Some Tablets/Convertibles With Linux 5.17 Will Now Have Working Pen Support

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 17 January 2022 at 06:00 AM EST. 3 Comments
In addition to Linux 5.17 introducing Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) support for that new industry standard for styluses/pens that can work cross-device, the input subsystem updates for this kernel also add active pen support for a few more tablets.

Moving forward hopefully we will see broad adoption of USI stylus support for nice cross-device compatibility and support. But for those with current tablets relying on Goodix or Silead drivers and have an active pen, the Linux 5.17 input subsystem updates present working pen support there with their respective devices.

Red Hat's Hans de Goede who has working extensively on improving Linux laptop and tablet device support including the new x86 tablet driver this cycle was also responsible for adding the active/battery-powered pen support to the Goodix and Silead drivers.

The pen support for the Goodix driver has been tested with the likes of the Trekstor SurfTab Duo W1, Chuwi Hi13, and Cyberbook T116 tablet that with the latest kernel code can now handle its active pen appropriately. The Silead driver also is now working properly with active pens thanks to a little more than one hundred lines of code.

The Chuwi Hi13 is one of the devices now having its active pen working under Linux.

The input updates for Linux 5.17 include those pen additions as well as the Silead driver now being able to parse the embedded firmware for determining the screen size automatically. Plus other fixes round out the input subsystem changes this cycle.
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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 20,000 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, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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