Activating Touchpad in Xfce (Debian Wheezy)

Xfce is a lightweight display manager available in debian wheezy out of the box. It looks like a perfect alternative to a default Gnome3 to run on old hardware. Also in Gnome3 (as well as in Ubuntu 12.04/12.10), I could not find an easy way to prevent the notebook from sleeping when I close the lid (Power settings apply only to the  user settings, but not globally). Xfce does not have this problem, and my notebook can continue running with the lid closed.

The only annoying problem is that the touchpad is not activated by default. Also the Xfce mouse settings do not cover touchpad behavior. But the problem is actually solved  quite easily. Under root, create a file “/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/70-synaptics_custom.conf”, with the following content:

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "touchpad catchall"
        Driver "synaptics"
        MatchIsTouchpad "on"
        MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
        Option "TapButton1" "1"
        Option "VertEdgeScroll" "1"
        Option "HorizEdgeScroll" "1"

Reboot the PC, and voila, tapping and scrolling works everywhere.


  1. #1 by domi on January 27, 2013 - 6:58 pm

    Thanks for the advice!

  2. #2 by Josep Lladonosa on March 27, 2013 - 8:45 am


    Thanks fotr the information. I knew about that but had to do a “fast search” in order to setup a fresh install. I would like to comment out that a Debian 6.0 installation with XFCE it already created a file for Touchpad:


    with the next content:

    Section “InputClass”
    Identifier “touchpad catchall”
    Driver “synaptics”
    MatchIsTouchpad “on”

    so I only had to add in the section the last four lines you explained.


    • #3 by txlab on March 27, 2013 - 9:18 am

      that’s right, and instead of modifying the file that came with the distribution, I prefer to have a separate file with my customizations 🙂

  3. #4 by raejj on January 12, 2014 - 8:41 pm

    like Joseph
    Working perfectly
    Thanks mate

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: