Over the last 10 days I’ve been playing with different installs of Linux on my ASUS Eee-PC 1018P. From past experiences, I have found that I really like “minimal” desktops with my favorite being Openbox. Another window manager that I wanted to test more with was awesome. The only drawback to either of these was I couldn’t find a way to disable my touch pad. Being able to disable this is a must for me. as the touch pad seems hyper-sensitive and when ever I am typing the cursor jumps all over the screen. I was only able to disable my touch pad using the GNOME Desktop Environment.
I began with an install of Debian 7.0 (Wheezy). Wheezy ran great, and I didn’t have any issues with my hot keys, but I really wanted something a little more “current”. I also wasn’t sure if I liked the GNOME 3 desktop.
I next tried Linux Mint with the MATE desktop, which is forked from the GNOME 2 desktop. I liked the looks of this, but some of my hot keys didn’t work.
I then installed Arch Linux. The first time I installed the MATE desktop, installing the “mate-panel” package which is a minimal desktop shell according to the Arch Wiki entry. I installed this package because from past experiences installing GNOME has installed a lot of stuff that I didn’t want or need. After the install I found I did indeed have a minimal install like I wanted, but the hot key to disable my touch pad wasn’t working.
I next tried the GNOME desktop. With this install all of the hot keys I use worked, but there was just something I didn’t like visually. I stayed with this setup but I still wanted to go back to either Openbox or Awesome as my window manager (WM).
This morning, a thought came to me that there should be a way to disable the touch pad other than using the hot key, so I began researching. I found my answer on the Advanced configuration section of the Arch Wiki Touchpad Synaptics page! I could use the xinput command to enable and disable my touchpad. I have created an alias for each command and added it to my .bashrc.
I’m going to do a clean reinstall on my netbook over the weekend.