Tuesday, 09 August 2016 08:37

Linux driver for Surface 3 devices touch controller soon

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While Linux users do not consider Windows to be an adequate operating system for their needs, there is no doubt that many of them would like to use hardware like that in the Surface line to run Linux.

Linux can be installed and run on Surface devices even now, as Betanews points out, but the experience should become much smoother when the 4.8 kernel is released.

In the first 4.8 release candidate, developer Dmitry Torokhov announced that he had included a driver for the touchscreen controller found in Surface 3.

The Surface 3 line costs about US$499. It has an Intel Atom processor on which Linux runs very well.

Kernel project leader Linus Torvalds did not specifically mention the Surface 3 driver in his regular email which accompanies every release.

He wrote: "This seems to be building up to be one of the bigger releases lately, but let's see how it all ends up. The merge window has been fairly normal, although the patch itself looks somewhat unusual: over 20% of the patch is documentation updates, due to conversion of the drm and media documentation from docbook to the Sphinx doc format. There are other doc updates, but that's the big bulk of it.

"If you ignore the documentation format change, things look fairly regular, with about 60% of the non-documentation diffs being drivers (gpu, networking, media, sound, etc) and about 15% being arch updates (arm, powerpc and x86 dominate, but there's mips and s390 too).

"The rest is spread out: core networking, tooling (mainly perf), include files, core kernel, vfs and low-level filesystems (xfs stands out)."

Linux is known for its adaptibility and creative users have run it on every possible device and then some.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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