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Troubleshooting touchpads and other input devices in Ubuntu 16.04 on a Dell PC

Summary: This article provides troubleshooting steps to identify and resolve any input device (Touchpad, Mouse, Touchscreen, etc.) issue on a Dell PC running the Ubuntu 16.04 operating system.

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Article Content


The following article provides troubleshooting instructions to identify and resolve an input device (Touchpad, Mouse, Touchscreen, etc.) issue on a Dell PC running the Ubuntu 16.04 operating system.


Are you experiencing issues with input devices on your Ubuntu 16.04 Dell PC?

There are a number of issues common to various input devices (Touchpad, Mouse, Touchscreen, etc.). The following sections deal with standard troubleshooting steps to take in the Ubuntu 16.04 operating system.

These steps will deal with issues such as:

  • device not working/detected
  • cursor moving/jumping of it's own accord
  • device conflicts
  • unable to configure the input devices




Troubleshooting steps

Take these steps in order to resolve any input issues:

The majority of Dell PC's now come with a BIOS that uses your input devices to navigate it's options:

  1. Boot the system into the BIOS, test each input device. Did any device not work in the BIOS?

    1. If the answer is yes, then contact Dell Support if your system is in warranty to get further help

    2. If the answer is no, then the issue is with the operating system or the software for the device. Carry on with this guide to further troubleshoot this fault

SLN309891_en_US__1icon Note: On the majority of PC's, you can enter the BIOS directly by tapping rapidly on the F2 key while at the Dell Splash screen.

If you have an older BIOS and were not able to isolate the faulty device then follow these instructions:

SLN309891_en_US__1icon Note: It is not recommended that you disable the touchpad unless you have an external USB, wireless USB, Bluetooth mouse installed or your computer has a touchscreen.
  1. Try each input device on it's own, to see if you can isolate the faulty device.

    • To disable the touchpad:

      • Using the Ubuntu GUI (Graphical User Interface):

        1. Go to system and settings

        2. Go to Mouse and Touchpad

        3. Click on the on/off slide at the right hand side of the window to turn the touchpad off or back on

      • Using Terminal:

        1. Identify the device

           xinput -list

        2. Disable the device:

           xinput --disable <device ID>

    • To disable the mouse:

      • Simply disconnect the Bluetooth/Wireless or USB mouse that you are using from the PC

    • To disable the touchscreen:

      • Using Terminal:

        1. Identify the device

          xinput -list

        2. Disable the device:

          xinput --disable <device ID>

Is you device detected, have you identified all of your input devices?

  1. Type the following command in Terminal:

    xinput -list

  2. It should show a list of input devices on your PC:


    (Fig.1 An example of what the list of devices will look like)

  3. Was the device you were having trouble with listed?

    1. Yes, then carry on to the next section of troubleshooting

    2. No, it's not listed amd there is no other similar device listed.

    3. No, a different device is shown instead.

  4. If the answer is NO, you can identify the hardware that shipped with your PC by going to the Dell Support Site

    1. Enter your service tag or express service code to get information specific to your PC

    2. Go to System Configuration

    3. Choose the Original Configuration tab

    4. You can go down through the list of components to find out the manufacturer and type of any devices that shipped with your PC

In this section I will give some advice on how to accomplish this. This is the last step possible before an Operating system reinstallation is recommended.

Note: You will not usually find many Ubuntu drivers on the Dell Support site. As with all other Ubuntu ISO's, the Dell Ubuntu 16.04 ISO contains all of the Dell drivers built in and it is available from the support site. The drivers will be installed automatically as part of the operating system installation process. If your system didn't come installed with Ubuntu, you may want to check the ISO version you are using against the Ubuntu Compatibility list  SLN309891_en_US__4iC_External_Link_BD_v1.

The last resort is to recover the system image or to reinstall the operating system from install media.

Ubuntu Came Installed on your PC

You are looking to install Ubuntu on a PC that cam with a Windows operating system

Your issue continues after reinstalling the Operating System


Article Properties

Affected Product

G Series, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Fixed Workstations

Last Published Date

21 Feb 2021



Article Type