How to Install Libinput-gestures to Enable Multi-Touch Gestures in Ubuntu

Last updated: July 9, 2021 — Leave a comment

For laptop users, the built-in touchpad can do more magic by enabling multi-touch gestures. And libinput-gestures is a popular solution besides touchegg.

Libinput-gestures is a free open-source utility that reads libinput gestures from your touchpad and maps them to user customized gestures. Each gesture can be configured to activate a keyboard key combination via xdotool utility.

How to Install libinput-gestures in Ubuntu:

1.) Before getting started, you need to add your user to input group to have permission to read the touchpad device. To do so, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command:

sudo gpasswd -a $USER input

2.) Libinput-gestures replies on xdotool, libinput-tools, and wmctrl. You need to install them by running command:

sudo apt install wmctrl xdotool libinput-tools

3.) Finally download the source tarball, navigate to source folder, and install it by running following commands one by one:

git clone https://github.com/bulletmark/libinput-gestures.git

cd libinput-gestures

sudo ./libinput-gestures-setup install

4.) To make the service automatic starts at login, run command:

libinput-gestures-setup autostart start

Because step 1. needs a system restart to apply change, it may outputs failed to add the service to system start. Just ignore it, and restart your machine.

Configure gestures:

The default configurations locates in /etc/libinput-gestures.conf file. You can open terminal and run command to edit it:

sudo gedit /etc/libinput-gestures.conf

Read the description and change it accordingly.

Hate editing config files? There’s a graphical tool to configure touchpad gestures.

Open terminal and you can run following commands one by one to install the tool via flatpak package:

a.) Install the Flatpak daemon via command:

sudo apt install flatpak

b.) Add the Flathub repository which hosts the app package:

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

c.) Finally install the graphical tool via command:

flatpak install flathub com.gitlab.cunidev.Gestures

Once installed, open it from system app launcher and enjoy!

Uninstall Libinput Gestures:

To remove the graphical configuration tool, run command:

flatpak uninstall --delete-data com.gitlab.cunidev.Gestures && flatpak uninstall --unused

To remove the libinput gestures, run command:

sudo libinput-gestures-setup uninstal

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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]

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