Synaptics brings multitouch support to Linux

The interface company is offering its Gesture Suite to manufacturers making laptops based on Fedora, Ubuntu, Suse and other popular Linux distros

Many Linux users will be able to perform multitouch gestures on their laptop touchpads, after Synaptics extended this functionality to the open-source operating system environment.

On Monday, Synaptics said PC manufacturers would be able to incorporate the interface company's Gesture Suite into their Linux-based products. The suite incorporates multitouch functionality including two-fingered scrolling, pinch-to-zoom and twist-to-rotate.

"The Synaptics Gesture Suite for Linux enables [manufacturers] to leverage a broad range of gesture capabilities across Linux operating systems, and offers extensibility into new Linux flavours such as Google Chrome OS and additional support for touch-enabled remote control devices," Synaptics PC chief Ted Theocheung said in a statement.

Synaptics, which provides the majority of laptop touchpad hardware and software worldwide, gives its Gesture Suite for free to manufacturers who order its TouchPad and ClickPad products. The Linux version of the suite will work with Fedora, Millos Linpus, Red Flag, Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop (Sled) 11, Ubuntu and Xandros, the company said.