Custom build of synaptics for Fedora 8 x86_64 on MacBook

Based on the patches found in this post over at Ubuntu forums I have created an updated synaptics touchpad driver RPM package for Fedora 8 x86_64.

As the original author notes, this makes it more enjoyable to use the touchpad while using the MacBook. It does two things:

  1. Adds the option “MultiFingerButton” to synaptics. This allows us to configure the touchpad to right-click and middle-click by placing two or three fingers on the pad and then clicking the button. In my experience this is far more reliable than the “two finger tap” method of right-clicking.
  2. It makes the mouse arrow more stable – I have found this to be a HUGE improvement in usability over the stock synaptics driver. With the original driver, if you put two fingers on the mousepad and release only one, the mouse arrow moves. This is the default behaviour in Linux and Windows, but in MacOSX, the mouse arrow stays put, and in my personal opinion, this is a much better behaviour. This patch makes it behave just like MacOSX. This may not sound much, but you’ll find it makes a huge difference to the stability and usability of the touchpad.

Install the RPM from my Fedora 8 page and add this option to the InputDevice Section in your xorg.conf, just like this:

	Option		"MultiFingerButton"	"1"
	Option		"MultiFingerButton"	"2"

With the value 1, you get middle-clicking if you click the button while resting two fingers on the mousepad, and right-clicking while resting three fingers.

With the value 2, it reverses, and you get right-clicking if you click while resting two fingers on the mousepad, and middle-clicking while resting three fingers. This is the behaviour in MacOSX.

Try it out, and give your opinion. If you don’t like it, you can always revert to the default Fedora package.

2 thoughts on “Custom build of synaptics for Fedora 8 x86_64 on MacBook

  1. Chris Post author

    @Parker

    No, not at all. But there is no need for this custom build on F10 because the F10 synaptics driver already includes the “MultiFingerButton” option but it has been renamed to “ClickFinger”. Unfortunately the stability patch doesn’t seem to have been added – I may contact the developer about this.

    See here for how to activate the ClickFinger options in F10: http://www.cenolan.com/2008/11/installing-fedora-10-macbook/

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