openSUSE Touch


I have been reading and listening to Linux stuff lately, and I am hearing a lot about Ubuntu Touch for tablets and phones and things. I am also getting the impression, however greatly misguided, Tablet / mobile ARM based devices seem to be the growth of information systems

Has there been any work besides the known ARM projects on openSUSE to tying to break into those areas? I’d like to take Ubuntu Touch a spin on a tablet but I would really much prefer to see it on openSUSE. I think that the openSUSE infrastructure is by far the nicest and easiest to navigate of any distro. To have those very amazing features on a tablet would be really tip-top.



You can install openSUSE and add the tabletpc pattern which should install touch-related packages

zypper se -t pattern tabletpc

AFAIK this would only improve support for “touch” events which are at the Development level somewhat different than “mouse” events (ie clicks, movements). Unless a recent addition, I don’t think it adds any gestures. And, although may also depend on hardware I don’t know how much “multi-point touch” event support is supported.

I haven’t been able to test properly on my HP Touchsmart laptop (laptop with touch screen) because HP builds support for touch into the hardware, making additional software unnecessary… Something to know if you’re considering different hardware.


I was specifically thinking ARM based tablets and phones and things. I am essentially looking for an Android alternative.

I am basically looking for an Ubuntu alternative to this:

openSUSE can be installed on several ARM processors,
Familiarize yourself which ones…


I’m not going to pretend that I have the time to actually work on it, nor do I have a tablet that I have enough knowledge of to toy with but since openSUSE is one of the most commonly used Linux distros, I would really like to see openSUSE competing against Ubuntu or at least as an alternative out there. I don’t know if there is a real good business case at this time and if you could attract the developers (Ubuntu is having some head-wind on that too) but the idea of having a non-Google mobile device that played real nice with openSUSE desktop.

More research is certainly necessary.


For most of the past many years as mobile devices have overtaken desktop computing,

ARM support has only been one somewhat significant hurdle to overcome.
Support for the many mobile devices probably has been at least and perhaps very much more of a hurdle, which is why Android has gone largely unchallenged (omitting the Apple ecosystem for now), and is still the case today.

Unless you simply want to investigate whether <any> Linux has been successfully been installed on a platform, you’d have to verify support for every piece of I/O hardware in the device.

Such is the risk for being first for projects like Ubuntu phone.

But if you’d like to try something where there is not much information, in general I’d advise using the most common, high end hardware available… Those are the makes and models that generally get first attention from projects and developers.

And, particularly for ARM devices I’d recommend looking for any information related to your hardware in the XDA Forums, which is a community of developers who create alternative images for mobile devices. You’ll probably want to root the device, use an XDA-recommended bootloader and your choice image.


I have an HP Touchpad, albeit old, still a very capable unit, has Android on it as well as the original HP webOS on it. I could probably cut my teeth on that and see find out what I don’t know for sure and the risk is low, there is plenty of space on the unit for testing too.

I will begin my research.

Wish I had one of those…
Initial launch was a disaster because no one noticed that debugging code was still included in the Golden Image…
And, by the time the mistake was discovered (weeks after launch) it was already a public marketing nightmare.
So, although the image was fixed… HP had already made the decision to drop the entire effort and move on… That’s when WebOS was open sourced…

And, all that hardware inventory was dumped at cost (or lower), perfectly good and very capable tablets just because of that fixable mistake and HP’s decision to get out as fast as possible.

So, you have a pretty nice piece of hardware, even after these many years.