Ubuntu 18.04: Fix for right click not working / touchpad issues

April 2019 Update:

This fix should also work just fine for Ubuntu 18.10 and Ubuntu 19.04, including variants POP_OS!, Mint, etc.


Did you install your fresh copy of 18.04 only to find that clicking the bottom-right area of your touchpad/trackpad no longer creates the right-click event (it just left-clicks instead)?

While it may seem like right click is broken, that’s actually an intentional choice by Ubuntu/Gnome. The default for the libinput driver handling the touchpad is now the Mac behavior called touchfingers. This behavior setting means you need to tap with two fingers at the same time to generate a right click. This is the default behavior even if you installed Ubuntu on a PC.

Odd choice, to me, considering quite a few users consider what’s happening to be a regression. To revert to the older “areas” behavior, you have two options.

First, in terminal, run the command:

$ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.peripherals.touchpad click-method areas

Or, install gnome-tweak-tool (either through your software manager or through sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool). Navigate to the “Keyboard & Mouse” sub-menu in the left menu of gnome-tweak-tool, and select “Area” from the the touchpad’s “Click Emulation” menu in the right side panel, as shown in the red box in the image below:

References:

Launchpad Bug 1759300