I dislike touchpads. Okay, that’s not quite true, I truly despise touchpads! Given the choice between a trackpoint (the knob pointer control in the keyboard) and a touchpad (a.k.a. scratchpad), I’ll take the trackpoint every time. I absolutely love the IBM Trackpoint on my Thinkpads. So it was with some angst that I found that booting the work Dell E6400 into Xubuntu using a USB hard drive for travel that both the trackpoint and touchpad were active. Finding a solution was a few search pages away.
The Random Shiznit blog held the solution:
xinput --set-prop "AlpsPS/2 ALPS DualPoint TouchPad" "Synaptics Off" 1
Now, where to put it? Another search led to the XFCE Wiki and the section titled, “How to customize starting Xfce” where it is advised to copy /etc/xdg/xfce4/xinitrc to ~/.config/xfce4/ and customize it. Upon editing the file to add the line above I found the lower section of the file has a comment that advises that code below the comment won’t be executed if xfce4-session management is used. So I added the line above the block that looks for and executes the session manager and Voila! the touchpad is disabled whenever I log into XFCE.