That week went quickly! Must be the sunshine currently covering the UK, which meant I nearly forgot about my promise for a multi-touch trackpad on the Samsung NC10, enabling two-finger scrolling. This is also late, as I should have posted this yesterday. But we ended up having a lovely team lunch in Bath followed by a busy couple of hours late yesterday afternoon. Sorry about that.
Back to the problem at hand though. Just like the screens I wrote about last week, there's some disparity between features that you know a piece of hardware supports, and getting those features to work in your chosen distribution. What's worse is that even after you get something working, there's no guarantee it will stay working. And so it has been with the NC10's trackpad.
I mainly run Ubuntu's UNR on my netbook, dual-booting alongside a version of Moblin that I never use. And Ubuntu UNR has gone through quite few seismic sized changes in how it handles hardware, breaking Synaptics trackpad compatibility several times and completely changing the system for using it. What's worse is that both the mouse and Touchpad configuration panels in UNR promise multi-touch compatibility as an option, but fail to make it a reality. The solution is to get your hands dirty.
Initially, you could drop the lines for configuration directly into Xorg.conf. After this, my configuration moved to HAL fdi files (here's one that used to work). Then, for the latest UNR release, HAL was dropped completely in favour of UDEV. I ported my configuration to the new configuration file, which can be grabbed here. This worked up to and including the UNR 10.04 release candidates, but somewhere between the final RC and the eventual release, it stopped working. And I haven't been able to fix it.
Fortunately, I'm not alone, and a solution has been posted on the Ubuntu forums, and it doesn't involve configuration files at all. Instead, just type the following from the terminal:
xinput set-int-prop "SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad" "Two-Finger Scrolling" 8 1
xinput set-int-prop "SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad" "Synaptics Two-Finger Scrolling" 8 1 1
xinput set-int-prop "SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad" "Synaptics Two-Finger Pressure" 32 10
xinput set-int-prop "SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad" "Synaptics Two-Finger Width" 32 8
You should find that multi-touch features like two-finger scrolling now work, and this solution should work for lots of other devices too. The only problem is that it doesn't continue to work if you restart your machine, but that can easily be solved with a script.
Incidentally, yesterday's Astronomy Picture of the Day was one of the best I've seen for ages, and perfect as a desktop background.