Linux to Get High Resolution Wheel Scrolling

Apr 09, 2020

Work on high resolution wheel scrolling for the Linux desktop is being completed.

The Linux desktop has come a very long way in a short time. But there are a couple of features that lag behind the likes of macOS—such as multi touch gestures and smooth wheel scrolling. That all began to change about a year ago, when high resolution wheel scrolling was merged into the mainline Linux kernel, by adding new axes REL_WHEEL_HI_RES and REL_HWHEEL_HI_RES. However, since that kernel addition, work on the feature fell to the wayside.

Around the same time as support was added to the kernel, Peter Hutterer began working on integrating high resolution mouse wheel scrolling support into Wayland. However, that work also ground to a halt and nothing came of Hutterer’s efforts.

Good news, Linux desktop users, Mr. Hutterer has resumed work on getting “buttery smooth” implemented into Wayland. The work is happening by way of libinput, Wayland, Mutter, GTK, and XWayland. Although this new feature won’t make it into Ubuntu 20.04 or Fedora 32, it is possible to add this feature into the latest iteration of Fedora, using the repository found on the Fedora COPR site for the project.

Once this feature is finally rolled out, the Linux desktop experience will be much improved.

To find out more about this project, follow Peter’s blog.


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