Taming Macbook Pro’s Trackpad in Ubuntu Linux

I’ve been working much more in Ubuntu Linux lately on my 2011 Macbook Pro, and the lack of integration for the trackpad has really been driving me crazy. The default synaptics driver does an ok job, but when it comes to things like gestures, the details make all the difference.

I tried BlueDragon’s xf86-input-mtrack, an Xorg driver for multitouch trackpads. It seems to act more like a mouse emulator and offers some options for control via gestures. The most important options for me were the ability to ignore a thumb as it rests on the trackpad, as well as being able to map three-fingered swiping gestures for web navigation.

After a bit of tuning, here’s the configuration I found came the closest to what I was used to in OSX. Still not perfect, but serviceable: