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Thread: Acer M5-481TG clickpad/trackpad not working on Ubuntu 11.10/12.04

  1. #1
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    Synaptics clickpad/trackpad not working on 12.04, partially on 11.10

    I recently acquired a new Acer Aspire TimelineU M5-481TG. I tried installing Ubuntu 12.04, and upon bootup, my Synaptics clickpad does not work, even though I hit Fn+F7 to enable/disable it. I get the image of the touchpad on/off OSD, but it does not physically do anything. I attempted to boot the livecd with the following options and their combinations:

    1) i8042.nomux=1
    2) i8042.noloop=1
    3) i8042.reset

    No dice. In addition, when I boot into Windows, I find the touchpad has been disabled, so I have to press Fn+F7 to get it recognized in Windows again. Given I could not find a solution, I moved to 11.10...

    Edit: This same issue is also present in both 12.10 alpha3, and the latest daily build of 12.10 as of 8/7/2012.

    ---

    On 11.10 live cd, I booted up with the default options and I got a garbled screen -- probably due to nouveau and the newer GK107 based NVIDIA card on this laptop, but I knew the clickpad was active because the screen flickered in all it's garbled glory. Next, I booted the 11.10 livecd as:

    boot: live nomodeset

    That got me a working display and a somewhat working clickpad. Here is what works and what doesn't:

    Works:
    1) left click* (a bit erratic if finger is in movement -- tends to select text/icons otherwise -- see 'Does not work' #2)
    2) Right click a la Mac (two finger multitouch click)
    3) Left click (via tappping anywhere on clickpad)
    4) Dragging windows (or any object) via double tap and hold
    5) General top/left/right/bottom movements

    Does not work:
    1) (Emulated) right clicks -- clicks on the lower right portion of touchpad
    2) Dragging windows (or any object) via left click
    3) Pinch to zoom
    4) Two-finger scrolling

    Here are my questions:

    (A) Are there fixes for the 'Does not work' items in 11.10? If so, what are they?

    (B) How do I go about getting my touchpad to work 12.04/12.10 to see if the issues present in 11.10 have been fixed?

    Since I have the machine with me, and two flash drives with Ubuntu 11.10/12.04 live CD, I can do further testing via terminal commands as need be and file a bug with any relevant information.

    To start, I have attached some output from DebuggingTouchpadDetection page under the heading of: "In case Touchpad features like scrolling, tapping, etc do not work at all." under 11.10.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by vacaloca; August 8th, 2012 at 03:35 PM. Reason: more generic title / clearer rephrased questions

  2. #2
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    Re: Acer M5-481TG clickpad/trackpad not working on Ubuntu 11.10/12.04

    Bump with new information -- this does not seem isolated to Ubuntu distributions. The latest Fedora live CD behaves exactly any of the latest Ubuntu 12.04/12.10 live cd's -- the trackpad does not work at all.

    OpenSUSE 12.1 behaves similar to Ubuntu 11.10, but is missing the right-click a la Mac functionality described above.

    Also, It surprises me that a well-written post with plenty of information gets no replies... Maybe next time I should start a thread with: 'My trackpad doesn't work'
    Last edited by vacaloca; August 8th, 2012 at 03:27 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Acer M5-481TG clickpad/trackpad not working on Ubuntu 11.10/12.04

    bump again, Has anyone else with clickpads had the problem of not being able to move the mouse or have the buttons to anything at all when they boot from a live CD? Once I can actually get it to work, I can try some of the patches that I've seen floating around for 12.04, but having the trackpad do something to begin with is a bit necessary.

  4. #4
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    Re: Acer M5-481TG clickpad/trackpad not working on Ubuntu 11.10/12.04

    I marked this as solved since I found a suitable fix. Apparently my idiocy was to try things from a Live CD without updating to newer kernel/packages. I installed and updated Ubuntu 12.04 fully.

    Upon updating to kernel 3.2.0-27, clickpad functionality could be enabled/disabled with Fn+F7. I also noticed that xserver-xorg-input-synaptics package was updated to version: 1.6.2-1ubuntu1~precise1.

    The new synaptics package supports two-finger scrolling quite well, both horizontally and vertically. Click and drag works. The only thing missing is the right-click functionality, which I have detailed a fix for in the post below.

    Other quirks for the M5-481TG laptop and their solutions:

    To enable screen brightness settings changing, I had to add
    Code:
    acpi_brightness=vendor
    to the kernel boot options.

    To enable the NVIDIA GT640M LE card, I used the current stable version of bumblebee.

    Since I could care less about nouveau driver -- I want to run CUDA code using the native NVIDIA driver, and because nouveau seemed to conflict with bumblebee I disabled and blacklisted it. Next, I removed any instances of the nvidia driver that could be found. Then, I add repository for NVIDIA beta drivers. Finally I add bumblebee repository, update and install bumblebee:

    Code:
    sudo -i
    apt-get --purge remove xserver-xorg-video-nouveau
    echo blacklist nouveau > /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-nouveau.conf
    apt-get --purge remove nvidia-current
    add-apt-repository ppa:upubuntu-com/nvidia-unstable
    add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable
    apt-get update
    apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia
    I also had to change a few lines in /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf slightly with the help of other posts I found. The 304.22 driver module name changed from "nvidia-current" to "nvidia", and thus the changes below are needed:

    1) Change "Driver=" (auto-detect) to "Driver=nvidia"
    2) Change KernelDriver=nvidia-current to KernelDriver=nvidia

    Also in /etc/bumblebee/xorg.conf.nvidia I had to change the line:

    Code:
    Option "ConnectedMonitor" "DFP"
    with either of the following:

    Code:
    Option "ConnectedMonitor" "CRT-0"
    Option "UseDisplayDevice" "none"
    These last changes fixed the error I was experiencing when running "optirun glxgears" to test bumblebee. The error itself was: [ERROR]Cannot access secondary GPU - error: [XORG] (EE) NVIDIA(0): Failed to assign any connected display devices to X screen 0

    ---

    So with those changes, the brightness up/down keys work, NVIDIA card can be used to run apps/programs via optirun, and touchpad problems are pretty much all fixed -- click and drag is still a little bit wonky, but I'm sure it will get better with newer xserver-xorg-input-synaptics releases.

    Oh, one more thing. <sarcasm> Thanks for the help everyone! </sarcasm>

    That being said, I'm glad other people had the problem with bumblebee, otherwise I would have never figured out how to make it work correctly.
    Last edited by vacaloca; August 10th, 2012 at 04:22 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Acer M5-481TG clickpad/trackpad not working on Ubuntu 11.10/12.04

    Figured I'd make one last post on the subject in re: fixing the right-click behavior:

    From the synaptics man page:
    Code:
    man synaptics
    Code:
           Option "SoftButtonAreas" "RBL RBR RBT RBB MBL MBR MBT MBB"
                  This  option is only available on ClickPad devices.  Enable soft
                  button click area support on ClickPad devices.  The  first  four
                  parameters  are  the  left, right, top, bottom edge of the right
                  button, respectively, the second four parameters are  the  left,
                  right,  top, bottom edge of the middle button, respectively. Any
                  of the values may be given as percentage of the  touchpad  width
                  or height, whichever applies.  If any edge is set to 0, the but‐
                  ton is assumed to extend to infinity  in  the  given  direction.
                  Setting  all  values to 0 disables soft button areas.  Property:
                  "Synaptics Soft Button Areas"
    Got this property from here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...00&postcount=4

    Just the addition of the SoftButtonAreas setting in the post linked above worked for me, but you can change the values according to your particular tastes.

    I added the setting in /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf
    For me, the values are acceptable, so I'm calling the right-click issue solved as well.
    Last edited by vacaloca; August 10th, 2012 at 04:20 AM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Acer M5-481TG clickpad/trackpad not working on Ubuntu 11.10/12.04

    I am facing the same problem and i am new to ubuntu. Could you please let me know how you update the kernel. Thanks in advance

  7. #7
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    Re: Acer M5-481TG clickpad/trackpad not working on Ubuntu 11.10/12.04

    Quote Originally Posted by mrenganathan View Post
    I am facing the same problem and i am new to ubuntu. Could you please let me know how you update the kernel. Thanks in advance
    Sure, it's pretty easy to update the kernal and the rest of the system. Once you've installed it and reboot into the system installed to the hard disk, open up a terminal window and type:

    Code:
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
    Edit:

    The usual PPA that has the latest (non-beta) NVIDIA drivers has been updated with the latest drivers that support CUDA 5. In post #4, it is suggested to replace:

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:upubuntu-com/nvidia-unstable
    with:
    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
    Also, important, sometimes even with the updates installed, the mouse does not work upon a reboot. If this is the case, power off and power on again, and Fn+F7 key (or the key that enables/disables your clickpad should make it work.
    Last edited by vacaloca; September 10th, 2012 at 05:01 PM. Reason: more information to enable clickpad

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: Acer M5-481TG clickpad/trackpad not working on Ubuntu 11.10/12.04

    vacaloca, thanks SO much for posting your fixes. If not for you, I'd be stuck using Windoze on my new Acer.

    One quesiton I have - what file did you change to add the brightness settings?

    Quote Originally Posted by vacaloca View Post
    To enable screen brightness settings changing, I had to add
    Code:
    acpi_brightness=vendor
    to the kernel boot options.
    I put this in /etc/default/grub (in the GRuB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT line) and ran update-grub and I can see it if I hit 'e' at the grub menu, but it's not having any effect.

    One more thing to add, as far as the touchpad spottiness goes: what I have discovered is that I have to turn on the touchpad (fn-f7) BEFORE I log in; in other words, when it boots to the password prompt, that's when I have to hit it. If I log in and then try to hit it, the key has no effect.

    Everything else - nvidia drivers, right-click (two-finger double tap mac style), two-finger scrolling - working great!

  9. #9
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    Question Re: Acer M5-481TG clickpad/trackpad not working on Ubuntu 11.10/12.04

    Quote Originally Posted by jlapier View Post
    vacaloca, thanks SO much for posting your fixes. If not for you, I'd be stuck using Windoze on my new Acer.

    One quesiton I have - what file did you change to add the brightness settings?



    I put this in /etc/default/grub (in the GRuB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT line) and ran update-grub and I can see it if I hit 'e' at the grub menu, but it's not having any effect.

    One more thing to add, as far as the touchpad spottiness goes: what I have discovered is that I have to turn on the touchpad (fn-f7) BEFORE I log in; in other words, when it boots to the password prompt, that's when I have to hit it. If I log in and then try to hit it, the key has no effect.

    Everything else - nvidia drivers, right-click (two-finger double tap mac style), two-finger scrolling - working great!

    Hello friend, I have the same problem with the touchpad I have to press fn + F9 to start the machine to work.

    've found a solution for this?

    Thank you.

  10. #10
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    Smile Re: Acer M5-481TG clickpad/trackpad not working on Ubuntu 11.10/12.04

    type this in a console

    Code:
    sudo gedit /etc/default/grub
    and the line

    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT "quiet splash"

    put this

    Code:
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT "quiet acpi_brightness=vendor"
    save, update grub and restart
    (that works for me)


    if anyone knows how to sort out "fn + f7" on startup. I would appreciate.

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