Remapping Synaptics Touchpad

Peter Hutterer peter.hutterer at
Mon Feb 8 15:56:26 PST 2010

On Mon, Feb 08, 2010 at 02:26:03PM +0100, Harald Braumann wrote:
> On Mon, 8 Feb 2010 08:48:32 +1000
> Peter Hutterer <peter.hutterer at> wrote:
> > no, evdev doesn't have any specific touchpad features to configure
> > this. generally, we encourage ppl to use synaptics for touchpads and
> > evdev for other devices, avoiding the duplication of functionality.
> > your case is a bit of a corner case, so you fall through the cracks
> > here. sorry about that.
> OK, thanks for all your help. One last question: will the evdev driver
> eventually become the one and only driver and also implement device
> specific properties, or is it planned to keep some device specific
> drivers, like synaptics?

At this point, I don't know whether to say yes or no, but my tendency is
towards "no".

evdev is a generic driver that's supposed to work with all devices (for some
value of "work"). synaptics has two specific features, one of which is that
it talks synaptics protocol (used on non-Linux systems) and the other is
that many of its features are specifically geared towards touchpads.
I don't want to mess up evdev with all the features synaptics has, it'd make
evdev a lot harder to read and fix bugs for.

now, as you may have heard there are plans to move the drivers back into the
server. if input drivers are moved into the server it should be a lot easier
to share code between them, at which point synaptics may become a layer on
top of evdev, or the evdev-specific features being merged into some library
shared between all drivers, resulting in synaptics gaining evdev properties.
This is pie-in-the-sky territory though and unlikely to happen in the near


* unless someone actually volunteers to do it.

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