Multi-touch became trendy after iphone came up with it. We are seeing many new laptops with multi-touch. At hardware level, there is nothing special that you need, to make multi-touch work.
The Ubuntu Snippets blog posts a configuration file, along with the copy-and-paste terminal commands needed to install and activate it, that give Linux users a rough approximation of some pretty great Multi-touch features: two-finger vertical and horizontal scrolling, two- and three-finger tapping for middle- and right-clicks, respectively. Notably missing are the rotation features (we think) and the pinch and expand powers for zooming out and in.
Grab it here...