Linux on touch screen device

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I have poked around in google and have seen a number of youtube videos, but my question is whether anyone really has linux running on any kind of tablet or tablet PC device in such a way that the touch screen can be used productively and it won’t take a month to get it running? Initially the two applications that are of most interest to me would be a good web browser (maybe  chromium) and thunderbird. I would also like to have a decent on screen keyboard which could be used to ssh to servers in an emergency.

I’ve seen instructions for booting linux on various devices, but many people doing this are using keyboards and not touchscreens. Do applications like thunderbird have to be modified in order to work

well with a touch screen or is just getting a working driver for the touchpad sufficient?

If anyone has any experience with this I would appreciate knowing what hardware your running on and what linux distro/desktop environment you use. I’ve been interested in devices like the ASUS EP121 which is a dual core I5, so it wouldn’t be necessary to have an ARM distribution. Also the newest Asus transformer prime (arm) which I think is about 2 months away sounds interesting.



4 thoughts on - Linux on touch screen device

  • Thank you. I am aware of android, but my understanding is that the
    libraries are changed enough that it’s not that easy to build random
    linux software that hasn’t been ported. My interests in running linux on
    a tablet is influenced by:

    scripting languages like perl, python
    companies to track keystrokes/location
    ipad doesn’t do this so well

    I pinged this list because I find there is alot of diversity on list and
    I value the experience that people share here. I am not attached to
    CentOS and I do run several distros myself. I’ve seen some threads where
    people went out and bought devices and never got the touchpad working.
    In some cases some people got things working and then the manufacturer
    changed the firmware in later versions and suddenly people that bought
    them couldn’t get them to work.

    That makes sense. I can see though where some desktops/user interfaces
    will provide a very different user experience than others on a touchpad
    and similarly for a desktop. I tried unity about 1.5 yrs ago and was
    very unimpressed using it on a desktop, but it might be good on a tablet.

    Thank You,

  • I did notice your previous post. I’m aware that people do get these
    linux ports up and running on arm devices, but essentially what I am
    asking here is if I went out and bought any particular arm device, Asus
    transformer prime, galaxy etc, what’s the likelyhood that your port
    includes a device driver that will work well with the touch screen? I
    looked at your website a few days ago and saw the low power arm
    appliance devices, but didn’t see anything about supported touch screen


  • The CentOS Project would LOVE to obtain a Hardware Donation from one (or
    more) of the companies who have x86, x86_64, or ARM tablets available.
    We would make getting working drivers for the touch screen a priority if
    we had hardware to work with.

    If there are any tablet manufactures on the list … and if you are
    willing to provide a hardware donation of any architecture tablet (x86,
    x86_64, ARM, or PPC) to the CentOS Project then contact me off list.

    Johnny Hughes

  • I’ve had a tablet PC for about 5 years now, the HP TC4400, and it mostly
    just worked out of the box with centos-5; it runs centos-6 fine, but is
    starting to get a bit old at a core2/2GB of ram.

    nothing special was needed, the screen interface comes up as a wacom
    device. and I’ve found it very useful.