I have a lot of friends with netbooks, and they all ask me how to make the touchpad do what they want, since I am the Linux guy. Here is what I do on my personal laptop running Funtoo Linux.

You will have to adapt these instructions to your distribution. It won't be hard, but I cannot provide instructions for all of the distros. Your .conf files may be in different places, but you can use this as a guide.

Keep in mind that this is for the newer X servers, and I do not use an xorg.conf. I put my configuration files in /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/*.conf, as that is where the new X server will put them from now on.

This is how I have my synaptics touchpad configured in Linux. I have a lot of options that windows users don't have now, and it is nice. I have had to remap some mouse buttons, and I use imwheel to map those buttons to do what I need them to do. The .imwheelrc makes the top left corner on the touchpad "back", and the bottom left corner "forward". You will also need to add imwheel to your startup, and depending on which desktop environment you use, that will be different. I use KDE, and I add a script in systemsettings that is this (you could also add this to your .xinitrc):
/usr/bin/imwheel -k -b "67"
Some distros need a space between the number, or different number depending on your buttons, but this is a base you can work with, and this statement works for me.

First, you want to add synaptics and evdev to your make.conf:
nano -w /etc/make.conf
add and input devices section if you don't already have one:
INPUT_DEVICES="synaptics evdev"
Now, you want to re-emerge xorg-server to pull in the necessary packages.

This config makes the touchpad act very well, and at a decent speed. You can edit it to fit your needs.

You will want to put this in /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf. I no longer use an xorg.conf because I use the open ati drivers with in kernel drm.
 Section "InputClass"

    Identifier "touchpad catchall"

    Driver "synaptics"

    MatchIsTouchpad "on"

    MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"

    Option   " LeftEdge"             "1700"

    Option   " RightEdge"            "5200"

    Option   " TopEdge"              "1300"

    Option   " BottomEdge"           "4747"

    Option   " FingerLow"            "25"

    Option   " FingerHigh"           "30"

    Option   " MaxTapTime"           "180"

    Option   " MaxTapMove"           "220"

    Option   " MaxDoubleTapTime"     "180"

    Option   " SingleTapTimeout"     "180"

    Option   " ClickTime"            "100"

    Option   " FastTaps"             "1"

    Option   " EmulateMidButtonTime" "75"

    Option   " VertScrollDelta"      "100"

    Option   " HorizScrollDelta"     "0"

    Option   " VertEdgeScroll"       "1"

    Option   " HorizEdgeScroll"      "1"

    Option   " VertTwoFingerScroll"  "0"

    Option   " HorizTwoFingerScroll" "0"

    Option   " MinSpeed"             "1.20"

    Option   " MaxSpeed"             "0.80"

    Option   " AccelFactor"          "0.007"

    Option   " EdgeMotionMinZ"       "30"

    Option   " EdgeMotionMaxZ"       "160"

    Option   " EdgeMotionMinSpeed"   "200"

    Option   " EdgeMotionMaxSpeed"   "200"

    Option   " EdgeMotionUseAlways"  "0"

    Option   " UpDownScrolling"      "1"

    Option   " LeftRightScrolling"   "1"

    Option   " UpDownRepeat"         "1"

    Option   " LeftRightRepeat"      "1"

    Option   " ScrollButtonRepeat"   "100"

    Option   " TouchpadOff"          "0"

    Option   " GuestMouseOff"        "0"

    Option   " LockedDrags"          "0"

    Option   " RTCornerButton"       "0"

    Option   " RBCornerButton"       "0"

    Option   " LTCornerButton"       "6"

    Option   " LBCornerButton"       "7"

    Option   " TapButton1"           "1"

    Option   " TapButton2"           "3"

    Option   " TapButton3"           "0"

    Option   " CircularScrolling"    "0"

    Option   " CircScrollDelta"      "0.05"

    Option   " CircScrollTrigger"    "1"

    Option   " CircularPad"          "0"

    Option   " PalmDetect"           "1"

    Option   " PalmMinWidth"         "10"

    Option   " PalmMinZ"             "200"

    Option   " CoastingSpeed"         "0"

    Option   " PressureMotionMinZ"   "30"

    Option   " PressureMotionMaxZ"    "160"

    Option   " PressureMotionMinFactor" "1"

    Option   " PressureMotionMaxFactor" "1"

My .imwheelrc (put in your home directory)

None, Up, Alt_L|Left

None, Down, Alt_L|Right


None, Up, Alt_L|Left

None, Down, Alt_L|Right