Linux 3.16 Will Detect If Your Dell Latitude Is Falling
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 11 June 2014 at 08:42 PM EDT. 20 Comments
Matthew Garrett sent in the x86 platform driver updates on Tuesday that are going into the Linux 3.16 kernel. This pull request is interesting for Dell Latitude laptop owners.

The new x86 platform driver pull adds the new dell-smo8800 driver, which provides Linux support finally with a freefall driver for several Dell Latitude models. This driver supports the SMO8800 and SMO8810 sensors found on several Latitude models that detect if the laptop is in a freefall (falling to the ground). The Dell implementation is ACPI-based and the driver registers /dev/freefall. This driver is compatible with the hp_accel freefall driver so any user-space application taking advantage of HP's freefall detection will also work with this Dell Linux support.

The freefall driver is beneficial for being able to suspend the disk or take other precautions if it's believed the laptop is physically falling. The sensors are basically accelerometers and can also be re-tasked for other non-standard purposes too with its open-source stack.

The full list of x86 platform changes for Linux 3.16 can be found by Matthew's pull request.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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