Google engineers are working to add Apple Magic Trackpad 2 Linux support to the mainline Linux Kernel.
Although it’s been 3 years since Apple announced the Magic Trackpad 2 Linux users have needed to rely on out-of-tree patches and drivers to use the multi-touch device with desktop Linux distributions like Ubuntu, in both wired and wireless mode.
—But not for much longer!
Google engineers are, as reported by Phoronix, currently working on a patch to add Magic Trackpad 2 Linux support to the Linux kernel’s HID Magic Mouse driver. The code supports both the USB wired and Bluetooth wireless modes:
Add support for Apple Magic Trackpad 2 over USB and bluetooth, putting the device in multi-touch mode.
The Apple Magic Trackpad 2 is a larger version of the touchpad found in MacBook Pros.
It can be used as both a wired USB device or a wireless device, both modes offering full haptic feedback (aka ‘3D’ touch).
Will Hopefully Land Soon
I don’t own a Magic Trackpad 2 myself but I hope we see this patch land soon, perhaps even in time for the next Linux kernel release.
For while I appreciate that Apple is not every Linux users’ cup of tea, the more hardware Linux supports the better. It’s all about choice, right?
And Apple hardware — overpriced or underpowered as some may find it — playing nice with Linux is important for lowering barriers to entry and demonstrating the ‘can do’ nature of Linux versus closed-loop operating systems.
We recently shone a spotlight on ‘Gestures’, a useful GUI app that lets you customise touchpad gestures on Linux.
That app combined with the $120 Apple Magic Trackpad 2 could make for some very interesting workflows on Linux!