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Turn off that annoying touchpad and turn it on again from the command line in Linux

The problem


Touchpads on laptops drive me nuts.

Overly sensitive touchpads move me around in a document when I write.

Worse, they bounce me to other applications!

If I could turn my touchpad off permanently, that would be great.

But I need my touchpad for my desktop.


The solution


I wrote two short shell scripts to turn my touchpad off and on.

I named them td and te, for touchpad disable and touchpad enable.

Touchpad disable:

NUMBER=`xinput | grep Synaptics | sed 's/.*id=\([0-9]\+\).*/\1/'`

xinput set-prop $NUMBER "Device Enabled" 0

Touchpad enable:

NUMBER=`xinput | grep Synaptics | sed 's/.*id=\([0-9]\+\).*/\1/'`

xinput set-prop $NUMBER "Device Enabled" 1

I dropped them in my home directory, and made them executable:

chmod 755 td te

To call them I press <Alt>-F2 for a command line.

I type ./td <Enter> to disable the touchpad and ./te <Enter> to enable it.

That's all there is to it. Bliss!

Notes

These little scripts have improved my quality of life! Really!

Nothing drives me crazier than a wonky touchpad. But no more.

Shell gurus would make this a single script instead of two scripts.

Unfortunately, I'm not a shell guru.

But two scripts is not a terrible solution, since td and te are easy to remember.


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