Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I recently picked up a Dell Mini9 netbook running Ubuntu 8.04. It runs great and I love it, but there's one glaring issue out of the box. The trackpad mouse and mousewheel are way too sensitive.

I'm able to adjust mouse acceleration and sensitivity in the Ubuntu mouse controls, but even when set to minimum it's still too fast. Also, there's no controls to adjust the mouse wheel speed, which is almost unusable.

Is there any other way I can adjust it? Firmware settings maybe?

share|improve this question
Holy cow. How in the world was I supposed to know "synclient" was a command to program the mouse? How would the average computer user have figured this out without diving into the guts of X11? Boo Dell! – spoulson May 22 '09 at 0:04
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I do not believe the fact that it is a Dell Mini9 should matter, assuming it is a standard synaptics touchpad, and the standard KDE/Gnome GUI adjustments aren't doing the job, try the tutorial outlined here: HOWTO: Adjust touchpad speed.

It involves editing the xorg.conf.

share|improve this answer

You can use synclient from the command line.

I use this as a part of my /etc/rc.local to make my touchpad more sensitive. The command I use is:

synclient FingerLow=9 FingerHigh=12

You can get a list of all the touchpad parameters with

synclient -l

I use Ubuntu 9.04, but I think in Ubuntu 8.04 you may have to add a parameter to something under /etc/udev/rules.d or perhaps xorg.conf to allow the trackpad to interface with synclient.

share|improve this answer
Your approach is also correct, but once you have your settings ideal, putting them in xorg.conf sounds favorable compared to rc.local. – spoulson May 22 '09 at 0:07

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.