Linux on Surface

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Problem :

Well, my employer uses two Microsoft Surface machines. One for development and another as showcase. Our administrator recently installed the first service pack on one of those and the whole thing went down crashing and burning. Oh, well… He’s a Big Boy and will solve it. No worries.

It’s just that he started to complain about it and I decided to tease him by suggesting to just install Linux on that system. Well, just for the fun of it, of course… It will probably freeze in Hell when we will ever switch to Linux since the CEO and share-holders are extremely Microsoft-minded.

However, now the funny remark started to haunt me… Has anyone tried to install Linux on a Microsoft Surface machine? Was it successful? Did it work as well as Surface? Any good or bad experiences?

Solution :

Yes, but pointless!

I got Ubuntu on to one, but I could only get the screen to work as a standard mouse and not multi touch.

It is just a regular (but good) PC with drivers for the additional components. – everything “special” and “cool” about the surface is done through software.

Anyway, it will work, but would be one of the most expensive Linux “home” machines (e.g. non server) that you can buy!

Although I have not looked into it that much, it does not look like putting Linux onto the Surface is possible. The hardware is too specialized and expensive, so there would be a complete lack of drivers for it.

X does support multitouch, so input may work, but I dont know about the rest of the hardware.

If you can get the multi-touch driver to work, you could run something like PyMT on it, which will run on Linux.

PyMT will give you a nice multi-touch user interface and there are quite a few apps created for it with a multi-touch interface.

Have a look at the demo videos here:

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