Disable touchpad under Ubuntu

This little tutorial shows, how to disable touchpad under Ubuntu (v. 16.04) permanently. The reason is, that I generally use only the red trackpoint of my Lenovo T530 as a pointing device. I don’t need a touchpad anyway. But when working with the trackpoint, I accidentally touch the touchpad with my thumbs many times. That moves the cursor somewhere, what irritates me a lot. That’s why I had to switch it of (disable touchpad).

First I had to find the device number of the touchpad. Therefore I had to use the xinput command, to list all input devices:

$> xinput list
⎡ Virtual core pointer                      id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                id=4    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Lite-On Technology Corp. ThinkPad USB Keyboard with TrackPoint    id=10   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad                id=14   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint                     id=15   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ USB Optical Mouse                         id=11   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                     id=3    [master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard               id=5    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                              id=6    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Video Bus                                 id=7    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Sleep Button                              id=8    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Lite-On Technology Corp. ThinkPad USB Keyboard with TrackPoint    id=9    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Integrated Camera                         id=12   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard              id=13   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ ThinkPad Extra Buttons                    id=16   [slave  keyboard (3)]

As you can see, the touchpad had the ID 14.

Now I was able to run the following command to disable touchpad:

$> xinput --disable 14

But these changes would be lost after the next reboot . That’s why I had to disable touchpad permanently by setting up a user crontab for the reboot event, that is triggert on system startup.

  1. Edit users crontab:
    $> crontab -e 
    
  2. Add this line:
    @reboot xinput --disable 14
  3. That’s it! The device will stay disabled permanently.

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