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I'm Niccolò Maggioni.
Student, geek and developer.

Disabling touchpad's middle click in Gnome 3

TL;DR: dconf write /org/gnome/desktop/peripherals/touchpad/click-method "'default'"

I’ve recently reinstalled my laptop’s OS and were going through the painful procedure of restoring all those micro-fixes that weren’t stored in my dotfiles. You know, the little ones that make you usually go “Oh nice, I finally found the right fix for this. I’ll just patch it here, directly in {/etc,dconf,cache}, it’s unlikely I’ll ever need to come back and edit it in the future.” Dont do that. You’ll waste a good amount of hours trying to restore your usual workflow on a new system; make sure to properly document and store them alongside your periodically tested backups.

What kept bugging me was Gnome’s default behavior of using the mouse’s middle button to paste whatever is in the clipboard. I’m sure most of you can relate to the copious amount of chaos that generates when using a touchpad and a clipboard management applet like GPaste.

The solution seemed pretty trivial: just fire up gnome-tweaks and disable the relative option. Right? Wrong, it did nothing. The internet suggested convoluted fixes that involved restarting X’s components through your shell profile or patching the GTK sources directly, and that definitely falls short of my assertion above.

Long story short, I came up with a single edit to the DConf config tree that got me working tap (not click) left/right areas on the touchpad without the middle button annoyance:

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