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Ubuntu Linux to Get Multi-Touch Support


Ubuntu Linux to Get Multi-Touch Support

The next version of Ubuntu will support multi-touch gestures, Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth has revealed.

Version 10.10.10, colloquially dubbed Maverick Meerkat, will support four finger gesture support, bringing Linux up to par with Windows 7 and Apple’s Snow Leopard on the desktop.

In fact, Shuttleworth claims that Ubuntu’s implementation will go beyond what’s capable on those platforms.

“The design team {is} developing a “touch language” which goes beyond the work that we’ve seen elsewhere. Rather than single, magic gestures, we’re making it possible for basic gestures to be chained, or composed, into more sophisticated “sentences”. The basic gestures, or primitives, are like individual verbs, and stringing them together allows for richer interactions. It’s not quite the difference between banging rocks together and conducting a symphony orchestra, but it feels like a good step in the right direction.”

He also said that the roadmap for version 11.04 would be to create touch-aware versions of all the major Ubuntu apps, such as the browser, email, file and photo management, chat and media software.

Canonical’s official blog states that the touch interface will be called uTouch 1.0 and is based on an open source gesture recognition engine and a gesture API.

“We are certain that multi-touch and gestures will be central to the way we use Linux applications in future,” the company stated.

Link: Canonical blog.

Link: Mark Shuttleworth blog.


August 18, 2010, 10:55 am

I think this is pretty cool, I've been using ubuntu as my primary OS since Dapper Drake 6.04 (I think) so its great to see new developments the only issue I do see is they really need to concentrate on how the Linux Gnome looks and feels if they're ever really want to grab 'normal' users away from what is arguable Microsoft's best OS yet in Windows 7. As a hardcore linux user it is the one thing I miss when I switch from Windows 7 to my current Lucid or Maverick alpha installs. I have 3 laptops, one a Samsung netbook NC10 all dual booting windows 7 ultimate/enterprise and ubuntu.


August 18, 2010, 12:16 pm

This is good news - if the first generation of Android / WebOS / ChromeOS (?) tablets don't quite cut it, Ubuntu's next release might bring a bit more power and flexibility to the tablet in the mean time.

At least we can be sure this OS wont be deliberately crippled to prevent basic functionality - like making full read/write access of Flash Drives (and their multimedia content) and being able to use a reasonable selection of USB peripherals.

The next 6-12 months in the tablet space are going to be very interesting.


August 18, 2010, 1:31 pm

@Coffee_With_Bailey's Nice comment, fully agreed


August 18, 2010, 1:40 pm

Been using Ubuntu for a few years now, I&#8217m certainly no computer nerd, I really don&#8217t have any computer skills at all, and so far never found a problem that can&#8217t be fixed!

Very excited about the new release, it just gets better and better.

To all those people out there with old laptops/pc&#8217s gathering dust in the corner, try Ubuntu, honestly installing it isn&#8217t as scary as you think!


August 18, 2010, 2:37 pm

I take it that this will be coming to Mint as well, correct? And Dan, Ubuntu is indeed great, but I suggest that you lure newcomers to Mint, for it is even easier to use than Ubuntu.


August 18, 2010, 4:03 pm

@Armin - Never heard of Mint before! I checked out its website and it looks good!

Cheers for that, ill stick a copy on my PC (Oh the wonders of Virtual Box).


August 18, 2010, 4:05 pm

@Armin I'd make a second vote for Linux Mint 9. I've been using it in both KDE and gnome (I prefer the former) and its brilliant.

m memmory

August 18, 2010, 4:09 pm

Now I wasn't that intereseted to begin with but with after Coffee_With_Bailey's comment I'm very interested. A tablet running Ubuntu could be just what might tip me into considering one.


August 18, 2010, 7:10 pm

This sounds great! Now we just need a reasonably priced multitouch capable Slate Tablet to run it on..... erm..... :-)

Tho saying that I wonder if the JooJoo could be hacked to use it (tho with the tiny hard drive I wonder if its worth it), otherwise it might have to be a chinese tablet with an Atom cpu...


August 18, 2010, 7:22 pm

You are welcome, Dan. I myself should probably check out Virtual Box! And deus1066, I agree, Mint really is brilliant. It totally defies the common belief that Linux operating systems are a nightmare to operate. Perhaps TR should do a review when Mint 10 comes out?


August 18, 2010, 9:23 pm

@Armin Mint for me is how Ubuntu should be if it is truely going to convert the masses. Virtual box is excellent, I've using it to try out distros in turn and not run into any major problems.

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