I recently did a clean install of Debian GNOME and updated from stable to testing. Before updating to testing, I had several GUI settings for my touchpad. After updating, they are gone as shown in the screenshot: Screenshot showing that options are missing

For example, I would expect to find the setting for natural scrolling on this settings page.

Opening this page from the terminal yields the following error message

$ gnome-control-center mouse

(gnome-control-center:15084): mouse-cc-panel-WARNING **: Detected synaptics X driver, please migrate to libinput

which indicates that the problem is related to libinput not being installed.

Running $ dpkg-query -l '*libinput*' in the terminal shows that libinput-bin, libinput10:amd64, libinput5:amd64 and xserver-xorg-input-libinput are installed.

Arch Wiki - Touchpad Synaptics says

Please note that if you want desktop integration (i.e. ability to configure touchpad via GNOME control center or KDE settings), you need xf86-input-libinput.

The xserver-xorg-input-libinput package, which is installed, is built from xf86-input-libinput referred to by Arch Wiki.

How can I solve my problem so that I get the missing settings back?


1 Answer 1


Having had the same issue, I fixed it following this procedure:

  • Install all libinput packages (libinput5, libinput10, xserver-xorg-input- libinput
  • Remove the synaptics driver → xserver-xorg-input-synpatics
  • Remove all synaptics related files in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/ (Like 50-synaptics.conf)
  • Reboot

And the touchpad is back in gcontrol-center.

Cause of the problem:

GNOME and most other desktop environments depended on the old "synaptic" drivers for touchpads. However, in GNOME 3.20, they have switched to libinput. The problem was because "xserver-xorg-input-synaptics" is a dependency of "xserver-xorg-input-all".

Source : https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2016/07/msg00266.html

  • 2
    Since I already had the libinput-bin, libinput10:amd64, libinput5:amd64 and xserver-xorg-input-libinput packages installed, I just needed to remove synaptics and the configuration files so I just ran sudo apt-get purge xserver-xorg-input-synaptics. Now it works!
    – lklun
    Jun 30, 2016 at 6:34
  • This answer is fine as far as it goes; however the Synaptics driver provided a great variety of options through the synclient command line tool, and while some settings are available through xinput, xinput --list-props / xinput --set-prop and xinput --get-button-map / xinput --set-button-map, with a "SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad" in particular, there is not an apparent way to enable two-finger tapping as was available through synclient.
    – rakslice
    Aug 23, 2018 at 22:40

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