After many, many hours trying to follow the linuxwacom How-to, I finally got my Wacom Volito graphics tablet to work in Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft). My installation was brand-new, not an upgrade, and it was on a new hard-drive with absolutely nothing else on it. This should have meant it was an optimum environment.
The other guides that I followed either didn't work for me or didn't make any sense as a 'newbie' to both Linux and Ubuntu. When you first power up Ubuntu, the first thing you're going to want to do is make sure your hardware works. I don't have a mouse, so I had to get my pen to work.
This, then, is a guide for people who are either new and unused to Ubuntu/Linux, or for people who could not get their tablet to work by following any of the other guides. This is by no means a replacement for those other guides; it is intended as a helpful addition. Many of the points below may be helpful with other versions and flavours of Ubuntu and Linux, and possibly with installing other tablets.
Sometimes, it may look like I really hate linuxwacom or the How-to on the site. I don't. Once I understood it, I found it was actually helpful, informative, thorough and ultimately essential. The program itself is such a brilliantly useful thing that I could kiss the creator. What I express below are my frustrations at trying to understand what was going on and how to make it work. I think parts of the How-to are unnecessarily confusing, but on the whole it works very well. After all, I got it to work by following it. However, I have included my frustrations so that anyone in the same position can see that they are not alone and that it isn't 'them'.
1. First of all, we will assume you have tried the advice at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wacom. This was the first thing I tried, and it appears to be an easy solution for many people. It did nothing for me. I tried various permutations, and installed, as suggested, wacom-tools, xserver-xorg-input-wacom and also, after my initial failure to make this work, wacom-kernel-source. I installed through Synaptic and, when that didn't work, again through the terminal. Neither got the tablet working.
However, I discovered later on that editing the xorg.conf file can lead to some minor complications; editing the file with Gedit, I found another copy of xorg.conf was left in the /etc/X11 folder, but it was titled 'xorg.conf~'. That little '~' makes all the difference! Sometimes, the cursor was jumpy after restarting the computer, but deleting this extra xorg file stopped the jumpiness. I found that Ctrl+Alt+Backspace was not sufficient in this instance; I had to completely reboot. Once you are finished editing the xorg.conf file, check that /etc/X11 folder and make sure there is only the one in there!
*IMPORTANT NOTE HERE*: DO NOTUNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES comment out the 'wacom' lines in your xorg.conf as instructed on the linuxwacom How-to. This completely killed my X-server, and, being a 'newbie', I was left having to work out how to sort things out using on ly the terminal (which I had little experience with). Leave the damn 'wacom' lines alone! It didn't cause me any problems leaving them in; but commenting them out meant I had to re-load Windows on my separate hard-drive in order to find out the solution on the internet. That was fun. Then I had to use 'nano -w /etc/X11/xorg.conf' to open up a terminal-based text editor to sort the xorg file out (a handy tip to remember - jot it down). Leave the xorg.conf alone now until you're instructed to alter it later on.
2. Changing the lines in the xorg.conf file from 'wacom' to 'eventX' did nothing for me. (Even when I definitely had the correct event number).
I tried linuxwacom. Partly because I was unfamiliar with Linux and Ubuntu, I simply installed the linuxwacom package as instructed on the site's How-to, and was dismayed to find, after many, many hours, that it simply didn't work. There are several possible reasons for this. I found that going in to Synaptic Package Manager and searching for 'wacom' brought up all the other Wacom packages I had installed. I removed them all completely. It also removes one of the xserver-xorg packages, but this did not matter; it was not essential. I suggest you do this first if you are having trouble getting linuxwacom to work.
Once wacom-tools, wacom-kernel-source and xserver-xorg-input-wacom are removed (having tried your best to make things work with step 1 above), then download linuxwacom, as instructed on the site.
Do not, at this stage, go any further than '2.2 Downloading the code'. This was where I went into Newbie Hell.
3. It was not obvious to me, being new to Linux, that I had to install other packages, how to do it, or where to get them from, and I assumed that linuxwacom would simply 'work'. Certainly, the impression given on the site is generally one that 'this is all you need'. It is not.
I have since found that it was not necessary, but I found some advice (which I can't find now) that suggested that a solution to one of the many problems I encountered trying to use linuxwacom was to download and compile the latest kernel. I would like to repeat here that it is not necessary to download and compile a new kernel in order to get linuxwacom to work - HOWEVER, I found it extremely helpful as a Linux 'newbie' to do this anyway. Downloading and compiling a new kernel was much easier than trying to get linuxwacom to work.
Compiling a new kernel gets you in touch with your system, gives you a feeling of achievement, and gets things bang up to date. But you don't need to do it. It is, of course, one of the things I did, and I am sitting here with my Wacom Volito working better than it did on Windows. So stay with me.
I found a great guide for compiling a new kernel at http://www.howtoforge.com/kernel_compilation_ubuntu, but there are plenty of guides around.
4. Whether or not you compiled a new kernel, there are other things you will need. The linuxwacom site tells you, on '2.3 Configuring the Package', under the heading 'Library Dependencies - ncurses and XLib', that it needs 'ncurses' and 'XLib' in order to run (it doesn't quite tell you that in plain English, but you can work it out).
When I first tried to follow the instructions, I did not really understand that I had to install anything else as well. I assumed, from lines like "Most distributions install the ncurses libraries by default, but the header files are often located in a separate package. You will need both. On Redhat 8.0, they can be found in the ncurses-devel RPM" that Ubuntu would already have everything I need.
Of course, one of the nice things about Ubuntu is that it doesn't fill your system up with junk and useless files - but no-one tells you, when you first start everything up, that there will be other programs and files you will need to install to get other programs to work. Coming from Windows, it's hard to get your head around this concept straight away.
I found it easiest (for a Linux 'newbie') to use Synaptic Package Manager for this. Open it up and search 'ncurses' and then 'xlib'. I found the easiest thing to do was to download everything that looked like it might possibly do something useful in helping to install linuxwacom, and then get rid of it afterwards. Depending on your own set-up, you may need more or less packages than I did.
I also installed the 'gcc compiler', and, because it is mentioned in the output of linuxwacom when running, the 'g77 fortran' compiler. You probably have a better idea than I do what any of that stuff is for. I suggest that if, like me, you don't know what you're doing or what any of this stuff is, download everything that looks right. If you really know what you're doing, you probably don't need to read this particular guide anyway.
None of this will make any sense until you start up linuxwacom. We're not 'going there' just yet. I needed more before I could start... The output, when I ran the program, suggested I might need any of the following, all of which I searched for and installed through Synaptic (always the latest version, if there was a choice): mawk, gawk, g++, libtool, tcl, tk and xserver-xorg-input-evdev. Most of these were not with my initial installation of Ubuntu.
I have attached a list of everything installed on my computer (titled 'Synaptic Installations') for anyone who is just tearing their hair out and wants try installing all the same stuff that I have. I don't recommend this, as half of what I have is doubtless unnecessary, but it's there as a last resort.
5.On the linuxwacom How-to, there is this little gem residing under '2.3 Configuring the package header': "For kernel 2.6, you need to configure the kernel modules (wacom and hid) under your kernel source directory before configuring linuxwacom." No, you don't. It took me hours to find out what this even meant. Normally, configuring kernel modules under your source directory would involve creating or using a Makefile, and running make with the relevant folder to build the modules. I did not do this. I simply ran the program. It seems to me that the necessary drivers/modules are loaded with the './configure' and 'make' commands anyway. There is nothing special to do here, but it had me trying all sort of things to 'configure kernel modules under my kernel source directory'.
6. Now you can unpack and install linuxwacom. I finally unpacked mine under /usr/src, but it doesn't appear to matter too much where it is. It seems as good a place as any, because it's near the kernel, and easier to remember.
Follow the instructions at linuxwacom. They look complicated, but they're actually not as difficult as they look. They're there for every kind of Linux system, and so are not Ubuntu-specific. If you've got the latest kernel (at least later than 2.6, which you will have if you have Ubuntu Edgy (6.10)), then half of the instructions don't apply anyway. The best thing to do is make a nice hot cup of tea, and allow yourself several hours at least. You will make a mistake, there will be problems, but you want that cool little Wacom tablet to work, don't you?
Really, relax, it just isn't as bad as it looks on the instructions. Once you've unpacked linuxwacom as per '2.2 Downloading the code', you can either carry on reading (but not much will make any sense), or jump on down the instructions to 3.1 Testing tablet detection. Assuming you've remembered to plug your tablet into your USB port (or serial port), the system should detect your tablet OK. No matter how badly I messed things up or misconfigured them, this step always worked for me. It means that at least something knows your tablet is there and what it is supposed to do.
Forget all the other stuff and go down to 3.4 Building wacom.c. All you're really doing here is typing ./configure --enable wacom into a terminal. I had to use the '--with-kernel=/usr/src/linux-18.104.22.168' option, as the program did not find the correct location of my kernel. If in doubt about your kernel's location, guess. You can always keep re-compiling with other alternatives. At first I thought the kernel was under the /lib folder, and another piece of advice told me to compile just under the kernel headers (whatever they are). /usr/src should be, and looks right - but everyone's a little different.
A bunch of weird, incomprehenisble gobledegook will come spilling out after running './configure'. Use shift+PageUp to scroll up the output when it's finished. Check for error messages. I had loads the first few times, for a variety of reasons. If it's looking for something it can't find, I suggest making a note of whatever weird-sounding name it mentions ('gcc compiler' or whatever) and go back to Synaptic and find it or something relating to it. Install whatever looks good and try again. This hideously amateur trial-and-error method worked for me in the end. Try to be logical, and if that doesn't work, try pot luck. And then keep trying. It will work eventually.
If you end up without any error messages, then things are going OK. Type 'make' into your terminal as it tells you to in the How-to. If it comes out without errors, you're nearly there (sort of).
7. You may, at some point, get an message when you run 'make' that reads: " ***Note: Drivers not enabled as modules in your kernel config but requested through configure are NOT built." This made as little sense to me as it does to you. Especially if you spent all that time compiling a kernel. You look increduously at the screen. "Now what?"
Don't worry about it. It's a load of rubbish. It still spat this sentence at me on my successful set-up. When I first saw it, I thought it meant "Because you haven't enabled drivers as modules in your kernel config, although they have been requested, I will not be building them." I don't think it means this. I think it means: "Any drivers that are not enabled as modules in your kernel config that are requested through the configure command will not be built." It's just a case of bad (confusing) English. So, the program will only build driver modules that have been enabled. Who knows what that means? Who cares? As long as you have followed the steps above and at the linuxwacom site closely, you can ignore this message. After all, it is a ***Note***, not a WARNING.
8. I got down to '3.5 Testing if wacom(k).o will load' with no problems. My kernel did not "bomb" (whatever that means). This section (3.5) says that, after running the command 'tail /var/log/messages' the resulting message should look something like:
It goes on to say: "The correct version should also have the -0.7.6-2 portion as well. Also, future versions of the driver will say "LINUXWACOM-DEBUG" or similar rather than "MODIFIED-DEBUG" as shown above. This is to help differentiate between the stock kernel driver and those available from the Linux Wacom Project."Code:0:34:41 ayukawa kernel: wacom.c: $1.43-0.7.6-2 Vojtech Pavlik <email@example.com> Nov 20 20:34:41 ayukawa kernel: wacom.c: USB Wacom Graphire and Wacom Intuos tablet driver (MODIFIED-DEBUG)
The message I got did not have the -0.7.6-2 portion, nor did it say "LINUXWACOM-DEBUG" or 'similar'. All it said was 1.46 instead of 1.43. I still don't know if I got the correct driver or somehow 'got lucky' and accidentally installed one that happened to make everything work. I think, though, that this feature has not been added to the program; so don't worry if it doesn't have the -0.7.6-2 portion or any of the other jazz.
9. If you're still here, then good. Things are going well still. We now move on to '3.6 Installing wacom(k).o'. The most important advice in this section, as far as I was concerned, was: "Installing the driver requires knowing where it belongs. A little research will help here."
I found the little wacom.ko devil (I mean driver) in no less than four places on my system. Whether this was simply because I have two kernels, or because I tried the wacom-tools route first, or because I tried linuxwacom four times before - who knows? But by this point, I was feeling a little reckless, so I replaced every driver I could find. Of course, I kept a backup, just as it advised.
The kernel I compiled seemed to be in two parts - one labelled '22.214.171.124', the other labelled '126.96.36.199-custom'. The latter was due to the advice given on the site explaining how to compile a new kernel. I also had the old kernel. I've got stuff all over the place, but it doesn't matter as long as my Wacom works. I cannot advise you to replace all of your wacom.ko drivers, but I also cannot see what harm it would do. I found the driver turn up under /lib/modules and under /usr/src/linux-188.8.131.52 and in the unbelievably complicated location of: /usr/src/linux-184.108.40.206/debian/linux-image-220.127.116.11-custom/lib/modules/18.104.22.168-custom/kernel/drivers/usb/input/
I have no idea how all those folders got created or what the driver's doing in there. Just wanted to let you know that it might all look complicated and make no sense, but for me, replacing all the wacom.ko drivers was one of the things that helped to make my tablet work.
10. If 'depmod -e' went OK, then you're ready for the next problem. I got really stuck on '3.7 Loading the Wacom Driver'. I do not have any modules called 'input' or 'mousedev'. Because they are highlighted in blue, I assumed they were only used in older 2.4 kernels. But I also didn't have any modules called 'usb-uhci' or 'usb-ohci', and no sensible-looking variations, either. This was one of the biggest obstacles to getting the tablet to work.
Eventually, I found a module (or something) called 'uhci-hcd'. It looked close enough. I ran the command 'modprobe uhci-hcd'. It worked. To find this out, by Googling for answers, thinking and scouring forums, took me hours. The rest of the commands ran through fine (I just missed out 'mousedev' and 'input', and I guess I was right in that they are only for older kernels).
11. Forget all about building hid.core or usbhid or anything; none of that is necessary if you're on a 2.6 kernel, even though it suggests in the title - '3.9 Building (usb)hid.ko (for kernel 2.6)' - that it would be necessary (and then goes on to say it isn't necessary and then, at the time of writing this, shows a php error, missing out all the instructions.
Running the command 'grep -i 56a /var/log/messages | tail -10' under '3.10 - Unknown Tablet?' did not show me the device identifier, or anything of any use to me. In the end, it didn't matter. Don't worry about it.
Everything else should be OK. Every time I viewed the output of 'tail /var/log/messages' I did not get what the site suggested. (It suggests you will see 'v1.43-0.7.6-2 Vojtech Pavlik' in the output, but I only ever got 'v1.46'. Again, don't worry about it.
wacdump wouldn't work by typing './wacdump', but just 'wacdump' (without the './') worked fine.
12. The next problem for me '5.1 - Adding the InputDevices'. This is where, as I mentioned about six years ago at the top of this How-to, the xorg.conf file might end up getting replicated. Check your /etc/X11 folder!
13. THIS IS AN INCREDIBLY USEFUL TIP FOR WACOM VOLITO (1) USERS:
In the xorg.conf file, under the 'stylus' section, add this line:
This is what my xorg.conf file looks like:Code:Option "Stylus2" "3".
What does the magic lineCode:Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Configured Mouse" Driver "mouse" Option "CorePointer" Option "Device" "/dev/input/mouse0" Option "Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2" Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5" Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true" EndSection Section "InputDevice" Driver "wacom" Identifier "stylus" Option "Device" "/dev/input/event2" # Change to # /dev/input/event # for USB Option "Mode" "Absolute" Option "Stylus2" "3" Option "USB" "on" Option "Type" "stylus" Option "ForceDevice" "ISDV4" # Tablet PC ONLY EndSection Section "InputDevice" Driver "wacom" Identifier "eraser" Option "Device" "/dev/input/event2" # Change to # /dev/input/event # for USB Option "USB" "on" Option "Type" "eraser" Option "ForceDevice" "ISDV4" # Tablet PC ONLY EndSection Section "InputDevice" Driver "wacom" Identifier "cursor" Option "Device" "/dev/input/event2" # Change to # /dev/input/event # for USB Option "Mode" "Absolute" Option "USB" "on" Option "Type" "cursor" Option "ForceDevice" "ISDV4" # Tablet PC ONLY EndSection
do? You will love me for this. You will want to kiss me. I almost want to kiss myself. I worked it out all on my own after searching for it for hours with no success.Code:Option "Stylus2" "3".
It sets the button on your pen to right-click.
I could not find anything anywhere that would tell me how to do this. There is a vague kind of nod to it hidden in the depths of the linuxwacom pages, but it doesn't mention this specifically. Even if you haven't got linuxwacom installed, you can still use this in your xorg.conf file. There is some other advice out there which suggests you can use "Button2" instead of 'my' "Stylus2" - but that did nothing for me.
Of course, once things are up and running, you can also achieve this through wacomcpl - but I had some problems with that too.
14. In the first four attempts to make this work, everything looked OK; 'make' and everything else had worked with no errors - but I couldn't get xsetwacom or wacomcpl to find my pen - even though my Volito was working like a bad mouse and the rest of Ubuntu could relate to it. I think the crucial steps were the loading of the wacom.ko driver(s) in the right place(s) and using 'uhci-hcd' instead of 'usb-uhci/ohci'. Hopefully, if you've followed everything above, you should now also be able to get wacomcpl and xsetwacom up and running. I found wacomcpl much easier and more immediate.
Now I have everything up and running, my tablet works better than it did under Windows, as I now have more control over it - plus, I have a better idea of how it works.
Everything else in the linuxwacom How-to worked fine for me - I hope it does for you too. The only other thing I found was that it didn't work by just restarting X - in fact, that has never worked when advised to do so in relation to the Wacom tablet. I have found it necessary to completely re-boot each time, especially in the case of getting rid of the extra xorg.conf file.
As for setting up in Gimp and Inkscape, the guide at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wacom worked fine for me once everything was working.
I would say that if xsetwacom or wacomcpl are not working but everything else is OK except for one or two annoying things, then either go back to the start or make sure that you've taken out the wacom-tools and related packages and that you've uncovered (and replaced) all the drivers on your system.
Lastly, a massive thank-you to everyone at linuxwacom for doing such a great job, and my apologies if I sounded bitchy above; I really appreciate all the hard work that's gone in to this project, and was impressed enough by the end result to write this guide out for other idiots like me (plus those who are just lost and confused). And a big thankyou to whoever's contributed to the Wacom Wiki guides for Ubuntu (especially the Gimp and Inkscape stuff that was so easy to follow).
If you're still stuck or have some other advice or whatever, then reply to this post or feel free to send me a message. Good luck!