Support for modern touchpads in Linux has been steadily improving in the last few years, but the default settings are still tailored towards yesteryears awkward touchpads rather the glass beauties you find in a macbook or high end dell. In a previous post I explained how you can enable multitouch gestures. This post explains how you can disable the right click zone, and just rely on a two finger click for the “right click” menu.

The right click zone is configured in the Synaptics driver. You can disable it using the synclient utility on a per session basis, or by tweaking xorg.conf if you want to save the settings.

Disable for current session

Using synclient, you can disable the right click zone in the current session by running the following commands:

synclient RightButtonAreaLeft=0
synclient RightButtonAreaTop=0

You can run synclient -l to see if the settings have been properly applied.

Disable for all sessions

To disable the right click zone permanently follow these steps:

  1. Move the Synaptics configuration to a new file to prevent a package update from overwriting your changes

    mv /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics    /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/40-synaptics
  2. Comment out the Default clickpad buttons block in /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/40-synaptics to disable the right click zone:

    # Section "InputClass"
    #        Identifier "Default clickpad buttons"
    #        MatchDriver "synaptics"
    #        Option "SoftButtonAreas" "50% 0 82% 0 0 0 0 0"
    #        Option "SecondarySoftButtonAreas" "58% 0 0 15% 42% 58% 0 15%"
    # EndSection

    Alternatively, if you don’t have the default ubuntu config, you can add the following block to the file:

    Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "Default clickpad buttons"
        MatchDriver "synaptics"
        Option "RightButtonAreaLeft" "0"
        Option "RightButtonAreaTop" "0"

Further Reading

Wouter Dullaert

Code, running, jazz and beats.