Goodbye, Synaptiks

Yesterday, snapshot 20150115 for opensuse Tumbleweed showed up.  So I updated my system.  While updating, I noticed that “synaptiks” was being removed.

That’s not a problem on that system, since it is a desktop so does not have a touchpad.  But I have been relying on “synaptiks” for several years on my laptop, so I investigated.

Checking the repos

After the update, I rebooted.  Then I opened Yast Software Management to see if synaptiks was still in the repo.  It was.  So I selected it for install.

A conflict resolution dialog popped up.  I was hoping for that, as it would tell me something about why “synaptiks” was removed.

According to the conflict dialog, “synaptiks” was obsoleted by “kcm_touchpad”.  So I was not going to be left high and dry.

Testing  kcm_touchpad

In order to test the replacement software, I would need a touchpad.  So I downloaded the live KDE iso for 20150115.  I “burned” that to a USB (I used “dd_rescue”).  Then I booted my laptop to that USB.

I opened “Configure Desktop” and clicked on “Input Devices”, expecting the touchpad settings to be there.  They weren’t.

The next possibility was that kcm_touchpad was not on the live media.  So I opened Yast Software Management.  And, indeed, it was not installed.

I first went to options, and selected “Ignore recommended Packages for already installed packages”.  Otherwise, Yast would have automatically installed a lot more software.  I did not need that on the live USB.  Having set that option, I then selected “kcm_touchpad” for install.

The install went well.  So I again clicked on “Configure Desktop” and selected “Input Devices”.  There were now touchpad settings.  And it looked as if it had all of the setting that I might want.  But there was a problem.  The settings were all grayed out.

Okay.  Maybe it was because kcm_touchpad was not there when KDE started up.  So I logged out, then logged in again.

The settings were all there and they were now accessible.  I configured the touchpad the way I wanted.  And it seemed to work well.

I am happy with this change.


I am typing this post on my main desktop, which is running opensuse 13.2.  Firefox was recently upgraded to 35.0.

The firefox spell checker flagged the word “dialog” (earlier in this post).  It wanted the spelling to be “dialogue”.  Sigh!

Looking at the spell check settings, I see that the upgrade to firefox 35.0 has reverted to the Canadian English dictionary instead of the US dictionary.  I changed that, and now it likes “dialog”.



About Neil Rickert

Retired mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

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