[CentOS] Linux on touch screen device

Nataraj incoming-centos at rjl.com
Fri Mar 30 02:30:32 EDT 2012


On 03/29/2012 10:51 PM, 夜神 岩男 wrote:
>
> --- On Fri, 2012/3/30, Nataraj <incoming-centos at rjl.com> wrote:
>
>> 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.
> Lots of people do this and lots of (most?) commercial tablet/smartphone systems are based on Linux or a close cousin (Android and iOS come to mind...).

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:

- ability to eventually run wide range of open source linux software,
scripting languages like perl, python
- privacy issues, prefer not to run software that forces you to allow
companies to track keystrokes/location
- ability to implement and verify my own security, i.e. my own iptables
rules
- ability to integrate well into my existing linux based network, i.e.
ipad doesn't do this so well

> As far as non-commercial DIY tablet distros, there are distros and special interest groups within larger distros that focus on this type of deployment.
>
> But none of them are CentOS, so I'm not sure why you pinged this mailinglist -- though I think you'd probably find that CentOS installs just fine in most cases, just remember to build whatever graphcs driver you need or your experience might not be good.

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.

> Go ask over at Fedora, Ubuntu and maybe Mint. Also check out MeeGo and whatnot.
>
> As a side note, there is nothing magical about a touchscreen. Touchscreens are just pointing devices like mice and touchpads as far as Linux is concerned, but in this case it is a touchpad that you can see through to a screen on the other side (there is a special case of location logic, of course, so the pointer doesn't continue from last location, but this is a normal case handled by X). So nothing special happens in an application to make it "work with a touchscreen" because a touchscreen is just creating mouse events the same way your normal mouse would do. The only problem with touchscreens is that small icons are smaller than your finger (well, mine anyway) and so you have to make the desktop a little cartoony to make things work right. Gnome Shell in Fedora is actually not too bad to use with a touchscreen, though it sucks horribly with a mouse IMO, and KDE with large widgets is pretty easy as well.

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,
Nataraj




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