I am aware that I will probably find some Apple "hater" in the comments, but I think it is necessary to mention some of their good things to tell you about the main software in this article. This post is about Toucheg 2.0.0, and if we have to talk about Apple, it is because what we will achieve by installing it reminds us a lot of what we can do natively in macOS since the launch of its Magic Trackpad or even earlier on their MacBook.
And it is that Apple was one of the first companies to come to the conclusion that touch panels had to be larger and much more could be done with them. In addition, to his own he added the possibility to do some iPhone gestures, such as pinching or pinching to change the zoom. We can also slide several fingers to turn pages through Safari, see all the open windows of an app, enter the Launchpad (its application launcher) and more. That is exactly what we can do with Touchégg.
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Touchégg 2.0.0 improves support for Wayland and new graphical environments
Touchégg 2.0.0 is a completely rewritten version of the old one that had already been available since 2011. Its creator, José Exposito, has created it to resemble what is in macOS (and previously in OS X): it runs in the background and transforms the gestures we make in the touch panel on our desktop actions. The best way to understand it is to watch the video that Exposito himself has published on YouTube:
As we see in your GitHub page, the gestures available by default are to pinch or slide your fingers together. Also we can add gestures like:
- Maximize or restore a window.
- Minimize a window.
- Stack a window.
- Close a window.
- Switch between workspaces or desks.
- Show the desktop.
- Configure keyboard shortcuts.
- Execute commands.
Touchégg is an app that runs in the background and transforms the gestures you make on your touch panel into visible actions on your desktop. For example, you can swipe up with three fingers to maximize a window or swipe left with 4 fingers to switch to the next desktop. There are more actions and gestures available and everything is easily configurable.
Logically, we can do all of the above without Touchégg, and more so in operating systems where many actions are as simple as create a script with your launcher that we can attach to any panel, but we will be more productive if we can do them from the touch panel with a gesture.
What's new in Touchégg 2.0.0
With the new version we will see smoother animations that will follow our fingers more precisely. In addition, this second version has added support for the libinput drivers to make it work in environments that use Wayland or libinput. This version has included the ability to slide three or more fingers in sync in the same direction as the pincer gesture by placing two or more fingers on the touch panel.
How to install it on Linux
Toucheg 2.0.0 can work in any graphical environment. We can download it from this link in RPM and DEB packages, and to install them we can double click on them so that it opens in the native software of our distribution. If none are available or we prefer to use the terminal, we can install it with these commands:
Debian, Ubuntu and derivatives
sudo dpkg -i touchegg_*.deb sudo apt -f install touchegg
For Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS, and derivatives
sudo yum ruta-al-archivo touchegg-*.rpm
The source code is also available on the same GitHub page, so it can be installed also in other distributions as explained in this link.
I who have had a Mac with its Magic Trackpad, I have to say that Touchégg is a great tool for all those who want do some actions many times and much faster. Once you try them, it is difficult to live without them, at least on Apple's system. In Linux we don't have them natively, but we do with this little tool.