Use Touchegg to assign actions to touchpad gestures on Linux

Touch the egg This multi-touch gesture recognizer for Linux was first released in 2011 and has not been updated for several years. It was completely rewritten about 2 months ago to “integrate new technologies available on the Linux desktop today.” Since then, three more releases have added new features and bug fixes.

The application runs in the background and converts the multi-touch gestures you make on the touchpad into various desktop operations. For example, you can minimize the window by swiping down with 3 fingers and zooming in with 2 fingers.

This is a Demo video Recorded by the developer of Touchegg (the image on the copyright is also owned by the developer):

All supported gestures are configurable, but there is no graphical user interface, so to adjust the application, you must edit the configuration file.If you are looking for Linux touchpad gesture GUI (Gtk) application, please check out gesture .Or, you can use a third-party GUI for Touchegg, for example Touch the egg .

Since the rewrite, Touchegg has added libinput support, and swipe and pinch multi-touch gestures can be used through the following operations:

  • Maximize/restore window
  • Minimize window
  • Tile windows
  • close the window
  • Change desktop
  • Show desktop
  • Send keyboard shortcuts
  • Run command

These gestures can be global (for all applications) or specific applications.You can find default actions and assigned multi-touch gestures Here .

It is worth mentioning that on the touchpad, when at least three or more fingers move synchronously in the same direction, a swipe gesture will be performed. The smallest finger index for sliding on the touch screen is 2. For a pinch gesture, a pinch gesture will be performed when two or more fingers are on the touchpad and are changing the relative distance of each other (pinching) or changing the relative angle (rotating).

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The app also adds animations, so gestures are no longer like shortcuts. These animations should be smooth even on devices with limited resources (such as Raspberry Pi 4).

Another feature recently added is support for touch screens. Therefore, you can now use pinch and swipe gestures on the touch screen with the help of Touchegg.

It is also worth noting that Gala (the default Elementary OS window and composition manager based on libmutter) will gain multi-touch gesture support in the following ways: Integrate Touchegg .

Download and use Touchegg

The Touchegg GitHub release page has DEB (for Debian , Ubuntu , Linux Mint, Pop!_OS, Zorin OS, etc.) and RPM (Fedora, Red Hat, CentOS , etc.) binary files available for download.There is also an Arch Linux package available for AUR , Although it is a bit outdated at the time of writing.

After installing Touchegg, restart the system or run touchegg In the terminal window (so that the Touchegg client can connect to the daemon) and try some gestures. The Touchegg client is automatically added when it starts, so it should start automatically in subsequent restarts.

To configure Touchegg, copy its global configuration file to the user’s config directory:


mkdir -p ~/.config/touchegg

cp /usr/share/touchegg/touchegg.conf ~/.config/touchegg/

Next open ~/.config/touchegg/touchegg.conf Use a text editor, then edit the application settings and gestures/actions to suit your needs.


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