ThinkPad X1 Touchpad

As a ThinkPad enthusiast, I’m a fan of using the TrackPoint for mouse navigation. I prefer to disable the touchpad altogether, just to avoid accidental clicks caused by my palms.

I recently installed Ubuntu 18.04 on my X1 Carbon (5th-Gen) and couldn’t find a straightfoward way to toggle the touchpad on and off with a keyboard shortcut. After some Googling, I managed to map one of my unused function-keys to toggle the touchpad.

These are the steps it took to get things working!

Define an ACPI event to run a script on keypress

Function-key events can be found by opening the terminal and running acpi_listen. When a key is pressed, its corresponding event name will be displayed:

ibm/hotkey LEN0268:00 00000080 00001311

Using the event name, we can define an ACPI event by creating a new file in /etc/acpi/events/:


event=ibm/hotkey LEN0268:00 00000080 00001315

event is the name of our desired function-key event. action is the script we will create in the next step.

Create a custom script to toggle the touchpad

The script will use xinput to find the status of the touchpad and toggle it accordingly. For xinput to work, we need to specify the XAUTHORITY environment-variable in the script.

We can get this by running echo $XAUTHORITY:


Now, we can create our new script:



# XAUTHORITY value from 'echo $XAUTHORITY'
export XAUTHORITY="/run/user/1000/gdm/Xauthority"
export DISPLAY=":`ls -1 /tmp/.X11-unix/ | sed -e s/^X//g | head -n 1`"

# 'Synaptics' is the name of the touchpad manufacterer for ThinkPads (as of writing)
read TPdevice <<< $( xinput | sed -nre '/Synaptics/s/.*id=([0-9]*).*/\1/p' )
state=$( xinput list-props "$TPdevice" | grep "Device Enabled" | grep -o "[01]$" )

# Check the state of the device and enable/disable accordingly
if [ "$state" -eq '1' ];then
  xinput --disable "$TPdevice"
  xinput --enable "$TPdevice"

Then, we make the script executable (Note: You may need to sudo this command.):

chmod +x /etc/acpi/

Finally, restart the system and log back in. If things are set up properly, the function-key should toggle the touchpad!


The following links were extremely helpful in getting this working:

Questions? Suggestions? Corrections? Leave me a comment. Cheers!