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freebsd synaptics

Synaptics in FreeBSD

by dryobates

How to configure synaptics in FreeBSD on Compaq 6720s?

In my oldie notebook every time I reinstall X (this is third one reinstalation in life of my computer ;) ) I forgot how to make touchpad work as I like. So that’s note mainly for myself :)

FreeBSD has built-in support for synaptics compatible touchpads, so the only thing required is to put in /boot/loader.conf:


Then restart computer. It’s described in FreeBSD wiki [1].

But it doesn’t work as I like it works. Although it has many configuration options I can’t set which tapping pattern (one finger, two finger and three finger) reports which button was clicked. I like, when two finger tap is reported as middle button, as well clicking on both buttons is reported as middle button. By default in my computer two finger is reported as right click. Swapping buttons in xorg.conf won’t help: it’ll change click on both buttons to work like right click, which I don’t want.

So to make it work as I expect I have use Xorg synaptics driver. First disable moused in /etc/rc.conf if you have it enabled:

Or simply remove that line from configuration. Next configure xorg.conf as follows:

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier  "Mouse0"
        Driver      "synaptics"
        Option      "Protocol" "psm"
        Option      "Device" "/dev/psm0"
        Option      "TapButton2" "2"
        Option      "TapButton3" "3"

I know. It looks weird. Assigning 2 for 2 and 3 for 3, but it’s not remaping buttons. Number 2 in TapButton2 means how many fingers you put on touchpad, not which button you remap :)

[1]Synaptics Touchpad:
Jakub Stolarski. Software engineer. I work professionally as programmer since 2005. Speeding up software development with Test Driven Development, task automation and optimization for performance are things that focus my mind from my early career up to now. If you ask me for my religion: Python, Vim and FreeBSD are my trinity ;) Email:


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