Gallium OS on Acer Chromebook 11

As a Chromebook, all I had to do was Search+Shift+P and it would toggle the touchpad on and off when I typed.

As a GalliumOS computer, it far surpasses it’s former function as a Chromebook, except for the touchpad. I can get around not using MS Word – Libreoffice Writer does a decent job of emulating it. I’ve visited Abiword in the past but haven’t used it lately.

The touchpad is my only barrier to using this as a fulltime writing machine.

It continues to mis-read the cues from my palm and send the cursour all over the screen like a whirling dervish. It’s annoying.

There is a GalliumOS wiki for it located here –> https://wiki.galliumos.org/FAQ/Touchpad

(EDIT – make 100% sure that you back your shit up. There’s a note my wife keeps on a whiteboard in the kitchen that reminds me “Not to fix things that work” because she has lived through many a frustrated weekend of me trying to fix something that worked perfectly fine until I frigged with it. I am not a Gallium OS Expert, I am not a programmer, I am not Linus Torvalds. I am just a guy who likes to fiddle with perfectly fine Chromebooks.)

It’s a good start. You can read it through. But if you have an Acer Chromebook 11 with an Elan touchpad, it’s not quite enough. You can stop when it tells you to do this:

xinput --set-prop 10 'libinput Accel Speed' 0.2

Everything for that instruction is perfectly fine and very well written. But for my particular machine, “Accel Speed” is not a property of the Elan touchpad. To find that out, you need to open the terminal (CNTRL+T) and enter in the next command.

xinput list-prop

You will get a HUGE list of properties you did not even consider as being properties for a touchpad. I generated a huge sense of empathy towards the people involved in coming up with these properties. So much so, that I felt bad for being so annoyed by something so petty as a touchpad. I can so much see the team of touchpad designers flipping me a collective bird, saying “Live with it, you mewling quim”.

In addition, when entering the code for making the adjustments, use the following syntax (where the “prop 11” is the property code for my touchpad and the properties I am adjusting are “Palm Pressure” and “Fat Finger Min Move Distance”) this line works.

xinput set-prop 11 ‘Palm Pressure’ 90

xinput set-prop 11 ‘Fat Finger Min Move Distance’ 20

When you see all the myriad of properties, you can fiddle with what’s there and see what works for you. I chose “Palm Pressure” and “Fat Finger Move Distance”. You can see the set values for yourself and adjust them accordingly.

For example, “Palm Pressure” has a value of 100. I’m assuming that’s a percentage value (yeah, could’ve Googled it, but I was impatient and wanted to get something accomplished and figured that Googling would only take me down a terribly deep rabbit hole). And “Fat Finger Move Distance” has a set value of 15, which I figured had to be how many milimetres (1.5) it would have to move before it would register a touch and actually move (again, no Google, just a guess).

So far, not bad. I’ve since set the Palm Pressure to 75 and the Fat Finger Move Distance to 20 and the pointer is a little sluggish to the touch but it hasn’t mussed up too much so far. I’ve been able to type this blog post with no incident. But moving the pointer around to engage other functions has been a little problematic but not impossible.

Once you’ve fiddled with it and found your zone, if you log out of your machine, you’ll lose the settings. So you need to go back to the GalliumOS FAQ and follow the rest of the directions.

nano ~/.bashrc

Press control+v a few times to page forward, until you are at the end of the file. On a new line, simply add the same lines you were fiddling with in terminal

xinput set-prop 11 ‘Palm Pressure’ 90

xinput set-prop 11 ‘Fat Finger Min Move Distance’ 20

Good luck.

Drop me a line with how it goes (or how it didn’t go). Wouldn’t mind hearing from you.

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