MultiTouch – Linux Has It Too

For all those Linux users who envy Windows 7 multi-touch, here is some good news. From now, Linux too has support for multi-touch just like windows. The multi-touch feature has been developed by the Interactive Computing Lab team in ENAC, France and has been introduced into the 2.6.30 Linux Kernel. See the video:

This feature is different from the multi-pointer feature ( available through MPX ) as it sends events directly from the Kernel and has support for gestures like swipe, dragging, water ripple on tap, pinch, resize, page flip etc . Inclusion in the core and the feature being a great one, assures it’s availability in any Linux distro using the 2.6.30 Kernel. There are hopes of it being included in Google Android as well.

According to the development page, the recognition code reads a raw input without any help from the X server and sends DBus messages to Compiz (the window manager) to convert the inputs into effects. All this was developed under the project ShareIT.

This is a full implementation of the capabilities of the new kernel initially explored by Luke Hutchison who implemented multi-touch on an Android G1 using a hack.

With news of Linux capturing 1% of worldwide PC users surfacing a few months ago, it is really good to see such fast development in advanced areas. This will go a long way in establishing popular distros of Linux as good and free windows alternatives, if not competitors.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.