Sputnik update: Touchpad driver now available!!!

If you’ve been following project Sputnik — a developer laptop pilot based on Dell’s XPS13 ultrabook and Ubuntu 12.04LTS — you’ll know that the biggest draw back in these initial weeks has been the lack of multi-touch support in the touchpad.  For some this has been annoying, for others this has been such a pain that they have put their system aside until the driver becomes available.  I’m happy to say that as of a few hours ago, a fully open source driver is now publicly available.

Here are the details from Canonical’s Kamal :

The Sputnik ISO image is pre-configured to use the PPA for updates so all systems which were previously installed with that ISO will automatically be offered the PPA update and their touchpads will just start working.  Furthermore, even systems which are installed now (or later) using that ISO will still automatically be offered the updated PPA kernel when they do their first software update.

There is also a link on the Sputnik PPA page to the Cypress driver patch (and also to the whole DellXPS patch set), so folks building their own kernels from source can get it from there.

Shout outs to…

A big thanks to Kamal from Canonical, Mario on the Dell side for driving this, and the vendor Cypress for doing the work!

Extra credit reading

43 Responses to Sputnik update: Touchpad driver now available!!!

  1. Dylan McCall says:

    Wow, this is nice! 🙂

    One thing to note: at the moment, the driver is misbehaving on 32-bit installs, but on 64-bit it works well. That is being resolved in the bug report here: http://pad.lv/978807

    Where should I go to file bug reports about this? It’s working very well for me, but I did notice one problem: if I click very quickly, it detects both a tap _and_ a click — ultimately, a double click. (Try it on a menu bar and you’ll see why it is rather annoying).


    • thanks Dylan! I just got an update about the issue w/32 bit installs about an hour ago, good to hear there’s a bug filed. Let me check with the team to figure out where we should be directing people to file bugs. I’ll pass your bug along.

      stay tuned…


  2. […] the company providing commercial support services and open source leadership for Ubuntu. The latest update announced that a new touchpad driver was available, enabling multi-touch usage. That in itself may […]


  3. Dennis says:

    Great work guys, I’ve just got a hold of my XPS 13 and am eagerly waiting for this final tidbit! I’ll hook up a USB-netinstaller in a few days. I must say that my experience with the trackpad under Windows is not as good as my alost 4 year old MacBook Pro (2-finger scrolling stopped working after a resume, after a reboot it worked again). Tapping isn’t recognized all the time. I’ve just read some experiences of the new Ubuntu driver, keep in mind (or verify with some others), that “buggy” experience isn’t necessarily related to the Ubuntu driver, I experience buggy behaviour in Windows too.

    But, let’s try to make this open source driver work even better than the closed one for Windows. After all, open sourcing it provides an opportunity, let’s use that!

    And again: great work guys!


  4. […] the company providing commercial support services and open source leadership for Ubuntu. The latest update announced that a new touchpad driver was available, enabling multi-touch usage. That in itself may […]


  5. Cristian says:

    I think this is also the same trackpad that’s in the XPS 15z, so good news for those of us who want the high res screen.


  6. André says:

    Thank you for your work!
    I’ve successfully tested it under Gentoo Linux (kernel 3.3) and it’s working like a charm so far.
    This laptop is handsome and I’ll buy another one for my girl friend as soon as Dell will make his offer live. I wish I bought that one at work instead of the Dell Precision 4500.
    I’m looking forward to see your patches going upstream.
    BTW do you have an idea when this will be submitted to the staging tree?


  7. shibbeeme says:

    After updating I can’t move the mouse. 3 & 4 finger gestures seem to be the only thing working. I don’t see the new options in the Mouse/Trackpad settings. Botched install?


  8. Great!
    Then there is only one question left.
    When the new xps 13 with ivy bridge will come out?
    Old cpu=fail


  9. HamBurg says:

    Is this driver only for the XPS13 ultrabook touchpad or is it all touchpads?


  10. W. Quine says:

    I tracked down the change in the ubuntu git repo and built a custom Fedora kernel, and now I’ve got a working touchpad! Thanks! I hope you plan on submitting the change to the upstream linux kernel, otherwise it’ll never be used in Fedora officially.


  11. bkulyk says:

    I’m very glad to get support for the touchpad, that was driving me nuts. I’m still having a odd problem though.

    I turned on “Disable touchpad while typing” and turned off “Enable mouse clicks with touchpad” because I was getting a ton of mis-clicks, the problem is my trackpad is still randomly clicking on things while I’m typing.


    • Mek says:

      Did you find a solution for this?

      I also disabled mouse clicks with the touchpad. I don’t like having to “click” to click, but I figured it was better than having the cursor randomly jump around. Unfortunately the touchpad still seems to register the occasional click from my palms.


  12. Siamak says:

    Awesome. Working for XPS 15z as well. Not many gesture support but it solves the basic problem. Now there’s a touch-pad panel in the settings and I can disable the touchpad while typing. Some one with access should update the Ubuntu wiki on 15z with this.


  13. Cliff Wells says:

    Also works on Lenovo U300s. I was just about ready to return it, so thanks!!!


  14. wellsc says:

    Driver also works on Lenovo U300s. Thanks!


  15. Calcifer says:

    For anyone who might be interested, I’ve created a custom kernel for Arch Linux that includes this driver + the i915 backlight control fixes. https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=60736


  16. tjstevens says:

    I am having the same issue as this user reported on askubuntu. The issue is that the XPS13 hangs on resume from suspend when connected to an external display via Mini DisplayPort.

    Apparently there is a kernal patch that resolves the issue. Any change we can get this packaged in Kamal’s PPA?


  17. I patched fedora’s 3.5.3-1 kernel with cypress touchpad driver. Works well on Lenovo U300s with Fedora 17. Kernel RPMs are available on my blog: http://www.furkantektas.com/teknoloji/linux-kernel-3-5-3-1-rpms-with-cypress-ps2-trackpad-mouse-driver/


  18. […] update: Touchpad driver now available – Blog post from Barton where he explains the open source multi-touch driver for the XPS 13 […]


  19. bjoern says:

    Thanks – Hope this will also work with the Dell XPS 12…


  20. Timo Ewalds says:

    Has this been pushed upstream yet?

    I’ve been trying to tweak the settings to get better 2 and 3 finger taps for right and middle click. It feels pretty random whether a 3 finger tap registers as a right or middle click. This is entirely possible because I tap too low and hit the bottom area. Does anyone have any good settings for this?


  21. […] Update June 21: the driver for the touchpad is now available! […]


  22. […] Update June 21: the driver for the touchpad is now available! […]


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