Skip to content
master
Go to file
Code

README.md

Follow Touchégg on... Twitter

Touchégg

Touchégg is an app that runs in the background and transform the gestures you make on your touchpad into visible actions in your desktop.

For example, you can swipe up with 3 fingers to maximize a window or swipe left with 4 finger to switch to the next desktop.

Many more actions and gestures are available and everything is easily configurable.

Demo

🎥 Ubuntu demo
🎥 elementary OS demo
🎥 Touchscreen demo

Table of contents

Installation

On the releases page you will find a package for your distribution.

Otherwise you can compile the source code yourself by following the instructions available in the HACKING.md file.

Ubuntu, Debian and derivatives

Download the .deb package and install it. Double click on the package may work, otherwise install it from the terminal:

$ cd ~/Downloads # Or to the path where the deb package is placed at
$ sudo apt install ./touchegg_*.deb # Install the package

Run Touchégg manually by running the command touchegg or reboot to get started.

Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS and derivatives

Download the .rpm package and install it. Double click on the package may work, otherwise install it from the terminal:

$ cd ~/Downloads # Or to the path where the rpm package is placed at
$ sudo yum localinstall touchegg-*.rpm # Install the package

Run Touchégg manually by running the command touchegg or reboot to get started.

Arch Linux, Manjaro and derivatives

Install the touchegg package from AUR.

Run Touchégg manually by running the command touchegg or reboot to get started.

Configuration

After installing Touchégg you'll notice that you can start using multi-touch gestures. However, you are not forced to use the gestures and actions that come out of the box, you can configure the gestures you'd like to use and the actions they'll trigger.

Start by copying the default configuration from /usr/share/touchegg/touchegg.conf to ~/.config/touchegg/touchegg.conf. You can do it using your file manager or by running this command in your terminal:

$ mkdir -p ~/.config/touchegg && cp -n /usr/share/touchegg/touchegg.conf ~/.config/touchegg/touchegg.conf

Now open ~/.config/touchegg/touchegg.conf with your favorite text editor. It is a XML document with 3 main sections:

  • Global settings
  • Global gestures: <application name="All">...</application>
  • Application specified gestures: <application name="Google-chrome,Firefox"></application>

Find more information in the sections below.

Global settings

Option Value Default Description Example
animation_delay Number 150 Delay, in milliseconds, since the gesture starts before the animation is displayed Use the MAXIMIZE_RESTORE_WINDOW action. You will notice that no animation is displayed if you complete the action quick enough. This property configures that time
action_execute_threshold Number 20 Percentage of the animation to be completed to apply the action Use the MAXIMIZE_RESTORE_WINDOW action. You will notice that, even if the animation is displayed, the action is not executed if you did not moved your fingers far enough. This property configures the percentage of the animation that must be reached to execute the action
color Hex color 3E9FED Color of the animation #909090
borderColor Hex color 3E9FED Color of the animation FFFFFF

Available gestures

Swipe

From libinput documentation: Swipe gestures are executed when three or more fingers are moved synchronously in the same direction.

Note that three is the minimum number of fingers that Touchégg allows for swipe gestures on touchpads and two on touchscreens.

Example:

<gesture type="SWIPE" fingers="3" direction="UP">
  <action type="MAXIMIZE_RESTORE_WINDOW">
    <animate>true</animate>
  </action>
</gesture>

Pinch

From libinput documentation: Pinch gestures are executed when two or more fingers are located on the touchpad and are either changing the relative distance to each other (pinching) or are changing the relative angle (rotate).

Example:

<gesture type="PINCH" fingers="4" direction="IN">
  <action type="CLOSE_WINDOW">
    <animate>true</animate>
    <color>F84A53</color>
    <borderColor>F84A53</borderColor>
  </action>
</gesture>

Available actions

Maximize or restore a window (MAXIMIZE_RESTORE_WINDOW)

Maximize the window under the pointer. If it is already maximized, restore it.

Options:

Option Value Description
animate true/false Set it to true to display the animation. false otherwise.
color Hex color Color of the animation. For example: 909090
borderColor Hex color Border color of the animation. For example: #FFFFFF

Example:

<gesture type="SWIPE" fingers="3" direction="UP">
  <action type="MAXIMIZE_RESTORE_WINDOW">
    <animate>true</animate>
    <color>3E9FED</color>
    <borderColor>3E9FED</borderColor>
  </action>
</gesture>

Animation

Minimize a window (MINIMIZE_WINDOW)

Minimize the window under the pointer.

Options:

Option Value Description
animate true/false Set it to true to display the animation. false otherwise.
color Hex color Color of the animation. For example: 909090
borderColor Hex color Border color of the animation. For example: #FFFFFF

Example:

<gesture type="SWIPE" fingers="3" direction="DOWN">
  <action type="MINIMIZE_WINDOW">
    <animate>true</animate>
    <color>3E9FED</color>
    <borderColor>3E9FED</borderColor>
  </action>
</gesture>

Animation

Tile/snap a widow (TILE_WINDOW)

Resize and move the window under the pointer to use half of the screen.

Options:

Option Value Description
direction left/right Use the left or right half of the screen
animate true/false Set it to true to display the animation. false otherwise.
color Hex color Color of the animation. For example: 909090
borderColor Hex color Border color of the animation. For example: #FFFFFF

Example:

<gesture type="SWIPE" fingers="3" direction="LEFT">
  <action type="TILE_WINDOW">
    <direction>right</direction>
    <animate>true</animate>
    <color>3E9FED</color>
    <borderColor>3E9FED</borderColor>
  </action>
</gesture>

<gesture type="SWIPE" fingers="3" direction="RIGHT">
  <action type="TILE_WINDOW">
    <direction>left</direction>
    <animate>true</animate>
    <color>3E9FED</color>
    <borderColor>3E9FED</borderColor>
  </action>
</gesture>

Animation

Close a window (CLOSE_WINDOW)

Close the window under the pointer.

Options:

Option Value Description
animate true/false Set it to true to display the animation. false otherwise.
color Hex color Color of the animation. For example: 909090
borderColor Hex color Border color of the animation. For example: #FFFFFF

Example:

<gesture type="PINCH" fingers="4" direction="IN">
  <action type="CLOSE_WINDOW">
    <animate>true</animate>
    <color>F84A53</color>
    <borderColor>F84A53</borderColor>
  </action>
</gesture>

Animation

Switch desktops/workspaces (CHANGE_DESKTOP)

Change to another desktop/workspace.

Options:

Option Value Description
direction previous/next/up/down/left/right/auto The desktop/workspace to switch to. It is recommended to use previous/next for better compatibility. However, some desktop environments, like KDE, allow to configure a grid of desktops and up/down/left/right come in handy. With SWIPE gestures, auto will use your natural scroll preferences to figure out the direction.
animate true/false Set it to true to display the animation. false otherwise.
animationPosition up/down/left/right/auto Edge of the screen where the animation will be displayed. With SWIPE gestures, auto will use your natural scroll preferences to figure out the animation position.
color Hex color Color of the animation. For example: 909090
borderColor Hex color Border color of the animation. For example: #FFFFFF

Example:

<gesture type="SWIPE" fingers="4" direction="LEFT">
  <action type="CHANGE_DESKTOP">
    <direction>next</direction>
    <animate>true</animate>
    <animationPosition>right</animationPosition>
    <color>3E9FED</color>
    <borderColor>3E9FED</borderColor>
  </action>
</gesture>

<gesture type="SWIPE" fingers="4" direction="RIGHT">
  <action type="CHANGE_DESKTOP">
    <direction>previous</direction>
    <animate>true</animate>
    <animationPosition>left</animationPosition>
    <color>3E9FED</color>
    <borderColor>3E9FED</borderColor>
  </action>
</gesture>

Animation

Show desktop (SHOW_DESKTOP)

Show the desktop. If the desktop is already being shown, restore all the windows.

Options:

Option Value Description
animate true/false Set it to true to display the animation. false otherwise.
color Hex color Color of the animation. For example: 909090
borderColor Hex color Border color of the animation. For example: #FFFFFF

Example:

<gesture type="SWIPE" fingers="4" direction="DOWN">
  <action type="SHOW_DESKTOP">
    <animate>true</animate>
    <color>909090</color>
    <borderColor>FFFFFF</borderColor>
  </action>
</gesture>

Animation

Keyboard shortcut (SEND_KEYS)

Emulate a keyboard shortcut.

Options:

Option Value Description
repeat true/false Whether to execute the keyboard shortcut multiple times (default: false). This is useful to perform actions like pinch to zoom.
modifiers Keysym Typical values are: Shift_L, Control_L, Alt_L, Alt_R, Meta_L, Super_L, Hyper_L. You can use multiple keysyms: Control_L+Alt_L.See "Keysyms" below for more information.
keys Keysym Shortcut keys. You can use multiple keysyms: A+B+C. See "Keysyms" below for more information.
on begin/end Only used when repeat is false. Whether to execute the shortcut at the beginning or at the end of the gesture.
decreaseKeys Keysym Only used when repeat is true. Keys to press when you change the gesture direction to the opposite. You can use multiple keysyms: A+B+C. This is useful to perform actions like pinch to zoom, check Example 2 below.

Keysyms:

Keysyms can be found in two places:

  • Regular keys are in /usr/include/X11/keysymdef.h, you can open it with your favorite text editor.

    It is important to remove the XK_ prefix. For example, the super keysym is defined as XK_Super_L but it must be used as Super_L in the configuration.

  • Special keys (e.g. media keys, browser back, sleep, etc.) are in /usr/include/X11/XF86keysym.h.

    Again, remove XK_, but leave the rest (including the bit before the XK_). For example, XF86XK_Back becomes XF86Back.

Note that only keysyms that are mapped onto a keycode can be used by Touchégg. You can use xmodmap -pk to show the current mapping. To add a keysym that is not mapped by default (for example XF86ZoomIn), you can tell xmodmap to map it to any free keycode:

xmodmap -e 'keycode any=XF86ZoomIn'

Example 1: Pinch to zoom example

<gesture type="PINCH" fingers="2" direction="IN">
  <action type="SEND_KEYS">
    <repeat>true</repeat>
    <modifiers>Control_L</modifiers>
    <keys>KP_Subtract</keys>
    <decreaseKeys>KP_Add</decreaseKeys>
  </action>
</gesture>

<gesture type="PINCH" fingers="2" direction="OUT">
  <action type="SEND_KEYS">
    <repeat>true</repeat>
    <modifiers>Control_L</modifiers>
    <keys>KP_Add</keys>
    <decreaseKeys>KP_Subtract</decreaseKeys>
  </action>
    </gesture>

Example 2: Open Gnome application launcher

<gesture type="PINCH" fingers="4" direction="IN">
  <action type="SEND_KEYS">
    <repeat>false</repeat>
    <modifiers>Super_L</modifiers>
    <keys>A</keys>
    <on>begin</on>
  </action>
</gesture>
</application>

Animation

Execute a command (RUN_COMMAND)

Run any command.

Options:

Option Value Description
repeat true/false true if the command should be executed multiple times. false otherwise.
command Command The command to execute.
on begin/end Only used when repeat is false. If the command should be executed on the beginning or on the end of the gesture.
decreaseCommand Command Only used when repeat is true. Command to run when you change the gesture direction to the opposite. Check Example 2 below.

Example 1:

<gesture type="SWIPE" fingers="4" direction="DOWN">
  <action type="RUN_COMMAND">
    <repeat>false</repeat>
    <command>notify-send 'Hello' 'World'</command>
    <on>begin</on>
  </action>
</gesture>

Example 2:

<gesture type="SWIPE" fingers="4" direction="DOWN">
  <action type="RUN_COMMAND">
    <repeat>true</repeat>
    <command>notify-send 'Swipe direction' 'DOWN'</command>
    <decreaseCommand>notify-send 'Swipe direction' 'UP'</decreaseCommand>
  </action>
</gesture>

Daemon configuration

This is an advanced topic and my recommendation is to ignore it.

Touchégg runs in two different processes, one of them is a systemd daemon configured in /lib/systemd/system/touchegg.service. In addition to the --daemon argument, you can pass two optional arguments:

Option Value Default Description Example
threshold Number Calculated automatically according to your device characteristics Amount of motion to be made on the touchpad before a gesture is started Put 3 fingers on your touchpad. You will notice that the action does not start until you move them a little bit. This property configures how much you should move your fingers before the action starts
animation_finish_threshold Number Calculated automatically according to your device characteristics Amount of motion to be made on the touchpad to reach the 100% of an animation Use the MAXIMIZE_RESTORE_WINDOW action. You will notice that you need to move your fingers a certain ammount until the animation fills your entire screen. This property configures how much you need to move your fingers

It is recommended NOT to configure threshold and animation_finish_threshold since an optimal value is calculated for you. This value is printed to the terminal on application startup or when a new multi-touch device is connected.

Example:

$ cat /lib/systemd/system/touchegg.service | grep ExecStart
ExecStart=/usr/bin/touchegg --daemon 100 500

$ sudo systemctl daemon-reload && sudo systemctl restart touchegg

$ journalctl -u touchegg -b -f
Compatible device detected:
  Name: Apple Inc. Magic Trackpad 2
  Size: 161.957mm x 115.114mm
  Calculating threshold and animation_finish_threshold. You can tune this values in your service file
  threshold: 100
  animation_finish_threshold: 500

Copyright

Copyright 2011 - 2020 José Expósito <jose.exposito89@gmail.com>

The source code is available under GPL v3 license on GitHub

You can’t perform that action at this time.