disable the kogan agora’s touchpad whilst typing

I have noticed that I often brush the touchpad of my agora whilst typing, and this often moves the cursor to another line in the text I am typing, or changes focus to a different window. It can be very frustrating!

Neerav Bhatt also mentioned that he was having this problem, and I flashed back to all my google searching when I was trying to enable the touchpad in Ubuntu Netbook Remix. I came across some information on how to disable the touchpad, which was completely the opposite to what I was trying to achieve. Flash forward to today, and it now seems pretty useful!

I have dug up that information, and now I have my touchpad disabled whilst I type. When I stop typing, 1 second after the last key press, the touchpad is re-enabled.

To achieve this I used a program called ‘syndaemon’ which is, according to it’s manual page, “a program that monitors keyboard activity and disables the touchpad when the keyboard is being used”.

You will need to enable SHMConfig for syndaemon to work though. I have documented how to do this in an earlier post describing how to install and use gsynaptics.

To enable syndaemon, in a terminal enter:

syndaemon -i 1 -k -d

The -i 1 argument tells syndaemon to wait 1 second to re-enable the touchpad after typing (you can adjust this if you need more time). The -k will mean syndaemon does not disable the touchpad if modifier keys are being pressed, eg ctrl. Finally, -d will make syndaemon run in daemon mode – in the background.


Your touchpad should now be disabled as you type. This command will need to be issued whenever your operating system restarts, so to save yourself the hassle, in Ubuntu you can add it to your Startup Applications. From the Preferences menu, click Startup Applications, and then click “Add”. Enter “Disable touchpad while typing” for the name, the syndaemon command from above for the command, and click “Add”. Now you can click “Close” and you are done. Enjoy!

References: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=271052



This entry was posted in agora, agora pro, touchpad, ubuntu by kayno. Bookmark the permalink.

11 thoughts on “disable the kogan agora’s touchpad whilst typing

  1. Good to see you offering so much help to ppl using Linux on the Kogan netbook

    wish I could find a similar app to disable the touchpad on WinXP while im typing :(

  2. I think my xorg.config file has gone haywire. When I try to open the touchpad I receive the error:

    GSynaptics couldn’t initialize.
    You have to set ‘SHMConfig’ ‘true’ in xorg.conf or XF86Config to use GSynaptics

    Can I ask someone with UNR installed for a copy of their xorg file? My xorg.config file is:

    “# xorg.conf (X.Org X Window System server configuration file)
    # This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
    # values from the debconf database.
    # Edit this file with caution, and see the xorg.conf manual page.
    # (Type “man xorg.conf” at the shell prompt.)
    # This file is automatically updated on xserver-xorg package upgrades *only*
    # if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xorg
    # package.
    # Note that some configuration settings that could be done previously
    # in this file, now are automatically configured by the server and settings
    # here are ignored.
    # If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
    # again, run the following command:
    # sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

    Section “Device”
    Identifier “Configured Video Device”

    Section “Monitor”
    Identifier “Configured Monitor”

    Section “Screen”
    Identifier “Default Screen”
    Monitor “Configured Monitor”
    Device “Configured Video Device”

  3. Hi Travis

    My xorg.conf reads like a minimalist’s living room:

    Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Configured Screen Device"
    Device "Configured Video Device"
    SubSection "Display"
    Virtual 2048 768

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "Configured Video Device"

    I have not made any changes to it, and I believe it was empty until i recently connected an external monitor to my agora. I also can confirm that with this xorg.conf, SHMConfig is enabled for me:

    $ cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log |grep SHMConfig
    (**) Option "SHMConfig" "True"

    My /etc/hal/fdi/policy/shmconfig.fdi looks like:

    edit: the code does not display in comments – see this for details: http://agoranetbook.kayno.net/2009/04/26/installing-gsynaptics-a-graphical-interface-to-control-the-touchpad/

    If you do not have this in /etc/hal/fdi/policy/shmconfig.fdi, then add it and reboot!

    I hope this is helping :)

  4. Hi Kayno -

    It’s all a mystery as my shmconfig.fdi is, I believe, correct:


    I followed your terminal instructions, copied the above in the fdi file and saved it then restarted (as I have a number of times).

    The strange thing is the touchpad is actually fine (that is, the cursor doesn’t jump about when I type), it’s just when I try to open the TouchPad option in Preferences, I get the error previously mentioned.

    You mentioned that your xorg.conf file has the shmconfig set to true. Mine of course, doesn’t. What would happen if I copied and pasted the same code as what you have? Probaby suicide I suppose…

    Appreciate your help Kayno.

  5. Hi Travis

    Sorry for the confusion . I haven’t enabled SHMConfig command in my xorg,conf, what I meant was that it works without – the shmconfig.fdi enables it.

    Whilst you can add it to your xorg.conf, you will need to add device and server layout sections and other stuff too, and all this isn’t really required – I don’t have it and SHMConfig is enabled.

    Can I get you to try something else? In Preferences, Startup applications, do you have a program called “Touchpad”. Is it enabled (ticked)?

    If not can you add a new program, the name is “Touchpad” and the command is “gsynaptics-init –sm-disable”. Don’t worry about a comment. Reboot and see if that helps.

    Also, can you execute the following command: “ls -la /etc/hal/fdi/policy/shmconfig.fdi”. You should see something similar to:

    $ ls -la /etc/hal/fdi/policy/shmconfig.fdi
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 244 2009-04-26 19:58 /etc/hal/fdi/policy/shmconfig.fdi

    If the “-rw-r–r–” or “root root” part is different, let me know.

    I will continue to investigate while you try that.

  6. Hi Kayno -

    Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

    Yes, Touchpad is enabled (ticked) in Start-up applications.

    When I execute ls -la /etc/hal/fdi/policy/shmconfig.fdi the first part is “-rw-r–r–” so looks the same as yours (assuming the two hashes are joined).

    Again, appreciate your help on this.

  7. Pingback: “You have to set ‘SHMConfig’ ‘true’…” - even though you have created shmconfig.fdi « kogan agora netbook

  8. Does the Agora have multitouch on the trackpad? I am addicted to two finger scrolling on my current laptop and I’m not sure I can live without it.

  9. Pingback: multitouch on the kogan agora netbook « kogan agora netbook

  10. Wonderful tip.. thanks..

    this was getting quite annoying for me and I was trying to cookup various solutions..

    this one is perfect and elegant…

    thanks again…

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