[conspire] No xorg.conf in Ubuntu 9.10, HAL instead

roger at rogerchrisman.com roger at rogerchrisman.com
Sun Nov 29 22:02:45 PST 2009

I just learned that /etc/X11/xorg.conf is ignored on my new Xubuntu
9.10 install and that HAL is how input devices are configured now. If
I have some of this wrong please correct me.

YFI incase I'm not the last one of us to have learned this. Here's
what happened:

I installed Xubuntu 9.10 on my old Compaq Presario X1000 laptop using
the xubuntu-9.10-desktop-i386.iso bootable CD. Everything went
smoothly. (Except the first iso I downloaded didn't pass md5sum check
even though its file size matched. So I download it again and that

Formerly, in Ubuntu Hardy Haron, to configuring this laptop's
Synaptics touchpad's right edge correctly I used to insert
         Option  "RightEdge"     "5900"
in the appropriate spot in /etc/X11/xorg.conf

However, Ubuntu 9.10 has no /etc/X11/xorg.conf and seems to ignore it
when I create one. It seems that HAL is now the way input devices are

Fabio Varesano explains this a little in a blog post about how he
moved, in his case, his touchpad two finger scrolling settings from
/etc/X11/xorg.conf to /etc/hal/fdi/policy/11-x11-synaptics.fdi, to
comply with X.org version 7.4 and xorg-server 1.5 new configuration
method that uses HAL instead of xorg.conf. His post includes his
actual configuration file. He says,

"By default HAL uses the rules available at /usr/share/hal/fdi/.
Configurations and changes to those rule files should be made
inserting modified policy files in /etc/hal/fdi/. Policies files
inserted into that folder will have priority on the rules available by
default in /usr/share/hal/fdi/.

"So.. to configure a Synaptic Touchpad you can create a file called
11-x11-synaptics.fdi in your /etc/hal/fdi/policy/ folder."

more at http://www.varesano.net/blog/fabio/two+fingers+scrolling+linux+synaptics+notebook+touchpad+xorg+74+xorgserver+15

I found restarting my computer after configuring
/etc/hal/fdi/policy/11-x11-synaptics.fdi worked.

Yea! I find I love two finger scrolling even though my touchpad
already has a right edge scroll area.

Has anyone got horizontal three finger swipes, to activate for example
forward and back buttons in Firefox, to work on a touchpad in Linux?

Xubuntu 9.10 on Compaq Presario X1000 laptop

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