Input configuration


With even the traditionalist Debian moving to Wayland, these could well be the end of days for the X.Org graphical desktop – either an endgame we've been waiting over a decade for or one that could easily stretch a decade more when X makes it into the next Ubuntu LTS that requires 10 years of support. Regardless of how quickly Wayland is able to supplant this ancient protocol, there's no doubt that X is seriously configurable and can be made to work with almost any kind of input hardware thanks to its Xinput subsystem. But for a subsystem to a graphical environment, it's perhaps surprising that there's very little graphical help with its configuration. The Xev tool can help with feedback and testing, and desktops will often include their own limited configuration panes, but there's nothing as comprehensive as editing configuration files by hand. xinput-gui, however, gets close.

xinput-gui feels a little like the Windows Registry Editor, only it allows you to edit the many Xinput values being used by your system. When its simple window loads, it lists these editable parameters on the left, while the right side of the UI shows the values for each parameter. Select one of these and press on the Edit button to change whatever is assigned to it. What's most surprising is that you seldom see just how many input devices are connected to your system, and what by default they're all configured to do. A typical list will include the power button, the sleep button, any lid activators, your pointer, and of course your keyboard. You can then change values, such as scroll methods for a touchpad or the touch sensitivity for a click, to change your how desktop operates without having to edit a text file.

Project Website

You never realize how many input devices are connected, or how many parameters they need to work, until you see it all listed in front of you.

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