Adjusting mouse and touchpad speed in xorg.conf

My Dell XPS M1210 had received an install of Ubuntu *the* day it arrived. But the mouse and touchpad always accelerated at different speeds. The problem is that when I go to Mouse Preferences, I can only adjust cursor speed, not the speed of individual movement sources. After a lot of searching here are the samples from my xorg.conf file.

I only use two devices for cursor movement. The trackpad, and a Logitech bluetooth mouse. After booting with an Ubuntu live cd, the trackpad moves at a medium-quick pace, and once I connect to the mouse, the mouse moves at a very-fast pace.


My xorg.conf file has been sum what adjusted from default, but my server layout here has two pointing devices,  Mouse0 as CorePointer and Synaptics Touchpad.

Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier     "Default Layout"
    Screen         "Default Screen" 0 0
    InputDevice    "Generic Keyboard" "CoreKeyboard"
    InputDevice    "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
    InputDevice    "Synaptics Touchpad"

Section "InputDevice"
    # generated from default
    Identifier     "Mouse0"
    Driver         "mouse"
    Option         "Protocol" "auto"
    Option         "Device" "/dev/psaux"
    Option         "Emulate3Buttons" "no"
    Option         "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
    Option         "Sensitivity" "0.3"

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier     "Synaptics Touchpad"
    Driver         "synaptics"
    Option         "SendCoreEvents" "true"
    Option         "Device" "/dev/psaux"
    Option         "Protocol" "auto-dev"
    Option         "HorizEdgeScroll" "0"
    Option         "SHMConfig" "On"
    Option         "MaxSpeed" "0.15"

I cannot remember for sure which how much of the xorg.conf file I have changed in total, but the two lines in bold are the ones controlling device speed.

Synaptics Touchpad Speed

For the synaptics device there are three main lines to control pointer speed.

Option "MinSpeed" "<float>"
Option "MaxSpeed" "<float>"
Option "AccelFactor" "<float>"

The command to find your current touchpad settings is (in bold):

~/ synclient -l | grep -E '( MinSpeed| MaxSpeed| AccelFactor)'
    MinSpeed                = 0.0822368
    MaxSpeed                = 0.15
    AccelFactor             = 0.00164474

There you can see the MaxSpeed that I have changed.

You can also test touchpad speed adjustments without having to restart X by using synclient [var1=value1 [var2=value2] …]. Eg:

~/ synclient MaxSpeed=0.15

If you are following this example, also add the SHMConfig line if it is not yet present, as it adds the ‘Touchpad’ tab to the mouse preferences screen that allows you to set the touchpad to turn off while typing.

Mouse Speed

I cannot remember what the speed is relative to for the mouse section, but some quick tweeking and playing should see you straight. You will need to restart X each time you adjust the setting for it to take effect.

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One Comment

  1. August 12, 2011 5:13 pm

    Having to restart X between tweaks isn’t true. If you use the xset utility you can temporarily set the setting until you find the value you’re looking for, e.g.

    xset mouse …