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Add keyboard shortcut for disabling trackpad in Lubuntu

I've sold Dell XPS 13 because of a keyboard, I'm back to Dell Inspiron 11 3000. I bought this marchine 8 months ago, Windows 10 was a bit heavy on this laptop. So I replaced OS as Lubuntu. The laptop is low spec but it's not bad for the normal terminal work.

Only thing I hate is that this laptop doesn't have a palm rejection. The touch pad is almost unusable, I think they forgot someone actually can use it as a pointing device. So I instantly searched how to disable the touchpad when I want. I found this solution.

I can see the device on xinput, but I cannot temporary disabled the touch pad using this script. It turns out, the other weird looking name one is actual touch pad. It shows up DLL0725:01 06CB:7D47 for me.

Also, xinput disable <id> makes something weird. When I use this shell script, the cursor is disappeared. So I changed the script like below:

#!/bin/bash
# toggle state of synaptics touchpad

# changed SynPS to DLL because of the name
tpid=`xinput list | grep DLL | sed 's/.*id\=\([0-9]\+\).*/\1/g'`

# find out Device Enabled prop from the device
prop=`xinput list-props ${tpid} | grep Device\ Enabled`
propid=`echo ${prop} | sed -e "s/.*(\([0-9]\+\).*/\1/g"`
status=`echo ${prop} | sed -e "s/.*\:[ \t]\+//g"`


if [ 0 -eq ${status} ] ; then
    xinput set-prop ${tpid} ${propid} 1
else
    xinput set-prop ${tpid} ${propid} 0
fi

I saved this file as toggle-touchpad.sh at user directory and changed the file permission. I'm not sure the script is good enough so if you think this script can be upgraded, please leave a PR to the article.

chmod +x toggle-touchpad.sh

My first thought is that this shell file should excute when Vim change to Insert mode. So I added autocmd config into the vim config file.

autocmd InsertEnter * silent! execute "!~/toggle-touchpad.sh > /dev/null 2>&1" | redraw!
autocmd InsertLeave * silent! execute "!~/toggle-touchpad.sh > /dev/null 2>&1" | redraw!

This event triggered when Vim change to Insert mode. I realised that the insert mode is the good solution because I couldn't use my mouse when I did Alt-Tab action during the edit. Therefore, I added another hotkey for this script. I updated this code into openbox_config > Keyboard in ~/.config/openbox/lubuntu-rc.xml file. You can change if you want to use other keybind.

<keybind key="W-l">
    <action name="Execute">
        <command>~/toggle-touchpad.sh</command>
    </action>
</keybind>

Then refresh Openbox for the updating.

openbox --reconfigure

Now, Win+L will be the key just like a touchpad on/off switch.

This is not a good solution. There are so many options for this type of configuration, You can achieve same thing in other ways.

Posted by
Edward Kim
I'm a full stack software developer. I love to help capturing small idea and make big.
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