Thinkpad Trackpoint Sensitivity (Ubuntu 13.04)

How I managed to get the trackpoint working correctly in Ubuntu 13.04…

I just upgraded to Ubuntu 13.04, and found an interesting quirk. For some reason, my old method of changing the trackpoint sensitivity using a udev rule (which worked in 12.04) does not work in 13.04. Here’s how I hacked it together for 13.04. Basically, all I did was write a script that gets called at login to manually set the sensitivity and speed values for the trackpoint settings. I then had to add this script to the sudoers file using visudo (so you don’t need to enter a password), and then finally write another wrapper script to call the first one at startup. It’s pretty ugly, but hey, it works! Here’s the original script saved as /home/josh/scripts/trackpoint_sensitivity:

if [ -f /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2/sensitivity ];
echo "Making trackpoint more sensitive..."
sh -c "echo -n 180 < /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2/sensitivity"
sh -c "echo -n 200 < /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2/speed"
echo "Cannot adjust trackpoint; /sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio1/serio2/sensitivity not found"

Then, edit your sudoers file by calling:

sudo visudo

And add the following line at the bottom (replacing josh with whatever your username is):

josh ALL=NOPASSWD: /home/josh/scripts/trackpoint_sensitivity

Finally, I wrote one more script in /home/josh/scripts/callTrackpoint that contains the following

sudo /home/josh/scripts/trackpoint_sensitivity

Make all the scripts executable, add callTrackpoint to your startup programs, and you should be in business!

Joshua Taillon
Materials Data Scientist

A materials research scientist at NIST interested in scientific data curation, AI for materials research, and baking bread.

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