This page is a central location for information about using Wacom Intuos tablets on Linux and other free software platforms.
7 Jul 1999: Fred Lepied has been actively updating the driver. I highly recommend that you get the driver from his page. It's built for XFree86 126.96.36.199. New features include support for the airbrush wheel, device ID, and a wider range of devices. Fortunately, his driver is being merged with the XFree86 distribution. Thus, the driver on this page is becoming of historical interest.
We've also gotten quite a bit more feedback from people using the Intuos with the new filters. The bottom line is that the filters work well. It still would be nice to see the jumps fixed in hardware, but that has more to do with my feelings of purism than anything real.
17 Dec 1998: The latest version of the driver here now contains an adaptive filter for suppressing the jumps mentioned below, as well as reducing jitter. The main drawback to the filter is that it increases latency by one sample period (usually 5ms). This filter is technically quite a bit better than the one shipping in Wacom drivers - their filter also reduces jitter, but doesn't suppress jumps as much, adds more latency, and loses tracking accuracy for very fast pen motion.
30 Nov 1998: After some careful beta-testing, we have found significant jitter (more than +/15 on the mouse) and position errors (up to 80 counts on the pen). This is definitely in the hardware. You might be able to minimize the interference by moving the pad farther from your monitor. I'm working on a driver that attempts to compensate for these problems. However, you may want to wait until Wacom addresses these problems in the pad.
25 Nov 1998: XFree86 3.3.3 is shipping now. It contains a usable but quite unpolished Intuos driver. New binary and build kit are available now.
21 Nov 1998: Fixes to mouse driver (it was only reporting at half the rate). Suppress is now implemented in software, greatly reducing jitter.
Currently, there is a beta driver for XFree86 3.3.2. This driver basically provides the same capabilities as the existing ArtPad driver. As such, it doesn't report rotation information from the mouse, or wheel information on the airbrush (wheel information from the mouse is reported as pressure, however). Further, it has no multi support. But you can use it with existing applications such as Gimp or Gsumi.
The driver is a simple plug-in replacement to the xf86Wacom module that ships with XFree86 3.3.2 and 3.3.3. You can install it in one of three ways:
- On Linux x86 glibc systems, copy 3.3.2/xf86Wacom.so or 3.3.3/xf86Wacom.so into your /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/ directory.
- Rebuild the Xserver package with xf86Wacom.c file copied into the xc/programs/Xserver/hw/xfree86/common/ directory.
- Get the 3.3.2 or 3.3.3 build kit to rebuild just the xf86Wacom module. To build this, untar, cd to directory xc, run "make wacom", then copy /programs/Xserver/hw/xfree86/common/xf86Wacom.so to the /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/ directory.
XFree86 3.3.3 ships with an alpha version of the driver. It is basically usable out of the box, but has a number of bugs. Please get the latest version from this page.
The XF86Config entries are more or less the same as would be used for older Wacom tablets. Here's the Xinput section out of mine:Section "Xinput" SubSection "WacomStylus" Port "/dev/ttyS1" DeviceName "Wacom" Mode Absolute Suppress 15 EndSubSection SubSection "WacomStylus" Port "/dev/ttyS1" DeviceName "WacomCore" Mode Absolute AlwaysCore Suppress 15 EndSubSection SubSection "WacomCursor" Port "/dev/ttyS1" DeviceName "CURSOR" Mode Absolute Suppress 15 EndSubSection SubSection "WacomCursor" Port "/dev/ttyS1" DeviceName "CursorCore" Mode Absolute AlwaysCore Suppress 15 EndSubSection SubSection "WacomEraser" Port "/dev/ttyS1" Mode Absolute Suppress 15 EndSubSection SubSection "WacomEraser" Port "/dev/ttyS1" DeviceName "EraserCore" Mode Absolute AlwaysCore Suppress 15 EndSubSection EndSection
The following people are actively working on Intuos support at the driver level, within the Gtk+ toolkit, and in the Gimp:
- Frederic Lepied wrote the original Wacom driver, and continues to maintain the distribution.
- Owen Taylor wrote most of the XInput support in Gtk+.
- Larry Ewing is working on Gimp support and usability engineering.
- Tuomas Kuosmanen is the main artist and usability tester.
- Raph Levien wrote the beta driver and is coordinating the project.
- Tim Janik is working on Gtk+ and Gimp integration.
- Olof Kylander has added airbrush wheel support to Gtk+ and Gimp (development versions).
Many thanks to Wacom for their generous support of this project.
Please refer to Owen Taylor's XInput pages for more details on setting up Wacom pads in general.