I usually disable the trackpad on laptops when I have a mouse plugged in so that I don't get the cursor jumping every now and then by accidentally hitting the trackpad with my thumb.
The usual fashion to disable the trackpad on my Dell Latitude is to hold on Fn key and press F5. Although I get to see the trackpad icon poping up with a red "x" on it, the trackpad still stays active. The command does work when I boot in Windowd however so it should not be a hardware problem.
I don't see a trackpad setting in the Control Center either.
Any idea ?
Under the principle that a reply is better than no reply, I reply. I'd prefer a permanent fix, unless you sometimes need the trackpad (I don't use the one on my Thinkpad R61, preferring the mouse, never did take a shine to those touchpads). I believe you can disable certain kernel services the GUI won't let you touch by modifying a certain file... I did that once, but I can't remember which file, or whether it worked, or whether recompiling the kernel is necessary. There is a config file however that lists all the kernel services, bluetooth, printing, floppy driver, and a lot of services that one wouldn't find necessary for most systems, but are there for compatibility, and I think you can disable them by removing them from the list or commenting them out, thus conserving system resources, in theory, maybe. But I'm not sure whether the change takes without a recompile. And then there's the question whether you want the change to be made this way, because if your mouse goes on the fritz, then to activate your touchpad you'd have to modify the file and then reboot, a little bit more trouble than just not tapping Fn and F5.
My desktop runs 64-bit Kubuntu 13.04, my htpc runs 64-bit Linux Mint Nadia Xfce, my answering machine runs 64-bit windows 7, and my laptop runs 64-bit Linux Mint Nadia KDE. Each seems suited to its purpose.