Multi-touch support coming to Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu 10.10 "Maverick Meerkat" takes aim at the tablet
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Canonical announced uTouch designed to bring multi-touch support the open source Ubuntu linux operating system.

Writing on the Canonical Blog, the company's uTouch "multi-touch and gesture stack" is available now for developers but will appear in the next major version of Ubuntu code named "Maverick Meerkat". In addition to providing multi-touch support, similar to that seen on Apple products, uTouch provides a framework to have touch gestures interact with applications.

"Canonical is working with manufacturers of touch-enabled products and those of their underlying technology in order to bring innovations in user experience to a broader audience," said the company.

The development is important because so far general purpose linux distributions have lacked a consistent touch screen interface vital to driving adoption into tablet devices, leaving vendors to create their own front end interface or further resulting in alternative linux-based distributions such as Google's Android and Chromium operating systems and Nokia's MeeGo.

"Touch will be part of the Ubuntu Netbook, Desktop and Light products from 10.10 and beyond."