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I have disabled the touchscreen on my official 7" display by adding the below line to my /boot/config.txt

    # disable the touchscreen
    disable_touchscreen=1

While this works, it also eliminates all ability to programmatically control the display. Everything under /sys/class/backlight disappears.

Is there a way to disable the touchscreen that will still allow the control of the rest of the display functions?

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yes indeed it's possible, if I remember correctly there's a pin dedicated to the touchscreen functionality, if you unplug it you'll loose the ability.

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If you're using your screen with X server (GUI), then you can simply find its ID in the output of xinput --list and disable it with xinput disable <ID>. Your touchscreen will still generate input events, but your X server will not forward those events to the applications.

You will want to execute the xinput disable <ID> command at startup to make the change permanent.

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