Ubuntu – Touchpad stopped working out of the blue


So, I'm watching "The Walking Dead" and all of the sudden I lose control of my mouse through the touchpad. At first it was just for my user. I could reboot my system and switch to another user and use it just fine. I cannot explain the steps I took (I'm using the keyboard to manuver firefox right now) but it was something along the lines of:

sudo modprobe -r psmouse && sudo modprobe psmouse proto=imps

After this command, I regained control of my mouse but the computer didn't recognize it as a touchpad. I thought if I rebooted again, it may do the trick. So after I rebooted, the mouse went completely kaput. I cannot get the mouse to work at all now even though I've tried the command several times. I've tried different users and it's still the same.

Best Answer

This is a confirmed bug which affecting many other people: Bug #549727: Touchpad stops working after login. You can find in the bug comments some partial fixes, but, keep in mind, neither one is mutually agreed by everyone.

Ubuntu 13.04 will reach soon (in January) at its end of life. So you should consider to upgrade your system to 13.10 which came with a new kernel - 3.11, that could solve your problem.

Meanwhile, to solve the problem for now, first check if your touchpad is enabled. If is enabled, try to reinstall xserver-xorg-input-synaptics.If this will not work, change the module for your touchpad (but in this last case your touchpad scroll will be dead).

I. Check if your touchpad is enabled

Open dconf Editor, navigate to orggnomesettings-daemonperipheralstouchpad and make sure that tauchpad-enable is enabled/ticked (check also the other options):

enable touchpad

Check also from terminal with the following command:

synclient | grep Touchpad

If the output is different than:

TouchpadOff             = 0

then your touchpad is off and you should put it on using the following command:

synclient Touchpadoff=0

If the problem still persists, then go forward to the step II.

II. Reinstall xserver-xorg-input-synaptics

To reinstall xserver-xorg-input-synaptics package, run the following command in terminal:

sudo apt-get install --reinstall xserver-xorg-input-synaptics

After the reinstallation is finished, reboot your system. If the problem still persists, check again if your touchpad is enabled using dconf Editor, then go forward to the step III.

III. Change the module for your touchpad

If the previous solutions didn't work, do the following:

  1. Create a file called touchpad.conf in /etc/modprobe.d/ using the following command in terminal:

     sudo -i gedit /etc/modprobe.d/touchpad.conf
  2. Add the following line inside the touchpad.conf file just created:

     options psmouse proto=imps
  3. Save the file and close it.

  4. Reboot your system,

After reboot your touchpad should work normally.

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