Touchpad options missing drag lock feature

Bug #1234846 reported by CaptSaltyJack on 2013-10-03
This bug affects 7 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-control-center (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

This has been an issue for quite some time, and I think it deserves some serious attention for the 14.04 LTS release.

There is no way to enable/disable (or adjust) drag lock in Ubuntu without going into a shell and using xinput. It would be nice to have a checkbox to enable/disable drag lock, and possibly set the lock timeout value as well, though a hardcoded value might work OK too. I have my "Synaptics Locked Drags Timeout" to 500 and it feels like a good natural delay. (the user can always tap again while locked to force unlock like on other OSs).

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 13.04
Package: unity 7.0.0daily13.06.19~13.04-0ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.8.0-31.46-generic
Uname: Linux 3.8.0-31-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.9.2-0ubuntu8.3
Architecture: amd64
CompizPlugins: No value set for `/apps/compiz-1/general/screen0/options/active_plugins'
Date: Thu Oct 3 12:23:41 2013
InstallationDate: Installed on 2013-09-15 (17 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 13.04 "Raring Ringtail" - Release amd64 (20130424)
MarkForUpload: True
 PATH=(custom, no user)
SourcePackage: unity
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

CaptSaltyJack (csjubuntu) wrote :
CaptSaltyJack (csjubuntu) wrote :


Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Stephen M. Webb (bregma) on 2013-10-29
no longer affects: unity (Ubuntu)
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. The issue you are reporting is an upstream one and it would be nice if somebody having it could send the bug to the developers of the software by following the instructions at If you have done so, please tell us the number of the upstream bug (or the link), so we can add a bugwatch that will inform us about its status. Thanks in advance.

Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Confirmed
CaptSaltyJack (csjubuntu) wrote :

I'm not sure what upstream means or what to do at this point. I have the latest Ubuntu 14.04 with 3.13.0-29 kernel, and there is still no drag lock option in the touchpad preferences.

willglaub (willglaub) wrote :

Confirmed here as well, on precise, saucy, and trusty in unity, on multiple devices.

The lack of this feature is an annoyance to me (and others I know) daily. Dragging very far across a screen without drag-lock is unsafe, as there may not be enough touch-pad real-estate to make the journey, or the sensitivity of the pad may lead to inadvertent drop. In both cases, items wind up being dropped where they don't belong -- often into unintended folders, etc. not only locally, but in web-interfaces that may lack undo-features, or have public side-effects.

Not everyone has physical buttons for their newer touch-pads to use as a work-around, and many of us prefer to have a silent (no mechanical clicks) mousing experience. The lack of this feature is one of those things that makes Ubuntu suffer polish-points and usability points versus the other major OSs and their GUIs.

mario89 (vazileh) wrote :

Just to let you know... I am another user waiting for this feature FOR YEARS... I needed this feature for Ubuntu 14.04. I did some complicated workaround, which I don't remember anymore, to enable this feature myself. Now I installed Ubuntu 16.04 and I can't believe that Ubuntu is STILL MISSING such a feature. Guys, this is EASY TO IMPLEMENT. Lots of users really need this for their touchpad. Just do it! Please! How hard can it be?

mario89 (vazileh) on 2016-08-21
tags: added: critical
tags: added: high-priority
mario89 (vazileh) wrote :

Ah, I found my workaround again. Very complicated, that I can tell you. Since this thread is #1 google result if you search for drag lock, and the actual solution is far behind at 3rd or 4th page, I will post the solution here. Hope this can compensate the unwillingness of Ubuntu developers:

1. Open a terminal.

2. type "xinput list" to see your devices. Look for your TouchPad device. Make a note of its id#. (mine is 10) If you are not sure which id is the correct one, just try any of them. You will see that it was the wrong one if it doesn't show anything in step 3 or if it doesn't work in the end.

3. Then type "xinput list-props 10 | grep Lock" (replace '10' with whatever your ID is) and you'll see options for locked drags and a timeout value. Make a note of their ID#s (in parentheses) for easy access. You want to set locked drags to 1, and timeout to whatever is comfortable for you (bug reporter suggested 500).

4. Then type
"xinput set-prop 10 248 1" (259 is my ID for Locked Drags)
"xinput set-prop 10 285 500" (260 is my ID for Locked Drags Timeout)

5. Done. Changes should take effect immediately. If not, maybe you picked the wrong id in step 2. Just try with a different id.

mario89 (vazileh) wrote :

Just found out that there command are not permanent. Both settings are lost on reboot. Here is how to fix it: Just add both commands from step 4 to your startup applications. See here:

And I screwed up some numbers in step 4, so don't worry if your ids look different than mine.

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