Wacom Tablet

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Introduction

Before we begin, I would like to point out that this guide is only for a USB based Wacom tablets. Futhermore, I only cover how to setup a static Xorg configuration, meaning things may not work if later on you plug your Wacom tablet into a different USB port. Finally this guide is based on my experience of installing my Graphire4 tablet, so others may like to add things specific to other Wacom tablets. I do welcome others to update this wiki to include a wider range of information.

I'd also like to mention that this wiki is very much influenced by the very helpful Gentoo Linux Wiki - HOWTO Wacom Tablet, which I recommend anyone visit if they would like to learn about things that are not covered here.

Installing

Install Linuxwacom

Thanks to The Linux Wacom Project, you only need to install the linuxwacom package, which contains everything needed to use a Wacom tablet on Linux.

pacman -Sy linuxwacom

This will refresh your package database, and install the latest linuxwacom package.

Configure Xorg

Again, I'd like to make note that I only cover how to setup a static Xorg configuration, meaning things may not work if later on you plug your Wacom tablet into a different USB port.

	InputDevice    "cursor" "SendCoreEvents"
	InputDevice    "stylus" "SendCoreEvents"
	InputDevice    "eraser" "SendCoreEvents"

Firstly, add these to the ServerLayout section of your Xorg config (/etc/X11/xorg.conf).

cat /proc/bus/input/devices

Now we need to determind the location of your tablet device. Run the command above, and take note of the event number of the Handlers row. We will use this to set the correct device in our Xorg config below.

I: Bus=0003 Vendor=056a Product=0016 Version=0403
N: Name="Wacom Graphire4 6x8"
P: Phys=
S: Sysfs=/class/input/input7
H: Handlers=mouse2 event7 ts2 
B: EV=1f
B: KEY=1c63 0 70011 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
B: REL=100
B: ABS=100 3000003
B: MSC=1

Here is an example of the output for my Graphire4 tablet. From this, we can determine that my tablet device goes through /dev/input/event7.

Section "InputDevice"
	Identifier  "stylus"
	Driver      "wacom"
	Option      "Type" "stylus"
	Option      "Device" "/dev/input/event7"
	Option      "USB" "on"
	Option      "Mode" "Absolute"
	Option      "Vendor" "WACOM"
	Option      "Threshold" "5"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
	Identifier  "eraser"
	Driver      "wacom"
	Option      "Type" "eraser"
	Option      "Device" "/dev/input/event7"
	Option      "USB" "on"
	Option      "Mode" "Absolute"
	Option      "Vendor" "WACOM"
	Option      "Threshold" "5"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
	Identifier  "cursor"
	Driver      "wacom"
	Option      "Type" "cursor"
	Option      "Device" "/dev/input/event7"
	Option      "USB" "on"
	Option      "Mode" "Absolute"
	Option      "Vendor" "WACOM"
EndSection

Now update your Xorg config (/etc/X11/xorg.conf) as above.

To learn about each of the Wacom tablet Xorg options checkout the man pages found at Linux Wacom Project HOWTO - 5.1 - Adding the InputDevices

I recommend you checkout Linux Wacom Project HOWTO - 5.0 - Configuring X11, I also recommend you checkout Gentoo Linux Wiki - HOWTO Wacom Tablet - Installing - Xorg.

Graphire4 buttons

	InputDevice    "pad" "SendCoreEvents"

Add this to the ServerLayout section of your Xorg config (/etc/X11/xorg.conf).

Section "InputDevice"
	Identifier  "pad"
	Driver      "wacom"
	Option      "Type" "pad"
	Option      "Device" "/dev/input/event7"
	Option      "USB" "on"
	Option      "ButtonsOnly" "on"
EndSection

Now update your Xorg config (/etc/X11/xorg.conf) as above.

I recommend you checkout Gentoo Linux Wiki - HOWTO Wacom Tablet - Installing - Xorg - Graphire4 buttons.

The GIMP

To enabled proper usage, and pressure sensitive painting in The GIMP, just go to "Preferences -> Input Devices -> Configure Extended Input Devices...". Now for each of your eraser, stylus, and cursor devices, set the mode to Screen and save.

  • Please take note that if present, the pad device should be kept disabled as I don't think The GIMP supports such things. Alternatively, to use such features of your tablet you should map them to keyboard commands with a program such as Wacom ExpressKeys.
  • You should also take note that the tool selected for the stylus is independent to that of the eraser. This can actually be quite handy, as you can have the eraser set to be used as any tool you like.

I recommend you checkout Linux Wacom Project HOWTO - 10.0 - Working With Gimp, and the Setting up GIMP section of GIMP Talk - Community - Install Guide: Getting Wacom Drawing Tablets To Work In Gimp.

References