Garmin Upstreams Linux Patch Around Boat Steering Wheels, Marine Navigation Displays

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 23 April 2022 at 05:43 AM EDT. 6 Comments
Being sent in as a fix for Linux 5.18-rc3 is supporting various marine navigation keycodes with at least Garmin's boat steering wheels and marine navigation displays running Linux.

As this week's entertaining "it runs Linux" and of peculiar Linux patches for supporting rather niche hardware, the mainline Linux kernel is seeing keycode additions for handling of boat steering wheels / marine navigation displays. Garmin contributed the Linux input subsystem keycode entries for various marine navigation input events like autopilot engage, fishing chart, radar overlay, navigation menu, dual range radar, navigation chart, and SOS.

Garmin's smart marine products run Linux.

Over the past half-decade or so there has been just under a dozen patches upstreamed to the Linux kernel around MMC and various ARM drivers, usually just small fixes/additions. But it's been well known many of their GPS devices and other products do run Linux. Via is also where they host their open-source/Linux sources for various Linux-based Garmin products.

S.O.S. and other marine keycodes added to the recognized Linux input subsystem events.

Anyhow, with the marine navigation keycodes submission pending for mainline, these keycodes are for handling global physical keys present on boat steering wheels and other marine navigation devices. Garmin's marine displays are typically "a single fullscreen application" on Linux and this at least adds the various keycodes for their prominent events.

These various marine navigation keycodes were sent by way of the input fixes for landing in Linux 5.18-rc3 this weekend. Just another interesting use of Linux and more going into the mainline kernel.
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