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Enable/Disable Touch-Screen on Arch Linux

Since Linux Kernel 3.2, multitouch devices are handled by the hid-multitouch module.

Thus, normally, the touchscreen device of a pc is supported by the newest kernels. To verify that, you have to use the xinput command via bash and obtain a result like the following.

[email protected] ~ $ xinput

⎡ Virtual core pointer                      	id=2	[master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer              	id=4	[slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad              	id=11	[slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint                   	id=12	[slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ ELAN Touchscreen                        	id=9	[slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                     	id=3	[master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard             	id=5	[slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                            	id=6	[slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Video Bus                               	id=7	[slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Integrated Camera                       	id=8	[slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard            	id=10	[slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ ThinkPad Extra Buttons                  	id=13	[slave  keyboard (3)]

where the highlighted row show that the pc has an ELAN Touchscreen.


Now if you want to disable this device, maybe to increase the battery life, you have to digit

xinput -disable "device"

In this case

xinput -disable "ELAN Touchscreen"


Now if you want to re-enable this device (in my case the kernel automatically identified and enabled this device during the installation of the OS) you have to digit

xinput -enable "device"

In this case

xinput -enable "ELAN Touchscreen"

Thats all! GWH!

Published by Francesco Serafin

I am a PhD student at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Trento. My two greatest loves: Computer Science and Water (take three with my Lenovo!:D). As a result, the aim of my life is to make both passions coexist. My gpg public key available at

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