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RPM Filename libinput-gestures-2.48-1no1linux.2020.noarch.rpm
Category System
SRPM libinput-gestures-2.48-1no1linux.2020.src.rpm
Note LININPUT-GESTURES

LIBINPUT-GESTURES

Libinput-gestures is a utility which reads libinput gestures from your touchpad and maps them to gestures you configure in a configuration file. Each gesture can be configured to activate a shell command which is typically an xdotool command to action desktop/window/application keyboard combinations and commands. See the examples in the provided libinput-gestures.conf file. My motivation for creating this is to use triple swipe up/down to switch workspaces, and triple swipe right/left to go backwards/forwards in my browser, as per the default configuration.

This small and simple utility is only intended to be used temporarily until GNOME and other DE's action libinput gestures natively. It parses the output of the libinput list-devices and libinput debug-events utilities so is a little fragile to any version changes in their output format.

This utility is developed and tested on Arch linux using the GNOME 3 DE on Xorg and Wayland. It works somewhat incompletely on Wayland (via XWayland). See the WAYLAND section below and the comments in the default libinput-gestures.conf file. It has been reported to work with KDE. I am not sure how well this will work on all distros and DE's etc.

The latest version and documentation is available at https://github.com/bulletmark/libinput-gestures.


CONFIGURATION

It is helpful to start by reading the documentation about what libinput calls gestures. Many users will be happy with the default configuration in which case you can just type the following and you are ready to go:

libinput-gestures-setup autostart
libinput-gestures-setup start

Otherwise, if you want to create your own custom gestures etc, keep reading ..

The default gestures are in /etc/libinput-gestures.conf. If you want to create your own custom gestures then copy that file to ~/.config/libinput-gestures.conf and edit it. There are many examples and options described in that file. The available gestures are:

Gesture Example Mapping
swipe up GNOME/KDE/etc move to next workspace
swipe down GNOME/KDE/etc move to prev workspace
swipe left Web browser go forward
swipe right Web browser go back
swipe left_up Jump to next open web browser tab
swipe left_down Jump to previous open web browser tab
swipe right_up Close current web browser tab
swipe right_down Reopen and jump to last closed web browser tab
pinch in GNOME open/close overview
pinch out GNOME open/close overview
pinch clockwise
pinch anticlockwise


NOTE: If you don't use "natural" scrolling direction for your touchpad then you may want to swap the default left/right and up/down configurations.

You can choose to specify a specific finger count, typically 3 or more fingers for swipe, and 2 or more for pinch. If a finger count is specified then the command is executed when exactly that number of fingers is used in the gesture. If not specified then the command is executed when that gesture is invoked with any number of fingers. Gestures specified with finger count have priority over the same gesture specified without any finger count.

Of course, 2 finger swipes and taps are already interpreted by your DE and apps for scrolling etc.

IMPORTANT: Test the program. Check for reported errors in your custom gestures, missing packages, etc:

# Ensure the program is stopped
libinput-gestures-setup stop

# Test to print out commands that would be executed:
libinput-gestures -d
(<ctrl-c> to stop)

Confirm that the correct commands are reported for your 3 finger swipe up/down/left/right gestures, and your 2 or 3 finger pinch in/out gestures. Some touchpads can also support 4 finger gestures. If you have problems then follow the TROUBLESHOOTING steps below.

Apart from simple environment variable and ~ substitutions within the configured command name, libinput-gestures does not run the configured command under a shell so shell argument substitutions and expansions etc will not be parsed. This is for efficiency and because most don't need it. This also means your PATH is not respected of course so you must specify the full path to any command. If you need something more complicated, you can add your commands in an executable personal script, e.g. ~/bin/libinput-gestures.sh e.g. with a #!/bin/sh shebang . Run that script by hand until you get it working then configure the script path as your command in your libinput-gestures.conf.

In most cases, libinput-gestures automatically determines your touchpad device. However, you can specify it in your configuration file if needed. If you have multiple touchpads you can also specify libinput-gestures to use all devices. See the notes in the default libinput-gestures.conf file about the device configuration command.

STARTING AND STOPPING

Search for, and then start, the libinput-gestures app in your DE or you can start it immediately in the background using the command line utility:

libinput-gestures-setup start

You can stop the background app with:

libinput-gestures-setup stop

You can enable the app to start automatically in the background when you log in (on an XDG compliant DE such as GNOME and KDE) with:

libinput-gestures-setup autostart

You can disable the app from starting automatically with:

libinput-gestures-setup autostop

You can restart the app or reload the configuration file with:

libinput-gestures-setup restart

You can check the status of the app with:

libinput-gestures-setup status

EXTENDED GESTURES

They are not enabled in the default libinput-gestures.conf configuration file but you can enable extended gestures which augment the gestures listed above in CONFIGURATION. See the commented out examples in libinput-gestures.conf.

  • swipe right_up (e.g. jump to next open browser tab)
  • swipe left_up (e.g. jump to previous open browser tab)
  • swipe left_down (e.g. close current browser tab)
  • swipe right_down (e.g. reopen and jump to last closed browser tab)
  • pinch clockwise
  • pinch anticlockwise

So instead of just configuring the usual swipe up/down and left/right each at 90 degrees separation, you can add the above extra 4 swipes to give a total of 8 swipe gestures each at 45 degrees separation. It works better than you may expect, at least after some practice. It means you can completely manage browser tabs from your touchpad.



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