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  1. #1
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    Wacom tablets in Ubuntu guide/howto

    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
    Code:
    dpkg -p wacom-tools  | grep Version
    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.

    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 with
    Code:
    xinput -list
    On 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).

    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.
    Last edited by Loc2; June 3rd, 2009 at 09:01 AM. Reason: Update, remove call for testing since we have had 0.8.2.2 in Jaunty

  2. #2
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Wacom tablets in Ubuntu guide/howto

    With the default setup (autoconfiguration via HAL, only stylus working), if you want to change the options for the stylus you can create a custom .fdi file and put it in /etc/hal/fdi/policy/. This preserves hotplugging while enabling you to configure your tablet

    Here's mine as an example. You can add new options just by inserting more x11_options lines. Option names are the same as in xorg.conf.

    /etc/hal/fdi/policy/mytabletrules.fdi
    Code:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!-- -*- SGML -*- -->
    
    <deviceinfo version="0.2">
    
      <device>
        <match key="info.capabilities" contains="input">
          <match key="info.product" contains="Wacom">
    	<merge key="input.x11_options.TPCButton" type="string">on</merge>
    	<merge key="input.x11_options.KeepShape" type="string">on</merge>
          </match>
        </match>
      </device>
    
    </deviceinfo>
    I didn't really know how to add this info neatly to the wiki, so here it is for now.

  3. #3
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    Re: Wacom tablets in Ubuntu guide/howto

    Thanks a lot mesilliac, I used your post to create a new wiki page at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wacom.fdi and linked the guide to this page (the same way we link to a separate page for xorg.conf options). Hope it's ok for you and if you see more thing to add just go on and click "edit" or post it here.

    I still haven't managed to configure my Cintiq 12wx properly, the cursor isn't aligned with the pen tip on all the screen and it's really annoying (wacomcpl is in Intrepid, but it doesn't detect neither the Cintiq nor another Intuos 3). If somebody manages to get it right first, you're welcome to help

  4. #4
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    Re: Wacom tablets in Ubuntu guide/howto

    Dear Loic2.

    Yesterday I installed Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex (version 8.10), kernel 2.6.27 on my Acer TravelMate C110 tablet PC. Of course, the tablet/touch functionality was lost. I read quite a few posts and instructions on how to bring the tablet functionality back. I also downloaded a file
    linuxwacom-0.8.1-6.tar.bz2 from http://linuxwacom.sourceforge.net.

    Could you please let me know if my laptop will obtain the touch functionality after installing linuxwacom-0.8.1-6.tar.bz2the and (the most important question!) how I can compile that file(s) [linuxwacom-0.8.1-6.tar.bz2] into a running software. I am a new Linux user and definitely not an IT advanced one. I simply don't know the basics of compiling the software. Maybe you can refer me to a clear guide. I am afraid of doing something wrong, because then I won't be able to restore the default.

    Thanks in advance

    123marra

  5. #5
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    Re: Wacom tablets in Ubuntu guide/howto

    Thank u gents

  6. #6
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    Re: Wacom tablets in Ubuntu guide/howto

    Quote Originally Posted by 123marra View Post
    Could you please let me know if my laptop will obtain the touch functionality after installing linuxwacom-0.8.1-6.tar.bz2the and (the most important question!) how I can compile that file(s) [linuxwacom-0.8.1-6.tar.bz2] into a running software. I am a new Linux user and definitely not an IT advanced one. I simply don't know the basics of compiling the software.
    Read the guide carefully, then the first post in this thread. In no way do we advise you to go and compile linuxwacom. In 99.9% of the cases, your hardware will be supported by the default wacom drivers provided by Intrepid (they're about same as compiling them from the file you downloaded).

    If you type this in a terminal:
    sudo dpkg -p wacom-tools | grep Version
    You'll see that the version in Intrepid is 8.1.4, which isn't much different than your downloaded 8.1.6 in terms of hw support. Actually, it's newer than the Linux Wacom Project (LWP) official 8.0, which they say already support touch for tablets.

    Now, with tablets PC in Intrepid the problem you're facing is a problem of configuration - compiling a driver won't help.

    Explanation : 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 (maybe even the only) solution 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 operanting 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 ).

    So read the guide carefully, you want the Option B) in Intrepid. I've updated the example configuration files at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WacomTroubleshooting with a warning for Tablet PC users, I'll edit the guide too (and maybe copy/paste this post at the beginning of the thread.

    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: Wacom tablets in Ubuntu guide/howto

    Dear Loic2,

    Thanks a lot for your prompt reply.

    I did exactly what you wrote in the Troubleshooting section. I accessed the xorg.conf file from the Terminal using the command line

    gedit/etc/X11/xorg.conf

    The file xorg.conf was open then in a separate .txt file.

    However, when I try to save the file after the changes were typed, the system tells me I don't have enough priviledges, so I can't save changes. As I posted above, the system was installed yesterday and I am an administrator. What can be wrong with my access rights then?

    Hope to hearing from you soon.

    Thanks in advance and regards,
    123marra

  8. #8

    Re: Wacom tablets in Ubuntu guide/howto

    Quote Originally Posted by Loc2 View Post
    Read the guide carefully, then the first post in this thread. In no way do we advise you to go and compile linuxwacom. In 99.9% of the cases, your hardware will be supported by the default wacom drivers provided by Intrepid (they're about same as compiling them from the file you downloaded).

    If you type this in a terminal:
    sudo dpkg -p wacom-tools | grep Version
    You'll see that the version in Intrepid is 8.1.4, which isn't much different than your downloaded 8.1.6 in terms of hw support. Actually, it's newer than the Linux Wacom Project (LWP) official 8.0, which they say already support touch for tablets.

    Now, with tablets PC in Intrepid the problem you're facing is a problem of configuration - compiling a driver won't help.

    Explanation : 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 (maybe even the only) solution is to revert to the old way to configure wacom devices, that is editing /etc/X11/xorg.conf .walk in tub That is a bit risky, so make sure you have two operanting 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 ).

    So read the guide carefully, you want the Option B) in Intrepid. I've updated the example configuration files at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WacomTroubleshooting with a warning for Tablet PC users, I'll edit the guide too (and maybe copy/paste this post at the beginning of the thread.

    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.

    ohhhhh ...
    I also think so...

  9. #9
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    Re: Wacom tablets in Ubuntu guide/howto

    Quote Originally Posted by Loc2 View Post
    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.
    I'd like to state that it isn't HAL that prevents Ubuntu from using more than the Stylus. It is in fact the way the driver is set up and requires you to define a separate tablet for each device you use for the tablet.

    In the HAL declaration for WACOM if you change "Stylus" to "Eraser" you now can only use the eraser instead of the stylus.

    Please stop posting everywhere that this is Hal's fault for only recognizing one-single tablet connected to your PC.

    (Sorry, I'm not certain as to how the computer detects the Tablet PC settings, but Hal will probably offer better support and hardware setting in the future as more work is done on it.)
    Last edited by RoseKnight; January 27th, 2009 at 02:59 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Wacom tablets in Ubuntu guide/howto

    Quote Originally Posted by RoseKnight View Post
    Please stop posting everywhere that this is Hal's fault for only recognizing one-single tablet connected to your PC.
    First, I'm not really sure we have the same definition for "everywhere".

    Second, I don't get what your problem is. The sentence you're quoting clearly says :
    the HAL method used in Ubuntu 8.10 doesn't allow anything more than the stylus
    Indeed, the default method in Ubuntu 8.10 doesn't allow anything more than the stylus. For detailed explanation, please refer to the xorg and linuxwacom-devel/discuss mailing lists. For example, here are the opinion of two HAL developers:

    Daniel Stone wrote
    On Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 01:45:03PM +0100, Danny Kukawka wrote:
    > Second: it's IMO the wrong way to use HAL as a config store for X at all. Yes,
    > there are ppl. saying: "Also other tools can use this information." but in
    > fact there are no other tools, except X, which need them. X should do this
    > task on it's own (maybe by using HAL or another tool to get some information
    > about a device to identify it).

    As I've told you before, I agree with you that using HAL as a random and
    arbitrary config store is wrong. Most of it belongs in the kernel or
    user-level configuration. I'm not happy about the patch to add
    arbitrary option passthrough to HAL/Xorg: I think it's generally the
    wrong approach.

    The information which I advocated storing was generally along the lines
    of 'you can't really use this device without this information': things
    like touchpad limits for Synaptics devices and so on, which can't be in
    the kernel, but are required for the device to actually function in the
    slightest.
    Quote Originally Posted by RoseKnight View Post
    (Sorry, I'm not certain as to how the computer detects the Tablet PC settings, but Hal will probably offer better support and hardware setting in the future as more work is done on it.)
    As for HAL being the method for the future, see HAL developer Danny Kukawka here:
    First: there are plans to replace HAL, which means it's to back the wrong
    horse since the current stuff need to replaced by another, not yet developed,
    tool to do the same like HAL. It need again adoptions in X and all the
    drivers which deliver currently some info via fdi files.
    Now, even though the point of your post is still lost to me, there's parts I find even harder to understand:
    Quote Originally Posted by RoseKnight View Post
    It is in fact the way the driver is set up and requires you to define a separate tablet for each device you use for the tablet.
    The linuxwacom driver requires you to define each input device, where did you get the idea it requires defining a separate tablet for each input device?
    As for needing to define each input device, how else could it know which input devices you're planing to use, since you can use multiple input devices with your tablet, and each has its own properties? As long as Xorg doesn't transmit to the driver the input devices and properties (which is not possible when Xorg relies on HAL for that), you don't get to use them.

    Quote Originally Posted by RoseKnight View Post
    In the HAL declaration for WACOM if you change "Stylus" to "Eraser" you now can only use the eraser instead of the stylus.
    What was exactly your point in stating the obvious?

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