What I learned when installing openSUSE Tumbleweed w/ KDE 5 on Surface Pro 3

9 Nov

Recently I had acquired a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 for work. Until then I had run openSUSE, Fedora, RedHat, SUSE or ArchLinux on my primary work laptop. After a month running Microsoft Windows 10 I decided it was time to put Linux on the Surface Pro 3 because I felt the loss of productivity running Windows was too disruptive to my day to day work.

Here’s what I found when installing openSUSE Tumbleweed (Build 20151030) on the Surface Pro 3.

  • Touchpad didn’t work out of the box due to missing xf86-input-synaptics
  • Camera’s do not work as Linux doesn’t support USB Video Class Driver 1.5
  • The i3 4GB model I have didn’t care too much for a running compositor

To resolve the touch pad issue simple install xf86-input-synaptics with:
sudo zypper in -n xf86-input-synaptics

and then restart your X session.

You can get the camera working by patching your kernel using one of the following patches:
https://patchwork.linuxtv.org/patch/31818/ (preferred as this fixes the issue for all UVC 1.5 devices)
https://github.com/matthewwardrop/linux-surfacepro3/blob/master/cam.patch (fixes specifically for Surface Pro 3)

Though I hope / suspect that it’ll be patched upstream shortly.

Lastly you can disable your compositor by going searching “compositor” in krunner and un-checking the “Enable compositor on startup” box.

I installed openSUSE on the Surface Pro 3 today so I’m sure there will be things here and there that I’ll run into and I hope to blog about all of them.


I am ben kevan.. Well yeah. .that's about it.

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