Dell Mini 10v


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Jaunty users ONLY

If you're running Jaunty, first you need to install the xserver-xorg-input-synaptics package that's in the repository You do not need to add this repository and install this package if you are running Karmic! Open /etc/apt/sources.list and add

deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main

then add the keys for the launchpad, and install the package:

user@mini:~$ sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys AF1CDFA9
user@mini:~$ sudo apt-get update
user@mini:~$ sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-synaptics

Jaunty and Karmic users

Choose a touchpad preferences applet

Right now, this isn't necessarily an easy choice. Gsynaptics is being deprecated in favor of gpointing-device-settings, and gpointing-device-settings has some features that gsynaptics does not... but gpointing-device-settings is still pretty rough around the edges, and does not install an applet in preferences, so you have to remember how to launch it from the command line (or create a launcher icon for it yourself).


Installing gsynaptics

Note: DO NOT INSTALL gsynaptics side-by-side with gpointing-device-settings! If you already installed gpointing-device-settings and don't like it and want to try gsynaptics, then be sure to sudo apt-get remove gpointing-device-settings FIRST before proceeding.

Install the gsynaptics GUI, which shows up as "Touchpad" in the System area of the launcher:

user@mini:~$ sudo apt-get install gsynaptics

This applet will allow you to control movement rate, acceleration, scrolling, and tapping. If you have trouble getting the tap-to-click to register properly on the Mini, you'll want to check the "Enable faster tapping" checkbox!

Installing gpointing-device-settings

Note: DO NOT INSTALL gpointing-device-settings side-by-side with gsynaptics! If you already installed gsynaptics and don't like it and want to try gpointing-device-settings, then be sure to sudo apt-get remove gsynaptic FIRST before proceeding.

user@mini:~$ sudo apt-get install gpointing-device-settings

You've now installed gpointing-device-settings, which is an applet which allows individual configuration of features for multiple specialty devices, including touchpads and IBM-style "keyboard nipples" or "pointing sticks". Unfortunately, you don't get a Launcher icon along with this; so you'll have to launch it from the shell:

user@mini:~$ gpointing-device-settings

Please note that we did NOT use sudo to launch the applet; these settings are per-user, not global. gpointing-device-settings offers some more preferences than gsynaptics did; notice that you now have preferences to set for palm disabling (detecting if your whole palm is resting against the touchpad as you type), tap movement as well as tap speed, circular scrolling, and more.

To create a launcher icon for gpointing-device-settings, see the bottom of this article.

Enabling Synaptic shared memory and "deadening" the button areas

Put this in /etc/hal/fdi/policy/shmconfig.fdi and reboot, to enable Synaptic shared memory:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<deviceinfo version="0.2">
  <match key="input.x11_driver" string="synaptics">
   <merge key="input.x11_options.SHMConfig" type="string">True</merge>

You will probably want to disable cursor movement when touching the button-click area; enable vertical edge scrolling; and disable horizontal edge scrolling. Set the following inside the <match> area of /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/20thirdparty/11-x11-synaptics.fdi :

<merge key="input.x11_options.HorizEdgeScroll" type="string">false</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.VertEdgeScroll" type="string">true</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.AreaBottomEdge" type="string">4000</merge>

If you want to experiment with settings like these, the synclient command will set them immediately but only for the current X session:

synclient AreaBottomEdge=4000

NOTE: The AreaBottomEdge parameter was originally named MovementBottomEdge, so if synclient gives you an unknown parameter area for one, try the other.

Disabling the touchpad while typing

If you still have problems with your palm brushing the touchpad and moving the cursor around / clicking while you're typing, even after playing with settings in gsynaptic or gpointing-device-settings, you'll want to use syndaemon to automatically disable it while the keyboard is being used, then re-enable it after typing ceases. See Touchpad, disabling while typing to fix this issue.


Make sure you have a swap partition, if you want to hibernate. Set swappiness to 0 to avoid the system using the swap for anything else.

echo 'vm.swappiness=0' >> /etc/sysctl.conf
sysctl vm.swappiness=0

Note that resuming from hibernation is still significantly slower than just booting the system up... even with the Samsung UM41 16GB SSD. So it's probably not worth sacrificing the storage space to a swap partition just to enable hibernation.

The Dell-provided 16GB SSD upgrade is a Samsung SSD UM410, according to the 9.04 installer.

You'll probably want to enable tmpfs and set up Firefox to use it instead of your home directory, particularly if you've got an SSD and want to minimize unnecessary writes.

Shortcuts in the UNR Launcher

To create a new shortcut in the Launcher, go to System -> Main Menu, select a menu you wish to add a Launcher icon to, and click New Item. The "Name" field will be the title that displays underneath the Launcher icon, while the "command" field is what you would type in the shell to launch the program - note that it's best, when possible, to use the full path to the command. (You can use which [command] to find the full path; for example which firefox will return /usr/bin/firefox.) The "Comment" field contains any text you wish to pop up when the Launcher icon is moused over, and finally, you can set the graphical icon itself by clicking the little picture in the upper left of the dialog (which by default, will usually look like a platform on a spring).

For example, if you wanted to create a Launcher icon for gpointing-device-settings, you would want to select the System menu, the Preferences menu, then click New Item. You would then set "Pointing Devices" as the Name, /usr/bin/gpointing-device-settings as the Command, and then set the icon to /usr/share/gpointing-device-settings/icon/touchpad.png. If you want to, you could get fancy and put something like "specialized settings for touchpads, pointing sticks, and similar devices" in the Comment field; but that's personal preference... and you might very well not WANT to see all that popping up whenever you hover over the icon! Once you're done, click OK, and your new Launcher icon is now in System -> Preferences where you put it; if you like, you can right-click it and Favorite it, after which it will also show up in Favorites.

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