Alright folks - this is the big one. This is what we have been waiting for.
Manjaro 17.02 supports Surface Pro 3
The back story is this - our buddy @slaneaw here did the heavy lifting and applied the missing Type Cover touchpad patch on top of Manjaro's Linux 4.9 kernel, and it worked. I suggested that this should be proposed for Manjaro kenel maintainers, which he did. The Manjaro project lead and kernel maintainer Philipp Müller welcomed the patch, and it is now integrated to a release.
As of today, the Manjaro 17.02 is at a release candidate phase and the final release is due in no time. The second release candidate now has the Surface Pro 3 Type Cover patches included, along with some SP4 stuff which I can't personally test as I only have the SP3 in my possession. The RC2 is already quite stable and totally usable as the daily driver. KDE and Xfce candidate images have been released and Gnome edition, along with many other Manjaro variants, should follow soon after the 17.02 stable version is out.
Update 07.03.2017: Manjaro 17.0 stable version has been released: Download
What we have now working staight off the live media:
- Hardware keys: Volume up/down, power key
- Touch screen
- Windows Button
- Type Cover keyboard
- Type Cover touchpad, with two finger scrolling
- Using KDE, the mouse emulation needs to be enabled for tap to click functionality.
The KDE is not a bad deskop for the Surface Pro 3, even though it is totally desktop/mouse oriented. You can scale the screen elemets larger for the SP3 ultra-HD display, and strech the panels and widgets to a comportable size. It runs super smooth on the SP3 hardware.
Many may prefer Gnome over KDE though, as it has certain design decisions that are better suited for touch screen usage, including the Onboard virtual keyboard. If you can't wait for the official Manjaro Gnome 17.02 release, you can download the current stable version 16.10, enable the testing repositories and upgrade the kernel. Switch to Linux kernel 4.9.x using the Manjaro Settings Manager.
Enable testing repository:
sudo pacman-mirrors -g -b testing
Update to RC2 kernel:
sudo pacman -S linux49
And thats it! Happy testing for all Surface Pro 3 owners and kudos to @slaneaw and Manjaro developers.