I’m sure many heavy users of tabbed browsing use the middle mouse button much more than the right. Some number of Ubuntu releases ago, the two and three finger touchpad tap gestures were swapped to the current configuration, using two fingers for right click and three for middle. I’d rather have the middle button bound to the easier two-finger gesture. After my success fixing my other touchpad issues, I figured it was time to figure out how to change this too.
Run this command to make two-finger tap the middle click, and three-finger tap the right click:
synclient TapButton2=2 && synclient TapButton3=3
Changes made by synclient are not persistent across reboots. You can add the command to Startup Applications to run it automatically when you log in.
[Update: Waking the system from suspend overwrites these options. See my post on how to make touchpad configuration persistent for a fix. ]
Before trying to fix this, I wasn’t even aware of the three-finger tap gesture. It turns out that on my Eee PC 901 this gesture is broken in Ubuntu. Fortunately there are physical right/left mouse buttons, so I can still swap the two and three finger touchpad gestures without losing right click entirely.