I recently found out you can use xinput to enable or disable an input device. I used to use synclient to disable my touchpad, or using this tricky way to disable my laptop keyboard.
The first step to get device name or id of the device:
% xinput list ⎡ Virtual core pointer id=2 [master pointer (3)] ⎜ ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer id=4 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ USB Optical Mouse id=8 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad id=7 [slave pointer (2)] ⎣ Virtual core keyboard id=3 [master keyboard (2)] ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard id=5 [slave keyboard (3)] ↳ Sleep Button id=9 [slave keyboard (3)] ↳ Power Button id=10 [slave keyboard (3)] ↳ Video Bus id=11 [slave keyboard (3)] ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard id=6 [slave keyboard (3)]
For touchpad, the device name is 'SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad' and id is 7; for keyboard, they are 'AT Translated Set 2 keyboard' and 6. Next step is to know the properties of a device:
% xinput list-props 'AT Translated Set 2 keyboard' Device 'AT Translated Set 2 keyboard': Device Enabled (127): 1
This keyboard only has a property 'Device Enabled' whose value is 1, that means this keyboard is enabled. To test disabling:
sleep 0.1 ; xinput set-prop 'AT Translated Set 2 keyboard' 'Device Enabled' 0 ; sleep 5 ; xinput set-prop 'AT Translated Set 2 keyboard' 'Device Enabled' 1
The first sleep 0.1 is to prevent enter keypress being repeatedly sent somehow when you directly disable the keyboard, I am guessing when you hit the enter and the command is executed, meaning the keyboard is disabled, but the keyup event is not yet sent, so X still thinks the enter key is pressed down.
Another simple way is to use id, so you don’t need long device name:
sleep 0.1 ; xinput set-prop 8 127 0 ; sleep 5 ; xinput set-prop 8 127 1
8 is id of this keyboard and 127 is the property id of 'Device Enabled'. When you list properties of device using list-props, the numbers after property names are the property ids. It seems that 'Device Enabled' always has id 127, but device id is not always the same. It depends on device attached time, who shows up first who gets next available id.
One more thing to note: I don’t need root privilege to set property value.