The Community wiki documentation, Configure Wacom Devices Using the .fdi File Method and for legacy xorg.conf use the example xorg.conf files are regularly being updated for Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope, but the guide is also geared towards each Ubuntu release starting with Ubuntu 6.04 Dapper Drake, and is updated for each new release.
This thread is the forum side of the wiki, if you have questions or want to add information to the guide but are not sure you'll be able to keep it clean and simple.
Basically for any Ubuntu release, always check first on The Linux Wacom Project if the version of the linux wacom driver you have in your distribution supports your model of tablet - use System>Administration>Synaptic Package Manager or
Note : as Intuos 4 users would have noticed, the driver in Ubuntu 9.04 or earlier doesn't support their model. See this thread for instructions on how to make your tablet supported.Code:dpkg -p wacom-tools | grep Version
If your tablet is supported, on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope (and later) it should be fully recognised by default (pen, eraser, ExpressKeys, and mouse, even though mouse can be tricky), with input hotplug support, and without the need for any configuration. All configuration is now stored in /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/20thirdparty/10-wacom.fdi - you can also copy that file to /etc/hal/fdi/policy/custom_wacom.fdi and edit it to adjust default options. Because of a bug in the 10-wacom.fdi file in Ubuntu 9.04, wacom devices won't appear in the graphical configuration utility wacomcpl. You can either use the custom .fdi file Favux has posted in this thread, which should work with external USB Wacom tablets (and possibly other tablets), or use a script to change default Wacom device names in Ubuntu 9.04 to ones wacomcpl will recognise - see this thread. Alternatively, you can continue to use any previous script using xsetwacom commands, provided you replace the name of the devices with the ones you get withOn releases older than Ubuntu 8.10 you only need to edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf as in the wiki - you save time and run less risks to mess up your configuration. If it doesn't support your model and you can't upgrade to a more recent version, use the "Specific cases" part of the guide (many different contributors).Code:xinput -list
In Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex, due to changes in Xorg, wacom support doesn't use xorg.conf by default, but the method used by Ubuntu 9.04 - except with less possibilities. Basically, if you plug your tablet it will work (if it doesn't unplug it and plug it again), but only the stylus is supported, and if you want to configure its properties you need to do it according to Wacom.fdi.
If you want to use the eraser and the pad, you'll need to revert to the old method, which means adding lines in /etc/X11/xorg.conf following the guide and Example Lines for /etc/X11/xorg.conf. However, with the move away from using xorg.conf, it's becoming harder not to hose X (unless you reuse an old xorg.conf.
In Ubuntu 9.04, the distribution will probably revert to using xorg.conf to set up wacom devices, since the HAL method used in Ubuntu 8.10 doesn't allow anything more than the stylus, and even that doesn't work for TabletPC, serial tablets, and users who need to calibrate the stylus.
Note for Tablet PC users in Intrepid :
The problem you're facing is also a problem of configuration - compiling a driver might not help. According to The Linux Wacom Project, version 8.0 already supports Tablet PC, and the version that ships in Intrepid is even more recent (8.1.4). However, there's still a bug in 8.1.4 that might affect you where touching the tablet with the pen freezes the input. If you have that problem, then you can install the 8.1.6 drivers according to Installing the Lastest Driver in Ubuntu
For the configuration, here's an explanation I got in one of the launchpad bug reports: the default configuration for Intrepid works for hotpluggable tablets. With a tablet PC, the wacom device is always there, and that's the problem (it won't be recognised).
I'm not an expert, but from what I've see people report in bug threads, for Tablet PC the best solution (maybe even the only one) is to revert to the old way to configure wacom devices, that is editing /etc/X11/xorg.conf . That is a bit risky, so make sure you have two operating system installed (the best is to have another Ubuntu installed on another partition, for example an LTS version like Ubuntu 8.04) so you can access the net and ask for help here if you hosed X. Having another Ubuntu would also allow you to continue any urgent and important work during the few hours / days it takes for one of us to reply to any problem you would have (there's time we'll be sleeping or away for the computer ). It will also allow for easy editing of the xorg.conf you need to edit. Alternatively, you can also use a Live CD.
Tablet PC users want the Option B) in Intrepid (although you should always check first if, on your particular hardware, the default configuration in Intrepid works - just read the first few paragraphs of the guide to make sure) and either reuse an xorg.conf from a previous version of Ubuntu, or use the example lines at Example Lines for /etc/X11/xorg.conf.
If you don't manage to configure it, please tell us. If you manage to get it to work, please tell us too, since I don't have any Tablet Pc to check if my advices really work.
In your posts, please specify the model of your Wacom tablet, and the Ubuntu version you're using. If your Tablet won't work, a nice idea is to check and tell us if the model of your tablet is supported by the wacom driver provided by your version of Ubuntu (it will save everybody chacking and keep all the information in one post). You can also attach your xorg.conf file to your post (Chose "Go Advanced" then use the little paperclip icon
Please do not paste your whole xorg.conf, or extract longer than a few lines - attach them instead. Same goes for very long error messages, if you don't know which lines are relevant it's better to attach the output.
That would prevent the thread growing so big that nobody reads it before posting while the solution might be a few post away.
Remember : Go Advanced, then the little paperclip icon on top. Pretty please.