Linux Mint on Macbook White 4,1 (late 2007) Touchpad Tuning


If you installed Linux Mint 17.2 Rafaela in a Macbook White 4,1 or booted it up from a live DVD or USB stick, you will immediately notice that the Touchpad is not responsive enough, not it is sensitive to mouse movements, irritating touch to click and simply painful to use. Here is a quick fix for that!


-Linux kernel

While it is generally recommended to stay on the recommended default kernel, we are going to install a new kernel version (3.19.0-28). Out of the different kernels I tried, 3.19.0-28 seemed to be the one who got it right. We are also going to address the touchpad speed and sensitivity later.

Open Update Manager, from the top menu select View => linux kernels. Scroll down the list, select kernel and click Install.


Reboot your Macbook!




– Touchpad Tuning

Ok, it is now time to make our Touchpad feel smooth again. Open Mouse and Touchpad settings, switch to the Touchpad tab, enable Tap to click and Two-finger scrolling. Feel free to adjust additional options if you wish and close the window when done.


Note that not all options will work as expected, specifically the Pointer speed Acceleration and Sensitivity, but that’s fine because we are going to fine tune these as well next.

Open Terminal (don’t be scared!) and type:

synclient -l

A list of Parameter settings are going to show up. The default parameters seem to play nice with newer Macbook but not with our older model. To keep it simple, you can change each parameter manually from the terminal, for example:


sudo synclient FingerLow=45
sudo synclient FingerHigh=50


Those will give you a smoother touchpad touch for our older Macbook but all changes will be reverted after rebooting. Got the idea? Great! Let’s make these changes permanent…

To make the changes permanent and to save you some time create a new Startup Applications… open Startup Applications, click on the Add button, enter the new app parameters as shown below and Save it.

Name: Synclient
Command: synclient FingerLow=45 FingerHigh=50 PalmDetect=1 MinSpeed=1 MaxSpeed=3 AccelFactor=0.5
Comment: Touchpad Fix
Startup Delay: 0


Make sure that the startup application we have just created in the step above is set to ‘ON’ and reboot. After rebooting you should have a smooth and familiar touchpad, mouse tracking and clicking once again. You’re welcome!



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