To disable the touchpad while typing avoids unwanted movements of the pointer that could lead to giving focus to the wrong window. There’re graphical interfaces, for gnome use SystemSettings->Mouse&Touchpad, and for KDE install “kde-config-touchpad” package and launch Touchpad Management.

There’s also a command line program which gives more options for disable touchpad (tapping/scrolling) while typing. It’s syndaemon.

syndaemon comes default with Ubuntu installation. Run it in terminal:

syndaemon -t -k -i 3 -d

here are the parameters:

  • -t: Only disable tapping and scrolling, not mouse movements, in response to keyboard activity.
  • -k: Ignore modifier keys when monitoring keyboard activity.
  • -i 3: How many seconds to wait after the last key press before enabling the touchpad.(default is 2.0s).
  • -d: Start as a daemon, ie in the background.

For more options, read the man page:

man syndaemon