After upgrading my system from Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 to Ubuntu Karmic 9.10 unchecking the “Disable touchpad while typing” option in System > Preferences > Mouse > Touchpad doesn’t work as expected. I don’t want the touchpad to be disabled when typing since that also makes it hard to CTRL-click which I do a lot in Eclipse.
After some digging I found that someone had reported a related bug in Launchpad. Apparently syndaemon, which controls how the touchpad behaves while using the keyboard, can be told not to disable the touchpad when modifier keys like CTRL are pressed using -k switch when started. The syndaemon process is started by the gnome-settings-daemon process. gnome-settings-daemon is a C program which I don’t want to have to modifiy to add the -k switch. Instead I added the following script in /usr/local/bin:
#!/bin/sh /usr/bin/syndaemon -k $@
By naming this script syndaemon it will be used by gnome-settings-daemon instead of /usr/bin/syndaemon. The script starts the real syndaemon process and adds the -k parameter to any of the parameters specified by gnome-settings-daemon.