I both faced this problem when we install Lucid. We both have HP Pavillion Series Laptops. In theory, this should work on any laptop/touchpad. Based on user comments, this fix was successful in both Acer and Lenovo, (and of course HP). Does this applies to later versions of Ubuntu as well? Just let me know. I'm using Gentoo Linux now for a change!

There's a fix for Ubuntu 11.04, 11.10 (Unity) as well. Read to the end. 

The Synaptic Touchpad driver of touch-pad is installed, and it's Recognized. The problem is sometimes it gets disabled for no reason. Subash's Touchpad didn't work just after the fresh install, forcing him to reinstall again, as the reason was unclear at the moment. Later we found the problem and the fix.

What we have to do is enable the touchpad by setting the touchpad_enabled property to true. Here's the command to do it in one step.
gconftool --type Boolean --set /desktop/gnome/peripherals/touchpad/touchpad_enabled true
This changes the touchpad_enabled property to true in ~/.gconf/desktop/gnome/peripherals/touchpad/%gconf.xml file. This will fix the issue.

Alternative to above, you may edit the file manually and restart gnome. Change the touchpad_enabled property to true (see screenshot), and enter following command in terminal:
killall gnome-session

As I've said, this has fixed the issue in my laptop, HP DV-5, Synaptic Touchpad, Ubuntu 10.04. Share the model of your laptop as well if this fix worked for you too.

The above solution is for GNOME, and probably won't work on Unity Desktop Environment (ie. Ubuntu 11.04, 11.10). For that, try the following.

  • unity --replace
Wait for few minutes until it loads all back in to place. If this didn't work, try the following command. My issue was solved by the following command on Ubuntu 11.10. But I tried the above one first.

  • sudo modprobe -r psmouse && sudo modprobe psmouse

Does this fix work for you? I haven't extensively checked this. So, value your feedback.

UPDATE 1: After the touchpad issue, it's quite difficult to navigate. So, I created a simple script for it. Save it to your home(~/)  folder. Then, you can run it by following command from terminal.
sh ~/

(You can get the terminal by pressing ALT+F2. Type "gnome-terminal" without quotes and press Enter. Or just press Ctrl + Alt + T)

UPDATE 2: Sometimes, when touchpad disable button is pressed, Keyboard starts to not work. But, still (fortunately) some key combinations works. The reason for keyboard not functioning is unknown for me, but there's a workaround for this problem. The work around which fixed this keyboard issue is the following.

That is, go to console tty1 and come back! Strange, but it does work.
  • Press CTRL+ALT+F1  (This will bring you out of X Window for a moment)
  • Then, CTRL+ALT+F7  (This brings back the X )


  1. yes, i also have the same problem. once i disable the touchpad, i can't re-enable. :'(

  2. @ශාකුන්තල Yes. that too an issue. Does entering the above code fixes the issue of yours?
    Some times I copy and paste the above command to the terminal using keyboard shortcuts and it works! :-)

  3. surely i'll try when i face the problem.
    don't do spiderman stuff with keyboard. just prepare a one-line bash script and call it using Alt+F2

  4. yeah ,dat was a problem i also faced.As I felt that i was not properly installed ubuntu and reinstalled it.
    After re installation I was OK.

    And another prob occured was the connectivity of 1550 mobile BB.Today I was able to fixed it.I post d sol here

  5. @subash Okay. thanx for the comment!

  6. Kasun that fix worked like a charm! Thank you all the way from Seattle, Washington USA!

  7. Your fix worked on my Acer 5739g running Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat.


  8. Thanks, for "" !!!! :)

  9. its fix my Lenovo r400. thank you

  10. Hi my name is mohandass. i have installed ubuntu 11 in my laptop(Lenovo-r500) . In that mousepad is not working some times it's working. so what can i do for fix this mousepad problem ????
    I had tried your code but it doesn't work .....!

  11. using Ubuntu Maverick on Lenovo R500 it worked

  12. THANK YOU!!! At least I have a external mouse to work in the meanwhile.

  13. Ubuntu 12.10 on HP dv7 -6c23cl
    This worked for me! Thank you!