Synaptics Gesture Suite Ported To Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 19 April 2010 at 09:32 AM EDT. 11 Comments
Hardware
On Friday we were briefed by Synaptics that they would be "announcing much-desired capabilities for notebook PCs running Linux and other open source operating systems", which we found out to mean that they were bringing their Synaptics Gesture Suite software to Linux. Today this announcement has now been made in the form of a press release.

Synaptics Gesture Suite is described on its product page as:
Synaptics Gesture Suite (SGS 9.1) provides users with a powerful and intuitive way to be more productive and interactive with their notebook systems. SGS 9.1 was developed from analyzing the most common workflows, from entertainment activities such as viewing photos and listening to music, to productivity activities such as accessing emails and presentations. The result is an intelligent usability model that makes it intuitive for consumers to easily understand and discover features, resulting in a better user experience. SGS 9.1 represents a growing portfolio of gestures available on Synaptics interface solutions. These new gestures are compatible with a wide range of Microsoft Windows applications and enhance the value and productivity of notebook PCs and peripheral devices that use Synaptics TouchPads.

This is the first time that Synaptics Gesture Suite is being brought over to a non-Windows OS, with official support coming for Fedora, Millos Linpus, Red Flag, SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11, Ubuntu, and Xandros. Unfortunately, this is not going to be open-source software so we will not be seeing this go into mainline repositories in most places and we do not yet know from Synaptics on how they plan on distributing the packages. We also do not know what sort of graphical user-interface will be available with their Linux release and whether it will offer a feature parity to the Windows counterpart.

Up to this point there's been Multi-Pointer X in the mainline X.Org Server 1.7+ for multi-input support and doing some cool things, a simple gesture recognition way using the Linux kernel with D-Bus and Compiz patches, multi-touch support in Qt 4.6, and multi-touch gesture recognition in Clutter.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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