Monday, April 9, 2018

GNOME 3.28 uses clickfinger behaviour by default on touchpads

To reduce the number of bugs filed against libinput consider this a PSA: as of GNOME 3.28, the default click method on touchpads is the 'clickfinger' method (see the libinput documentation, it even has pictures). In short, rather than having a separate left/right button area on the bottom edge of the touchpad, right or middle clicks are now triggered by clicking with 2 or 3 fingers on the touchpad. This is the method macOS has been using for a decade or so.

Prior to 3.28, GNOME used the libinput defaults which vary depending on the hardware (e.g. mac touchpads default to clickfinger, most other touchpads usually button areas). So if you notice that the right button area disappeared after the 3.28 update, either start using clickfinger or reset using the gnome-tweak-tool. There are gsettings commands that achieve the same thing if gnome-tweak-tool is not an option:

$ gsettings range org.gnome.desktop.peripherals.touchpad click-method             
$ gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.peripherals.touchpad click-method
$ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.peripherals.touchpad click-method 'areas'

For reference, the upstream commit is in gsettings-desktop-schemas.

Note that this only affects so-called ClickPads, touchpads where the entire touchpad is a button. Touchpads with separate physical buttons in front of the touchpad are not affected by any of this.


Sean White said...

I've got a problem where my touchpad with physical buttons has been affected by this, and setting it to none doesn't remove the action. Is there anyway I can debug this before submitting a bug report to you guys.

djb said...

and what about "default"? that is, after all, what the linked patch shows used to be the default. so that's what you should try changing back to. not "none"

Peter Hutterer said...

Sean: that shouldn't happen, please file a bug against libinput for this

djb: changing it back to default means you leave it up to libinput to decide. but if you know what you want, you might as well set it to the intended behaviour.

Unknown said...
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Hi-Angel said...
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ザイツェヴ said...

I was unhappy for a long time that clicking with the thumb caused a painful RSI to me. And now, no more of that! Except... I quickly found that 1) index finger is not strong enough to push the button reliably, 2) when it does, I must drag while pressing in every menu or selection, which is not particularly easy (before, the thumb did the pressing while index finger did the pointing and slid easily across even when selecting). The current compromise that allows the click is great and all, but the pointer jumps at the down event. I ended buying a mouse for the laptop.