Thursday, 18 June 2009

Multi Touch now Supported by Linux Kernel

A development group at ENAC in Toulouse, France, reports that it has developed a proof of concept for adding iPhone-like multi-touch support to the Linux kernel. The group has released a video showing multi-touch effects such as resizing and rotating using Linux 2.6.30.
In an email, Boulabiar stressed that the code is different than the Multi-Pointer X (MPX) technology being integrated into version 7.5 of the mainline X.Org server. Whereas MPX is a modification to X Window that provides multiple independent pointers (mouse cursors) at the windowing system level for multi-pointer capability, the ENAC code offers true native multi-touch capability, says Boulabiar.

"The video shows multitouch effects that are being supported natively to send ABS_MT_* events from the kernel," wrote Boulabiar. "When making the demos, I have chosen to use general libraries not related to a WM, to be able to run demos on any Linux platform." Boulabiar added that he expects the technology to be incorporated into the Google-sponsored Android stack.


According to the project site, the demo code reads input directly from the device file ("/dev/input/eventX"), without "X server involvement in input handling at this stage." The demo performs simple gesture recognition and then sends D-Bus messages to the Compiz Fusion 3D window manager, to produce special effects. It requires the new Linux 2.6.30 kernel, among other requirements, which are detailed in the download page linked to below.

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