Friday, May 20, 2011

Enabling Clickpad of Probook 4420s on Linux Mint 10 Solved

Linux Mint which is based on Ubuntu, uses most of the Ubuntu's repositories for its update. The problem that has been detected on most of the laptops (mostly HPs) is regarding the Clickpad. Though the touchpad and left click buttons work, but the right click has a major issue. I have got a HP Probook 4420s on which basic features like vertical & horizontal scrolling, right click, click & drag are quite troublesome. Though my lappy has got awesomely weird touchpad, I tried to find out a work around for the clickpad issue. After googling for the issue, I found a patch psmouse-2.6.35-22-generic-patched.tar.bz2 and a fix for ubuntu 10.10. As the patch name suggests a kernel 2.6.35-22 which was released with ubuntu 10.10. I was completely unsure of it's working on Linux Mint 10. After giving it a try, it WORKED!!! Though I am not die-hard touchpad/clickpad fan (not atleast on my lappy), the work around seems to work well.

Moreover though the support provided by ubuntu is bit flaky for the clickpads, but due to some packages called dkms (upgrades the kernel modules without replacing the whole of it) & build-essential (compiles packages from source) the kernel modules can be rebuilt. Which in simpler terms means that patch just needs to be repatched after the upgradation of the OS/kernel. Thanks to ubuntu for leaving some space in there (the kernel), which has made some complex issues to be resolved efforlessly.

Here are some steps (not so effortless with creepy unix commands) that I managed to workout for the issue commonly prevalent in Linux Mint 10 on HP Probook 4420s.

1. First of all install dkms & build-essential which are most essential.

sudo apt-get install dkms build-essential

2. Download the patch psmouse-2.6.35-22-generic-patched.tar.bz2 from here

3. Extract it to whichever location you want to.

tar jxvf psmouse-2.6.35-22-generic-patched.tar.bz2

4. Now copy the extracted folder to /usr/src/

sudo cp -r psmouse-2.6.35-22-generic /usr/src

5. Move to /usr/src/

cd /usr/src

6. psmouse module installation

sudo dkms add -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic
sudo dkms build -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic
sudo dkms install -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic

The installation will be successfuly completed like the below mentioned screenshot

After the installation is complete rebooting the machine is necessary and that is all we had to do. Now after rebooting the clickpad should be working normal (like a clickpad which works after clicks)

We can anytime confirm if the pmouse module is installed.

sudo dkms status -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic


psmouse, 2.6.35-22-generic, 2.6.35-22-generic, i686: installed

If installing the module doesnt work or may be if you just hate the patch for some reason (clickpad wont hate you back), you can uninstall it. Or if you want to reinstall it, first uninstall the module with the help of below mentioned steps.

sudo dkms uninstall -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic
sudo dkms remove -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic --all

I have upgraded to ubuntu 11.04, and found that HP Probook 4420s clickpad bug has been almost fixed. The least basic multi-touch is working. Though when I want to right-click my mouse I have to do it with two fingers (i.e. One on touchpad and the other has to click right-click button). Also touchpad seems bit less jumpy now. Everything else seems to work fine like edge/horizontal scrolling, two finger scrolling. Unfortunately its lacking in pinch to zoom and some more multitouch features, but that doesnt make much difference (not atleast to me). Hence, I decided to uninstall the psmouse module which is currently not supported on Ubuntu 11.04.
Thats the end of the story of psmouse which was quite popular due to Ubuntu 10.04/10. This guide has solved my problem on Linux Mint 10 but still it hasnt helped me sparing my mouse on Ubuntu 11.04 either, I hope someone will find it helpful.

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