The New Lenovo 'ClickPad' and Linux

This is an update to this post.

The Short Story

Drivers for the Lenovo 'ClickPad' have been mainlined, and everything will work out-of-the-box. The 'Clickpad' is still horrible, though.

The Long Story

A while ago, I wrote about the new Lenovo 'ClickPad' design, and how broken it was on Linux. One of the worst aspects of the design is that they got rid of the 'TrackPoint' hardware, the ease-of-use and accuracy of which no other vendor has successfully replicated.

The new 'ClickPad' design still has the red 'nub' mouse, but in order to click, you have to click down the entire 'ClickPad'. There are no longer any hardware buttons other than the entire 'ClickPad'. The left, right, and middle buttons are all virtual.

So, when I first installed Linux on this machine, and the drivers for the 'ClickPad' didn't work, it was sort of a big deal - it meant almost nothing worked. In order to be able to left and right click, I had to hack together some combination of black magic Xorg configuration lines that didn't really make any sense. It was a flashback to the early 2000s and XF86.

At some point in late February or March, Fedora updated the stable kernel and a bunch of Xorg modules. I deleted the /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf black magic incantation and rebooted - and everything 'just worked'.

I still have some complaints with the driver. It can't distinguish between accidentally brushing it with your palm and actual purposeful touches. Since all of the buttons are virtual, this means you also occasionally accidentally click the left, right, or middle mouse buttons. What this combination results in is that occasionally, in the middle of typing, you suddenly move six paragraphs down and paste the entire contents of your paste buffer into a random location. It's really, really obnoxious.

But hey, at least I have a working mouse, now.

P.S. I don't recommend buying anything with the 'ClickPad'.

Ben Hilburn

Ben Hilburn

bits, nibbles, bytes, and words
D.C. Metro Area