Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ubuntu/Debian: Mouse buttons and trackpoint scrolling on T440s, X1 Carbon and all other new Thinkpads!

I just got a new Thinkpad T440s and was not very happy with it. No wifi, bad graphics and the touchpad was not working properly after installing Debian Wheezy, the current stable version.
I soon realized: Upgrading to Jessie is necessary to fix these problems. And it did - to a certain degree. Wifi was working (install firmware-iwlwifi), graphics were better, and also touchpad worked - but not as expected!

There are no actual mouse buttons on the new Thinkpad models. WHY would they do that? I hate touch and I hate pressing a whole oversized plate with a very bad haptic feedback which makes cracky noises. #whycopyapple
Further, whenever I pressed the touchpad down, the mouse arrow moved slightly which was really annoying. This is probably the Linux driver's fault, but still...
Most problematic: There is no middle mouse button scrolling any more. I hate moving my whole hand away from the keyboard just to scroll down a little bit. #hatetouchpads Pressing and holding the middle mouse button while just tapping the trackpoint a bit was so convenient!

How to make this a lot better:
Thanks to this post on Launchpad I got most of the problems somehow fixed. No more mouse moving while clicking, middle mouse button scrolling (yay!), you can even disable all the touch if you want.
All you need to do is to get the newest sources of the xserver-xorg-input-evdev driver, copy some files over from the xserver-xorg-input-synaptics sources and patch all of this with some work done by the arch linux guys.

In the end you just need to build the *.deb package and install it on your machine. You don't need to remove the original driver package! Also, don't forget to put the 90-evdev-trackpoint.conf file into /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/ and reboot!

I already did all of the patching and building, so if you trust me (you can!) just install my packages on Debian Jessie 64bit:
Current (updated 28/01/2015) evdev version in Debian Jessie is 2.9.0, so download: patched_synaptic_amd64_debs_2.9.0.tar.gz
If you still use version 2.8.2 (eg. on Ubuntu), get this: patched_synaptic_am64_debs_2.8.2.tar.gz

PLEASE CHECK your dependencies and version numbers before installing! If the installation fails, you end up without mouse and keyboard input!

> wget
> tar -xzf patched_synaptic_amd64_debs_2.9.0.tar.gz
> sudo dpkg -i xserver-xorg-input-evdev_*
> sudo cp 90-evdev-trackpoint.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/

Have fun with your new Thinkpad!
PS: If you want me to build a 32bit package for you, please comment below!