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Comfortable Swipe (Ubuntu)

comfortable-swipe version License: GPL v3

Comfortable, seamless, and fast 3-finger (and 4-finger) touchpad swipe gestures for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and beyond. May work for other Linux distros that support libinput.

New in Version 1.1.0: Added mouse gestures, see #mouse-gestures-experimental

New in Version 1.2.0: Autostart now switched ON by default

Installation

  1. Install git and g++ ≥ 7.5

    sudo apt install git g++
    
  2. Install libinput-tools and C libraries

    sudo apt install libinput-tools libinih-dev libxdo-dev
    
  3. Clone this repository

    git clone https://github.com/Hikari9/comfortable-swipe.git --depth 1
    cd comfortable-swipe
    
  4. Install

    bash install
    
  5. You may delete the downloaded comfortable-swipe folder after installation.

How to Run

  1. You'll need some group permissions to read touchpad input data. Run

    sudo gpasswd -a "$USER" "$(ls -l /dev/input/event* | awk '{print $4}' | head --line=1)"
    
  2. Important: After inputing your sudo password, log out then log back in

  3. Start the Program

    comfortable-swipe start
    

    You will see this output:

    $ comfortable-swipe start
    Comfortable swipe is RUNNING in the background
    
  4. (Optional) Toggle autostart

    comfortable-swipe autostart on
    
  5. (Optional) Stop the Program

    comfortable-swipe stop
    
  6. (Optional) See program status

    comfortable-swipe status
    

    Example:

    $ comfortable-swipe status
    
    Autostart is ON
    Program is RUNNING
    --------------------
    Configuration: /home/user/.config/comfortable-swipe.conf
        left3 is   VALID (ctrl+super+Right)
        left4 is   VALID (ctrl+super+shift+Right)
       right3 is   VALID (ctrl+super+Left)
       right4 is   VALID (ctrl+super+shift+Left)
          up3 is   VALID (ctrl+F12)
          up4 is   VALID (super+d)
        down3 is   VALID (ctrl+F12)
        down4 is   VALID (super+d)
    threshold is   VALID (1.0)
       mouse3 is  NOTSET
       mouse4 is  NOTSET
    
  7. (Optional) Get config

    comfortable-swipe <PROPERTY>
    
    comfortable-swipe left3
    comfortable-swipe left4
    comfortable-swipe right3
    comfortable-swipe right4
    comfortable-swipe up3
    comfortable-swipe up4
    comfortable-swipe down3
    comfortable-swipe down4
    comfortable-swipe threshold
    comfortable-swipe mouse3
    comfortable-swipe mouse4
    
  8. (Optional) Set config

    comfortable-swipe <PROPERTY> [=] <VALUES>
    
    comfortable-swipe left3 = super+Right
    comfortable-swipe right3 = super+Left
    comfortable-swipe right4 = ctrl+alt+Left
    comfortable-swipe down4 = super+d
    comfortable-swipe up3 = ctrl+shift+Up
    
Other Commands
  1. All Configuration commands

    comfortable-swipe config list
    comfortable-swipe config get <PROPERTY>
    comfortable-swipe config set <PROPERTY> [=] <VALUE>
    comfortable-swipe config path
    comfortable-swipe config keys
    
  2. Help and Version

    comfortable-swipe --version
    comfortable-swipe --help
    
  3. Autostart commands

    comfortable-swipe autostart on
    comfortable-swipe autostart off
    comfortable-swipe autostart toggle
    comfortable-swipe autostart status
    comfortable-swipe autostart path
    
  4. Show output with --attach

    Example output of 3-finger left, 4-finger left, 3-finger right, 3-finger up:

    $ comfortable-swipe start --attach
    SWIPE left3
    SWIPE left4
    SWIPE right3
    SWIPE up3
    ...
    
  5. Test output with --bare to attach without actually swiping

    $ comfortable-swipe start --bare
    SWIPE left3
    SWIPE left4
    SWIPE right3
    SWIPE up3
    ...
    
  6. Debug

    $ comfortable-swipe debug
    ...
    -event9   DEVICE_ADDED     TouchPad                     seat0 default group7  cap:pg  size 70x50mm tap(dl off) left scroll-nat scroll-2fg-edge click-buttonareas-clickfinger dwt-on
    ...
    event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_BEGIN  +2.03s   3
    event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.03s  3 -9.95/ 2.64 (-26.90/ 7.12 unaccelerated)
    event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.03s  3 -10.44/ 3.19 (-28.22/ 8.62 unaccelerated)
    event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.04s  3 -9.71/ 2.64 (-26.25/ 7.12 unaccelerated)
    event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.05s  3 -8.98/ 2.64 (-24.28/ 7.12 unaccelerated)
    event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.06s  3 -7.40/ 2.36 (-20.01/ 6.37 unaccelerated)
    event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.06s  3 -6.31/ 2.50 (-17.06/ 6.75 unaccelerated)
    event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.07s  3 -5.34/ 1.80 (-14.44/ 4.87 unaccelerated)
    event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.08s  3 -4.61/ 2.08 (-12.47/ 5.62 unaccelerated)
    event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.09s  3 -4.49/ 1.53 (-12.14/ 4.12 unaccelerated)
    event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.09s  3 -4.01/ 1.25 (-10.83/ 3.37 unaccelerated)
    event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.10s  3 -4.13/ 0.42 (-11.15/ 1.12 unaccelerated)
    event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_END  +2.11s     3
    ...
    

Gesture Configurations

The default configuration file is located at ~/.config/comfortable-swipe.conf. Comfortable swipe makes use of keyboard shortcuts to perform swipes, through xdotool.

Set a property directly with:

comfortable-swipe <PROPERTY> [=] <VALUE>

Or edit the configuration file manually:

gedit ~/.config/comfortable-swipe.conf

After editing, make sure to restart with comfortable-swipe start.

Warning: For v1.1.0 below, the configuration file is located at /usr/local/share/comfortable-swipe/comfortable-swipe.conf

Note: You can locate the absolute path to your configuration by running: comfortable-swipe config path

Configuration Reference

Property Value Examples
left3 3-finger swipe left ctrl+alt+Right
left4 4-finger swipe left ctrl+alt+shift+Right
right3 3-finger swipe right ctrl+alt+Left
right4 4-finger swipe right ctrl+alt+shift+Left
up3 3-finger swipe up ctrl+alt+Down
up4 4-finger swipe up ctrl+alt+shift+Down
down3 3-finger swipe down ctrl+alt+Up
down4 4-finger swipe down ctrl+alt+shift+Up
threshold mouse movement pixels that trigger a swipe (can be as large as 1000.0) 0.0 / 240.0 / 1000.0
mouse3 mouses a mouse button when 3 fingers are down button1 / move / scroll
(see Mouse Gestures)
mouse4 mouses a mouse button when 4 fingers are down button1 / move / scroll
(see Mouse Gestures

Keystrokes

Taken from man xdotool:

Type a given keystroke. Examples being "alt+r", "Control_L+J", "ctrl+alt+n", "BackSpace".

Generally, any valid X Keysym string will work. Multiple keys are separated by '+'. Aliases exist for "alt", "ctrl", "shift", "super", and "meta" which all map to Foo_L, such as Alt_L and Control_L, etc.

In cases where your keyboard doesn't actually have the key you want to type, xdotool will automatically find an unused keycode and use that to type the key.

Refer to https://www.linux.org/threads/xdotool-keyboard.10528/ for a complete list of keycodes you can use.

Known Issues: Pop!_OS 20.04+

Pop!_OS 20.04+ may be sensitive to capitalization (#76, #82). Make sure to capitalize every first letter:

# Pop!_OS
comfortable-swipe up3 = Super+Ctrl+Down
comfortable-swipe down3 = Super+Ctrl+Up

Example Configurations

This section includes some example configurations which you can use for your swipe experience.

  1. Switch workspace (horizontal)

    # Ubuntu flavors + GNOME
    comfortable-swipe left3 = ctrl+alt+Right
    comfortable-swipe right3 = ctrl+alt+Left
    
  2. Switch workspace (vertical)

    # Ubuntu flavors + GNOME
    comfortable-swipe up3 = ctrl+alt+Down
    comfortable-swipe down3 = ctrl+alt+Up
    
    # GNOME alt.
    comfortable-swipe up3 = super+PgDown
    comfortable-swipe down3 = super+PgUp
    
    # Pop OS
    comfortable-swipe up3 = Super+Ctrl+Down
    comfortable-swipe down3 = Super+Ctrl+Up
    
  3. Move window to workspace (horizontal)

    # Ubuntu flavors + GNOME + Kali
    comfortable-swipe left4 = ctrl+alt+shift+Right
    comfortable-swipe right4 = ctrl+alt+shift+Left
    
    # Elementary OS
    comfortable-swipe left4 = super+alt+Right
    comfortable-swipe right4 = super+alt+Left
    
  4. Move window to workspace (vertical)

    # Ubuntu flavors + GNOME + Kali
    comfortable-swipe up4 = ctrl+alt+shift+Down
    comfortable-swipe down4 = ctrl+alt+shift+Up
    
    # GNOME alt.
    comfortable-swipe up4 = super+shift+PgDown
    comfortable-swipe down4 = super+shift+PgUp
    
  5. Move window to other monitor

    # Ubuntu flavors + GNOME
    comfortable-swipe left4 = super+shift+Right
    comfortable-swipe right4 = super+shift+Left
    
  6. Toggle workspace overview

    # Ubuntu flavors + Elementary OS
    comfortable-swipe up3 = super+s
    
    # Elementary OS (all workspaces)
    comfortable-swipe up4 = super+a
    
  7. Show desktop

    # Ubuntu flavors
    comfortable-swipe down3 = ctrl+super+d
    
    # Linux Mint
    comfortable-swipe down3 = super+d
    
    # Kali
    comfortable-swipe down3 = ctrl+alt+d
    
    # KDE
    comfortable-swipe down3 = ctrl+F12
    
  8. Snap windows to the left/right

    comfortable-swipe left3 = super+Left
    comfortable-swipe right3 = super+Right
    
  9. Toggle maximize

    comfortable-swipe up3 = super+Up
    
  10. Toggle minimize

    comfortable-swipe down3 = super+Down
    

Mouse Gestures (Experimental)

You can also play around with mouse gestures during swipe. This enables certain mouse behaviour to trigger along with a 3/4-finger swipe.

Keys:

  • mouse3 - for 3-finger mouse gestures
  • mouse4 - for 4-finger mosue gestures
  • hold3 (deprecated) - old equivalent of mouse3
  • hold4 (deprecated) - old equivalent of mouse4

Possible Values:

  • button1 - left click
  • button2 - middle click
  • button3 - right click
  • button4 - wheel up (experimental)
  • button5 - wheel down (experimental)
  • move - just move the mouse cursor while fingers are down
  • scroll - 3/4 finger natural scroll (no acceleration, very experimental)
  • scroll_reverse - 3/4 finger reverse scroll (no acceleration, very experimental)

Tip: You can clear mouse gestures by setting them blank

comfortable-swipe mouse3 =
comfortable-swipe mouse4 =

Examples:

✔️ swipes OK ⭕ swipes DISABLED

  • 3/4-finger drag ⭕

    comfortable-swipe mouse3 = button1
    comfortable-swipe mouse4 = button1
    

    You can also use button2 for middle click and button3 for right click.

  • 3/4-finger natural scroll ⭕

    comfortable-swipe mouse3 = scroll
    comfortable-swipe mouse4 = scroll
    
  • 3/4-finger reverse scroll ⭕

    comfortable-swipe mouse3 = scroll_reverse
    comfortable-swipe mouse4 = scroll_reverse
    
  • Move 3/4-fingers with the cursor ✔️

    comfortable-swipe mouse3 = move
    comfortable-swipe mouse4 = move
    

Warning: Some mouse configuration will disable up/left/right/down behavior to avoid gesture conflicts. The logic of this will be improved in the future.

Debugging

You can check your touchpad driver by running

comfortable-swipe debug

This is an alias of libinput debug-events. This logs all gestures you make on your touchpad, along with other input-based events that can be captured by libinput.

A working swipe gesture will show the following:

$ comfortable-swipe debug
...
-event9   DEVICE_ADDED     TouchPad                     seat0 default group7  cap:pg  size 70x50mm tap(dl off) left scroll-nat scroll-2fg-edge click-buttonareas-clickfinger dwt-on
...
event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_BEGIN  +2.03s   3
event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.03s  3 -9.95/ 2.64 (-26.90/ 7.12 unaccelerated)
event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.03s  3 -10.44/ 3.19 (-28.22/ 8.62 unaccelerated)
event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.04s  3 -9.71/ 2.64 (-26.25/ 7.12 unaccelerated)
event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.05s  3 -8.98/ 2.64 (-24.28/ 7.12 unaccelerated)
event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.06s  3 -7.40/ 2.36 (-20.01/ 6.37 unaccelerated)
event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.06s  3 -6.31/ 2.50 (-17.06/ 6.75 unaccelerated)
event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.07s  3 -5.34/ 1.80 (-14.44/ 4.87 unaccelerated)
event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.08s  3 -4.61/ 2.08 (-12.47/ 5.62 unaccelerated)
event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.09s  3 -4.49/ 1.53 (-12.14/ 4.12 unaccelerated)
event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.09s  3 -4.01/ 1.25 (-10.83/ 3.37 unaccelerated)
event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_UPDATE  +2.10s  3 -4.13/ 0.42 (-11.15/ 1.12 unaccelerated)
event9   GESTURE_SWIPE_END  +2.11s     3
...

If you can see GESTURE_SWIPE_XXX in your output, that means your touchpad supports multi-touch swipe gestures.

FAQ: Can I run a shell command instead of a keystroke?

Answer 1: Unfortunately NO...

For the following reasons:

  1. We want prioritize "comfort" over functionality, which we deliver through performance in our negligible-overhead implementation (that's why C++)
  2. There are other gesture libraries that already do this properly (eg. libinput gestures, Fusuma), we don't want to be a clone of them
  3. Running a new shell command with unpredictable process time will break our unthreaded optimizations (unlike native keystrokes)

That's why it's not possible... or not?

Answer 2: ... but actually IT'S POSSIBLE!

Although we don't provide this out of the box in our config, this can definitely be done with the default bash tools.

Hack: Shell command on swipe

Running shell commands our NOT part of the core features of comfortable-swipe, but through the default bash tools you can mimic this functionality via our program output.

Use Case: "I want to run gnome-terminal if I swipe up with 3 fingers."
  1. Attach the program to the shell:

    comfortable-swipe start --attach
    

    Verify it outputs when you swipe left, left, up, right, up with 3 fingers:

    $ comfortable-swipe start --attach
    SWIPE left3
    SWIPE left3
    SWIPE up3
    SWIPE right3
    SWIPE up3
    ...
    
  2. Filter out the wanted gesture with grep.

    In our case, we want 3-finger swipe up which is "SWIPE up3":

    $ comfortable-swipe start --attach | grep --line-buffered "SWIPE up3"
    SWIPE up3
    SWIPE up3
    ...
    

    Note: The flag --line-buffered ensures the output prints line-by-line.

  3. Now we can execute our shell command with xargs.

    So if we want "SWIPE up3" to open the terminal,

    comfortable-swipe start --attach | grep "SWIPE up3" --line-buffered | xargs -I@ gnome-terminal
    

    Note: The flag [email protected] in xargs substitutes the line "SWIPE xxx" to the charatcter "@", which you can use for your program.

  4. Bonus: Add to autostart

    Open our autostart file:

    gedit "$(comfortable-swipe autostart path)"
    

    Tweak the Exec section:

    [Desktop Entry]
    Type=Application
    Exec=comfortable-swipe start
    Name=Comfortable Swipe
    Comment=Comfortable 3/4-finger touchpad gestures
    Hidden=false
    NoDisplay=false
    X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=true
    

    To:

    [Desktop Entry]
    Type=Application
    Exec=comfortable-swipe start --attach | grep "SWIPE up3" --line-buffered | xargs [email protected] gnome-terminal
    Name=Comfortable Swipe
    Comment=Comfortable 3/4-finger touchpad gestures
    Hidden=false
    NoDisplay=false
    X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=true
    
  5. Log out and log back in. You should now be able to run your custom shell commands on startup.

  6. Bonus: Use --bare instead of --attach to NOT run keystrokes while swiping

    comfortable-swipe start --bare | grep "SWIPE up3" --line-buffered | xargs -I@ gnome-terminal
    
  7. Bonus: You can pipe multiple gestures with tee:

    comfortable-swipe start --attach | \
    tee >(grep "SWIPE left3"  --line-buffered | xargs -I@ <COMMAND>) | \
    tee >(grep "SWIPE left4"  --line-buffered | xargs -I@ <COMMAND>) | \
    tee >(grep "SWIPE right3" --line-buffered | xargs -I@ <COMMAND>) | \
    tee >(grep "SWIPE right4" --line-buffered | xargs -I@ <COMMAND>) | \
    tee >(grep "SWIPE up3"    --line-buffered | xargs -I@ <COMMAND>) | \
    tee >(grep "SWIPE up4"    --line-buffered | xargs -I@ <COMMAND>) | \
    tee >(grep "SWIPE down3"  --line-buffered | xargs -I@ <COMMAND>) | \
    tee >(grep "SWIPE down4"  --line-buffered | xargs -I@ <COMMAND>)
    

    Substitute <COMMAND> with the shell command of your choice.

Uninstall

Run the following script:

wget -qO - https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Hikari9/comfortable-swipe/master/uninstall | bash

Bug Reports

Search in Issues if the problem has already been solved.

Otherwise, create a new issue to report your bug.

Please include the output of the following:

  1. lsb_release -a
  2. g++ --version
  3. ls -l /dev/input/event*
  4. xinput list | grep touchpad -i
  5. lsmod | grep hid
  6. comfortable-swipe status
  7. comfortable-swipe start (if you can run it)
  8. comfortable-swipe debug (try swiping if you can see GESTURE_SWIPE_XXX)
  9. cat $(comfortable-swipe config)

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