Invert touchpad without changing mouse in GNOME

Published: by Creative Commons Licence

Being a left-handed touchpad, right-handed mouse user, it bugged me that after installing Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon, the touchpad and mouse can't be set separately through "System Settings -> Mouse and Touchpad".

However, after a bit of researching, a simple solution is found using GNOME's GSettings, inspired by this AskUbuntu question.

Invert touchpad

From Command Line

In Gsettings, there is a key called left-handed under touchpad, controlling the behaviour of touchpad clicking, which is a string value defaults to "mouse" but can be set to "left" or "right".

From the terminal, type in the following command to make it left-handed:

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.touchpad left-handed left

From GUI "dconf-editor"

Gsettings has a front-end GUI tool called "dconf-editor", which uses binary blob database to maintain all setting entries with their values. (It's kind of similar to the relationship between "Windows Regitry" and "regedit".)

  1. To install dconf-editor, from the terminal type in:

    sudo apt-get install dconf-tools
  2. To open it, press Alt + F2, then type in dconf-editor and hit Enter.

  3. Press Ctrl + F to search for an entry named touchpad in the opened "dconf-editor" window.

  4. Select the left-handed under touchpad and set its value to left.

Invert touchpad from dconf-editor

Invert mouse

If the mouse needs to be inverted as well, it can be done either from command line, "System Settings" or "dconf-editor". However, note that the left-handed entry under peripherals.mouse is a Boolean, so it should be set to either "true" or "false".

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.mouse left-handed true