How to Enable Right | Middle Click On Clickpads – Ubuntu 10.10


There is a Post on how to enable Multitouch support using a patch not supported with this work around, you might want to take a look first.

I got my self a new laptop recently. The old one was well getting old and starting to lose it, so when I got an offer I could not refuse, I sold it and didn’t look back. I settle for the HP Probook 4420s which turned out to be the best notebook in terms of performance, under the hood awesomeness, and build (Hopefully a review would come later. )

The first thing I did after unboxing my laptop was to install Kubuntu 10.04 which installed and ran smoothly with everything working out of the box. When the beta version of Kubuntu 10.10 was released, I decided to give it a go but noticed that I was unable to rightclick with the laptop’s clickpad.


Clickpads are the latest innovations from Synaptic (Not the package Manager Gui ) It replaces the traditional touchpad which is convention with most laptops.  It is  (From what I read)  suppose to bring better gesture support and multi touch. Unlike tranditional Touchpads which has 3 physical button, built with single touch in mind. The clickpad is just one Click Button which has been mapped into Zones (i.e there is the right and left click zone etc)

Ubuntu Support

Support the for clickpad on Ubuntu is still a bit flaky.  Not only are advanced features like enhanced gesture support and multitouch not available out of the box on Ubuntu. Other basic features like right clicking, horizontal scrolling, click and drag etc can be quite a hassle.  On Ubuntu 10.04 some of the basic features have been fixed (although multitouch support is still lacking).

Same thing can not be said of Ubuntu 10.10 because there was a regression which make it impossible to right click using the touchpad.  Already a bug has been filled concerning the issue which should hopefully be fixed during the Maverick release circle.

Walk  Around

The Good news is there is a walk around this issue for those who won’t mind getting their hands dirty with messing around with the command-line. The walk around involves using a psmouse patch submitted by Paul which fixes the issue. (At least for me)

For this walk around some packages would have to be installed namely the build-essential package and the dkms packages. Build-essentials helps install basic tools needed for compiling packages from source, while the dkms  ”is a framework designed to allow individual kernel modules to be upgraded without changing the whole kernel. It is also very easy to rebuild modules as you upgrade kernels. framework designed to allow individual kernel modules to be upgraded without changing the whole kernel. It is also very easy to rebuild modules as you upgrade kernels.” which in English means whatever module we patch  would not need to be repatched should the system’s kernel be upgraded. (At least that’s the idea)

sudo apt-get install dkms build-essential

The fix involves patching the psmouse module using the paul’s archive which is the mouse source directory for   linux 2.6.35-22-generic (The version of Linux Kernal which shipped with Ubuntu 10.10 as at blog time)

First download the archive file from here

save the downloaded file to your desktop

Open a terminal (Application/Accessories/Terminal –  Kubuntu users should go /System/Konsole)


Move to the Directory where the archive was saved (In this case the desktop) and extract the content of the archive

cd $HOME/Desktop && tar xvf  psmouse-2.6.35-22-generic-patched.tar.bz2.tar

The name of the package as changed since writing this post the new command which reflects the change is

cd $HOME/Desktop && tar jxvf psmouse-2.6.35-22-generic-patched.tar.bz2

Move the extracted folder to /usr/src which is under the root directory hence the command would have to be executed with sudo

sudo mv psmouse-2.6.35-22-generic /usr/src

Move into the /usr/src directory

cd /usr/src

Then install the psmouse module with the following commands running them one after the other

sudo dkms add -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic

sudo dkms build -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic

sudo dkms install -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic

Once installed reboot for the module to be loaded.

If you are still having issues with right clicks. This command would help check if the psmodule is installed

sudo dkms status -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic

The output should be something like this

psmouse, 2.6.35-22-generic, 2.6.35-22-generic, i686: installed

If it is not installed. It can always be rebuilt with the following command

sudo dkms build -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic

sudo dkms install -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic

In case you followed this guide and it did not work for you, or Ubuntu releases an official fix for the issue (in which case you would have to remove the changes made following this guide to prevent conflicts) or for some reason you would like to revert the changes made following this guide. simply do

sudo dkms uninstall -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic

sudo dkms remove -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic --all

Following this guide does not lead to the nirvana of clickpad awesomeness (at least not for me). There are still some issues with Jumpy mouse which also affect windows 7. However it does make the clickpad much more useful under Ubuntu even then I would suggest that for serious work it won’t hurt to have a mouse handy :D

NB You can track the bug concerning this issue here

Thanks to Paul and Tob who really helped with the patch which fixes this issue.

I hope someone finds this useful.

This content is published under the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

This entry was posted in Gnome, Guides, KDE, kubuntu, Linux Admin, Ubuntu and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Will

    Thanks for posting this! Works like a charm on my HP Envy 15 clickpad.

  • Claudio GE

    Thanks for this post!
    I confirm it works very good on my HP Envy 17″.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks! Got my right-click back on my lovely HP dm4.
    Scrolling and middle clicking (which I do from top right of the ClickPad) were still working for me though, but life without a right click is just hard. I did some tweaking myself on Windows (, and hope that some day I’ll get the same functionality in Ubuntu. Meanwhile, I’ll try and get my WiFi back up (which was working fine in Lucid), and hope for better power management with Switchable Graphics Handling some day…

    • superted187


      I’ve got a dm4 too and got my right click back thanks to this guide (awesome!) However moving windows around is a little annoying as you can’t hold down the left click key and drag around the pad – it looks like the laptop isn’t making a distinction between the different areas on the touchpad.

      Has anyone got any ideas?


      • mugginz

        Can you use the double tap method?

        That is, move the pointer to the windows title bar, double tap the title bar and on the second tap hold down your finger and move the pointer. To clarify, don’t lift on the second tap.

        It works on some touch pads.

  • carus

    Thanks a lot! Worked perfectly!

  • Ernestodepesto

    Fantastic !!!! Thanks to this manual I can finally use my envy i720 with ubuntu!!!

    Thanks man!

  • Prof. Sujan Sengupta

    I have tried several methods described in other sites and almost gave up with my Lenovo Ideapad s10-3t touchpad. Finally your guide resolved the problem with Ubuntu 10.10. Many thanks.

  • abercrombie

    Some just set up, for lack of experience in all aspects of grass-roots organizations will be asked: has not been established in media relations,

  • Ivan Kristianto

    Good work mate and very useful!
    i myself using a Toshiba notebook with Ubuntu 10.04 (haven’t upgrade yet),
    and my clickpad is fine and smooth.

  • thx

    thank you so much … works without any probs on a hp envy 13

  • Ocujos

    Thank you!
    It worked fine (with restrictions, as you described in your article) on Envy 15 Gen 2

  • Ashok14

    Thanks its more useful …. now my right click is working….

  • Jarrod

    Thanks for the info, my R-Click is now working…”clickpad” an upgrade? not so sure about that – why should the mouse move when I try to click on something??? (very frustrating)…would much rather have a good ol’ touchpad…we’ll see if it grows on me as support becomes more available

  • Fábio Paiva

    Obrigado (thanks from Brazil)

  • Eric Williams

    Upon running sudo dkms build -m… I get the following error:

    eric@eric-UbuntuOnCr48:/usr/src$ sudo dkms build -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic
    Error! Your kernel headers for kernel cannot be found at
    /lib/modules/ or /lib/modules/
    You can use the –kernelsourcedir option to tell DKMS where it’s located, or you could install the linux-headers- package.

  • Ljkjlkj

    Is there a way to do this without rebooting? I am trying it on a liveCD because I don’t want to install Linux if I don’t know if I can get my touchpad working properly.


  • Guest

    thank-you all working now … cheers!

  • Luca


    anyway to use this patch with linux I’m using ubuntu maverick on an hp mini 210!

    Thank you for your help!

  • Arkos Noem Arenom

    You are the best, thanks for this tutorial… my clickpad now works thanks to you…

  • Pingback: Enable MultiTouch Support for Clickpad On Ubuntu 10.10 « bigbrovar

  • HappyGuest

    Thanx! Works just fine :)

  • Adamprine

    Awesome, thanks for posting this up. My HP DM4 finally has right click.

    I’m 100% virgin to Linux and am running ubuntu 10.10 This fix was easy to follow for me and I know very little about Unix commands or any thing linux related. I can now more easily try to stick with using linux as windows 7 was calling my name because of this click-pad issue. It still sucks though having no ability to select text or drag and drop files. hopefully the smart guys will get it figured out at some point.

  • Polo

    Ok with Hp Envy 13 on 10.10
    Uname -r => 2.6.35-25-generic


    • Tobias

      Thanks for commenting. I tried again because of your post and now it works.

  • TheFunkeyGibbon

    Well it does was it says, it fixes the double click issue. I still have two issues but I doubt they are going to be resolved any time soon:

    1) If you use more than one finger at a time the pointer goes MENTAL, zooming all over the place.

    2) Touch to click (like the Touch Zone support on Windows version of the driver) would be useful as putting enough pressure on the pad to click causes it to register movement of your finger too.

    What was wrong with the touch pad that SynapticsHP had to ‘fix’ them – this design is HORRIBLE.

  • emre


    i use the same laptop as you settled with HP PROBOOK 4420s n also i got the same problem as you discuss. n also, i use the same step as you tell, but the thing… i didnt get the same result. it troubles when ive finished the first step: “First download the archive file from here” actually it save in the root, then i move it to the desktop to follow this step: “save the downloaded file to your desktop”
    got no trouble up to here.. then, i feel a bit confused when i read this… is this for UBUNTU or KUBUNTU or can be used both?
    “Open a terminal (Application/Accessories/Terminal – Kubuntu System/Konsole)”
    okay, starting from this. i cant execute any further
    “Move to the Directory where the archive was saved (In this case the desktop) and extract the content of the archive
    cd $HOME/Desktop && tar xvf psmouse-2.6.35-22-generic-patched.tar.bz2.tar”

    here i got the message from terminal:
    “tar: psmouse-2.6.35-22-generic-patched.tar.bz2.tar: Cannot open: No such file or directory
    tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now
    rizqimuhammad@rizqimuhammad:~/Desktop$ ^C

    n now i dunno what to do, please kindly your reply i wait much. thank you

    • bigbrovar

      “got no trouble up to here.. then, i feel a bit confused when i read this… is this for UBUNTU or KUBUNTU or can be used both?”

      oh sorry for the confusion. Kubuntu and Ubuntu are more of less the same system but running different set of User Interface. Ubuntu uses the Gnome desktop User Interface while Kubuntu uses the Kde Desktop Interface. You should not have to bother about this things really. but if you want to read more you can see this and yes the guide has been confirmed to work on both Ubuntu and Kubuntu, I am a Kubuntu user hence the article was more turned towards my experience in that regards.

      “Open a terminal (Application/Accessories/Terminal – Kubuntu System/Konsole)”
      This is for people who use Kubuntu, Ubuntu user (such as yourself should go to (Application/Accessories/ Terminal) Its just the command to open the Terminal from where commands can be entered.

      “cd $HOME/Desktop && tar xvf psmouse-2.6.35-22-generic-patched.tar.bz2.tar”
      Ok the name of the package as changed since I wrote the post. the command should be (please make sure the downloaded package is saved on your desktop)

      cd $HOME/Desktop && tar jxvf psmouse-2.6.35-22-generic-patched.tar.bz2

      everything should be smooth from there on. Cheers

  • emre

    ok bro, thanks. it works ! for the right click, but…

    one problem. it messed up when id like to drag using clickpad, it such in un-order. it goes anywhere n pointer on screen such vibrating. but, if i use mouse. its okay.

    well, what do you think this problem with? your help is so much appreciated bro, thanks

  • Evan

    Just what I needed for my HP DM4 (dm4t-1100)
    Gave me a right click for the bottom right of my unified touchpad, and it even made it so when I put two fingers on the touchpad, it doesn’t go nearly as erratic/crazy. Two birds with one stone. Very nice.

  • Evan

    Just what I needed for my HP DM4 (dm4t-1100)

    My unified touchpad now has a right click, and accidentally pressing down two fingers is not nearly as jittery as it was before. Two birds with one stone. Hopefully gesture support is on the horizon for Ubuntu. Great article.

  • Jakub Jarabica

    How about workaround for 11.04? Right click has stopped working after upgrade :/

  • Dodee Pranata

    i use probook 4421s, and has the same problem, i followed your instruction, and here the commad
    psmouse, 2.6.35-22-generic, 2.6.35-29-generic, i686: installed, but my touchpad still cant use properly especially right and left clik….could you help me….

  • Pingback: Better Clickpad Support for Kubuntu 11.04 | bigbrovar

  • juan ma

    thanks i used on my envy 15 =D

  • Sanjeev Find

    I am getting below err:
    ERROR: binary package for psmouse: 2.6.35-22-generic not found

    Ubuntu 11.04

    • kev

      i’m also getting this error, any help?

      • Mundus

         the same problem, have u solve this problem and can u help me?

  • Leandro

    100% ok for me in my HP DM1-3250br

  • Mundus

    still dont work on my hp 4520s, this is the report of the error:

    “sudo dkms build -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic

    Kernel preparation unnecessary for this kernel.  Skipping…

    Building module:
    cleaning build area….
    make KERNELRELEASE=3.2.0-25-generic-pae -C /lib/modules/3.2.0-25-generic-pae/build M=/var/lib/dkms/psmouse/2.6.35-22-generic/build/src psmouse.ko….(bad exit status: 2)
    ERROR (dkms apport): binary package for psmouse: 2.6.35-22-generic not found
    Error! Bad return status for module build on kernel: 3.2.0-25-generic-pae (i686)
    Consult /var/lib/dkms/psmouse/2.6.35-22-generic/build/make.log for more information.”

    • Mundus

       can u help me?

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