Enable ‘Tap to click’ in Ubuntu 21.10 GDM Login Screen

Last updated: September 23, 2021

For notebook or PC with a touchpad, you’ll find that tap clicking function does not work in the GNOME login screen out-of-the-box, either in Ubuntu or other Linux.

You may hit Enter on keyboard to login after typing password. It will however more convenient if tap to click works when trying to select another user, session, or upper right corner menu. And here’s how to enable this function in Ubuntu 21.10 and Ubuntu 20.04.

Enable Tap Clicking in GDM Login Screen.

Both the System Settings and ‘Dconf Editor’ configuration tool have option to toggle ‘Tap to Click’ in Ubuntu. However, none works for the login screen due to permission issue. You need the gdm system user privilege to do the setting.

1.) Firstly, open terminal by either searching from the overview screen or pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard.

2.) When terminal opens, run command to add user gdm to the control list:

xhost SI:localuser:gdm

It will indicate that ‘localuser:gdm being added to access control list’.

3.) Finally run gsettings command to enable ‘tap to click’ using gdm user privilege:

sudo -u gdm gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.peripherals.touchpad tap-to-click true

If you want to do more settings about the GNOME login screen, you may first install “Dconf Editor” and launch the tool via gdm system user. To do so, paste the command below into terminal and hit run:

xhost SI:localuser:gdm && sudo -u gdm dconf-editor

When it opens, navigate to “org/gnome/login-screen“. There you may toggle settings for disable user list, enable fingerprint, smartcard authentications, and more.

That’s all. Enjoy!

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I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected]

10 responses to Enable ‘Tap to click’ in Ubuntu 21.10 GDM Login Screen

  1. thanks you!!!

  2. I get this error when entering:

    ~# xhost +SI:localuser:gdm
    No protocol specified
    xhost: unable to open display ":0"

  3. dconf-WARNING **: Unable to open /root/.local/share/flatpak/exports/share/dconf/profile/user

  4. Thanks for your post. I have successfully enabled Tap-to-click following your solution and also at the same time put my laptop numlock ‘on’ on login prompt using
    following the first gsettings being still gdm user.

  5. On previous post the command disappeared its :
    gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.keyboard numlock-state ‘on’

  6. Hi, I get this error:
    __________________________________________________
    $ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.peripherals.touchpad tap-to-click true

    (process:3793): dconf-WARNING **: failed to commit changes to dconf: Error executing spawning from command line «dbus-launch –autolaunch=0b72f5435a794c6a971e891289336f3d –binary-syntax –close-stderr»: Child process exited with code 1
    __________________________________________________
    How do I solve this?
    Thank you!

  7. Thank you! It worked perfectly.

  8. Tanks from Brazil