Elementary OS is Bringing Multi-Touch Gestures to the OS

Feb 01, 2021

User-friendly Linux distribution, elementary OS, is working to make using the fan-favorite platform even better for laptops.

For the longest time, when Linux users wanted to employ gestures for their trackpads, they'd have to go to great lengths to install and configure third-party software. Many times, that configuration was handled by way of text-based configuration files. Because of this, a large number of mobile Linux users did without.

The developers of one of the most user-friendly Linux distributions on the market are hoping to  change that, with plans to include multi-touch gesture support in the upcoming elementary OS 6 release.

In conjunction with José Expósito, the author of Touchégg, the developers have brought to life window manager gestures. This is made possible by using the Touchégg Daemon to capture input events and communicate them to the elementary OS window manager, Gala.

The elementary OS developers are considering two possible proposals:

  • Multitasking View
  • Workspace switching

Both of these options use 1:1 responsive, finger-tracking gestures, and when animations aren't available in the window manager, the system will default to those from Touchégg. They're also putting into place gestures for maximizing and tiling windows. With the help of other technologies, these multi-touch gestures will also extend to functions like browser back and other navigations. But since this is still in early development, it's hard to say what all will be supported upon initial release.

Users will be able to customize which gestures are applied to particular actions (such as three-finger swipe up to reveal the multitasking view).

For more information, check out the official elementary OS blog.

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