Touchpad issues

David Benfell benfell at
Fri Aug 8 03:47:58 UTC 2014

On Thu, Aug 07, 2014 at 12:22:34PM -0400, illoai at wrote:
> I strongly dislike xorg taking over the kernel rôle of
> mediating hardware, so I don't have a HAL-ified xorg,
> & I have
> hw.psm.synaptics_support=1
> in my /boot/loader.conf
> & I use the old, simple "Driver" "mouse" with /dev/sysmouse
> (Options "Protocol" "auto").  Letting moused(8)
> handle the plugging & unplugging of USB mousies
> works fine & everything I need does what I need.
> I'm not saying this is the best way to handle it, but it
> does give edge scrolling & such, & a bunch of tunables
> under hw.psm that I've never fiddled with.  It's a bit
> touchy for my taste, but dropping your wrists while
> typing is a bad habit anyway.
> I also don't know how well moused(8) works with a HAL-
> ified xorg & hot-plugging USB mousies, I don't care to
> test it.
Do you allow hald to run at all? If so, how do you tell it to ignore
the mouse? If not, am I overestimating the difficulty of dealing with
hot-plugged USB devices?

When I am on the road, I will sometimes plug a trackball mouse into
the thing. It's *much* easier to deal with than the touchpad and it's

As for sensitivity, that's my problem. If my wrists are within six
inches of that touchpad, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, it's
liable to move the cursor and sense a click. Text winds up getting
typed in completely the wrong places--which is a real problem when
you're a Ph.D. student writing 20-plus page tomes.

To maybe--only maybe--limit this, I would have to type with my hands
held vertically, which is unlikely to be healthier or preferable
technique to letting your wrists drop. ;-)


David Benfell <benfell at>
See if you don't understand the
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