Why touchpad tap to click feature is disabled by default?

On Windows tap to click feature is available by default (at least when drivers are installed). Why on GNOME this feature needs to be enabled manually? IMHO it’s completely inconvenient to keep it disabled by default because it seems to me that probably each touchpad user assumes that he can tap to click but not in GNOME, by default.

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I thought Peter Hutterer (the libinput author) explained his rationale on his blog, but I can’t find it when I’m searching now. Maybe it’s somewhere in Bugzilla.

I also like tapping on by default. It was always one of the first settings I’d change on MacOS back when that was my main OS. Ubuntu does enable it in their default, customized session.

There’s an explanation in the libinput documentation:

Tapping is disabled by default on most devices, see git commit 2219c12c3 because:

  • if you don’t know that tapping is a thing (or enabled by default), you get spurious button events that make the desktop feel buggy.
  • if you do know what tapping is and you want it, you usually know where to enable it, or at least you can search for it.

Tapping is enabled by default on devices where tapping is the only method to trigger button clicks. This includes devices without physical buttons such as touch-capable graphics tablets.


For me this explanation does not make sense. Most users know what tap-to-click is because this is enabled by default on most popular OS, MS Windows.

Also, this explanation is about libinput but GNOME overrides libinput setting. Why GNOME itself disables tap-to-click? For exactly the same reason? For some kind of “compatibility” with libinput?

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