Linux 5.13 To Enable The Keyboard/Touchpad Of Newer Microsoft Surface Laptops
Written by Michael Larabel in Microsoft on 30 March 2021 at 06:10 AM EDT. Add A Comment
MICROSOFT --
The quest of improving the Microsoft Surface laptop support under Linux continues. With Linux 5.13 there is going to be not only the Surface DTX driver but another new Surface driver queued up is "surface-hid" that will allow supporting the keyboard and touchpad on newer Surface devices.

Currently with newer Microsoft Surface devices like the Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Book 3 the keyboard and touchpad are not supported when running the mainline kernel... There have been out-of-tree patches / DKMS modules but finally with Linux 5.13 there should be the support with the mainline kernel now that the surface-hid driver has made it into HID's "-next" branch ahead of the Linux 5.13 merge window opening in April.

This Surface HID driver isn't the work of Microsoft sadly but that of Maximilian Luz. Maximilian continues near single-handedly working to improve the Microsoft Surface state on Linux. This independent developer has authored many of the Surface drivers for Linux and other improvements to allow for better Surface support on Linux.

This HID driver is needed to get the working touchpad and keyboard support due to being connected to the Microsoft Surface System Aggregator Module. Luz last year squared away that Microsoft "SAM" support for Linux with it being the embedded controller used by these devices.

So with this HID for-next patch amounting to more than 600 lines of new code, the keyboard and touchpad on the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 / Surface Book 3 and later should finally be working out-of-the-box on Linux.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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