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Tablet Configuration

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Contents

This page shows you how to assemble a runtime or static configuration for a specific tablet or tablet PC model. Additionally it demonstrates how to create profiles for various applications.

Currently xf86-input-wacom has both a GNOME and a KDE configuration GUI, see Graphical Configuration Tools. If you know of another configuration GUI please notify us of it. The GUI appropriate to your Desktop may satisfy all of your configuration needs.

This HOWTO should help for configuration requirements beyond the current GUIs feature set or to delve into the nuts and bolts of the configuration options offered by xf86-input-wacom. First runtime xsetwacom commands, scripts, and profiles are explored. And then static options for the xorg.conf.d and xorg.conf are briefly discussed.

The legacy linuxwacom package included wacomcpl as a tablet configuration GUI and it stored its settings as a xsetwacom script in .xinitrc. It is relatively straightforward to duplicate the .xinitrc runtime script, calling it say .xsetwacom.sh. Be sure to read man wacom, man xsetwacom, xsetwacom, and enter xsetwacom list parameters in a terminal to learn about the parameters or Options you may want to change. As you will see a script can give you some finer control over your tablet's features and also let you create profiles.

The linuxwacom project welcomes additions to its mediawiki so please join in if you have contributions.

Runtime (xsetwacom) Configuration

A xsetwacom set command assigns a specified value to a parameter during runtime. The xsetwacom get command returns the current value the parameter is set to.


The usual invocation to get a parameter is:

 xsetwacom get "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 stylus" Button 1

Replace the device name with the one applicable in your case. This will print the current value of the parameter, in this case the current mapping for button 1.

 xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 stylus" Button 1 3

sets the button 1 to logical button 3 - a right click. Note that parameters are per-tool and you will need to set the parameter for each tool if you want them to apply tablet-wide.


Finally, to get a list of parameters just type

 xsetwacom list parameters

Warning: With the advent of xf86-input-wacom-10.11 many of the xsetwacom parameter names have changed. See Table of New Parameter Names. Be aware that the xsetwacom interface may change without notice.

To help with the new parameter names transition a table was added to the code. Now when using an old parameter name in a get or set command in a terminal the response will include the new parameter name.

Stylus, Eraser, Cursor, Touch

The various sections below demonstrate most of the valid xsetwacom set command parameters that apply to a given input tool. The values shown are the defaults. Find the relevant "device name" by entering xinput list in a console.

Stylus section

xsetwacom set "device name" Suppress 2
xsetwacom set "device name" RawSample 4
xsetwacom set "device name" Threshold 27
xsetwacom set "device name" PressureCurve 0 0 100 100
xsetwacom set "device name" TabletPCButton on  # default for tablet PCs, it's off for tablets
xsetwacom set "device name" Mode Absolute
xsetwacom set "device name" Button 1 1
xsetwacom set "device name" Button 2 3
xsetwacom set "device name" Button 3 2
xsetwacom set "device name" Area 0 0 ?? ??

Eraser section

xsetwacom set "device name" Suppress 2
xsetwacom set "device name" RawSample 4
xsetwacom set "device name" Threshold 27
xsetwacom set "device name" PressureCurve 0 0 100 100
xsetwacom set "device name" Mode Absolute
xsetwacom set "device name" Button 1 1
xsetwacom set "device name" Area 0 0 ?? ??

Cursor section

xsetwacom set "device name" Suppress 2 
xsetwacom set "device name" RawSample 4
xsetwacom set "device name" CursorProximity 10  # default depends on tablet
xsetwacom set "device name" Mode Relative
xsetwacom set "device name" Button 1 1
xsetwacom set "device name" Button 2 2
xsetwacom set "device name" Button 3 3
xsetwacom set "device name" Area 0 0 ?? ??

Touch, single finger (1FGT) section

xsetwacom set "device name" Touch on
xsetwacom set "device name" Suppress 2
xsetwacom set "device name" RawSample 4
xsetwacom set "device name" Threshold 27
xsetwacom set "device name" Mode Absolute
xsetwacom set "device name" TapTime 250
xsetwacom set "device name" Button 1 1
xsetwacom set "device name" Area 0 0 ?? ??

Touch, two finger (2FGT) section

xsetwacom set "device name" Touch on
xsetwacom set "device name" Gesture on
xsetwacom set "device name" Suppress 2
xsetwacom set "device name" RawSample 4
xsetwacom set "device name" Threshold 27
xsetwacom set "device name" Mode Relative
xsetwacom set "device name" Button 1 1
xsetwacom set "device name" ZoomDistance 50
xsetwacom set "device name" ScrollDistance 20
xsetwacom set "device name" TapTime 250
xsetwacom set "device name" Area 0 0 ?? ??

Pad

The sections below demonstrate a sample of the various tablets with tablet buttons or a pad. They are ordered to somewhat mimic the physical layout of the various pads. Enter xsetwacom list modifiers in a console to see the modifiers and special keys available. You can also use dumpkeys to check what keys are available on your system. You need to be root to run it. The commands with probably the two most useful switches are sudo dumpkeys --long-info and sudo dumpkeys --funcs-only, if you have sudo installed. See man dumpkeys.

Bamboo Pen & Touch

The following button values or assignments are the defaults.

Tip: Bamboo P & Ts if Button 4 is not working change it to Button 8. The issue is because Xinput reserves buttons 4, 5, 6, and 7 for vertical and horizontal scrolling.

xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 2FG 4x5 Finger pad" Button 1 1
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 2FG 4x5 Finger pad" Button 2 2
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 2FG 4x5 Finger pad" Button 3 3
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 2FG 4x5 Finger pad" Button 4 4

Since the defaults are not very illuminating the following contains a hodgepodge of possible Button assignments to illustrate the possibilities. These assignments are just examples.

Graphire4

xsetwacom set "Wacom Graphire4 4x5 pad" Button 1 "key p"  # Paintbrush
xsetwacom set "Wacom Graphire4 4x5 pad" RelWheelDown "key minus"  # Zoom out
xsetwacom set "Wacom Graphire4 4x5 pad" RelWheelUp "key plus"  # Zoom in
xsetwacom set "Wacom Graphire4 4x5 pad" Button 2 "key ctrl z"  # Undo

Bamboo

xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 4x5 pad" Button 1 "key esc"
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 4x5 pad" Button 2 "key F12 "
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 4x5 pad" AbsWheelDown "key ctrl shift s"
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 4x5 pad" AbsWheelUp "key ctrl shift s"
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 4x5 pad" Button 3 "key KP_Next"
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 4x5 pad" Button 4 "key KP_Prior"

Intuos3

Gimp pad button examples

xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos3 6x8 pad" Button 1 "key r"  # rectangular selections
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos3 6x8 pad" Button 2 "key ctrl shift a"  # select none
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos3 6x8 pad" Button 3 "key p"  # paintbrush
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos3 6x8 pad" Button 4 "key tab"  # toggle docks
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos3 6x8 pad" StripLeftDown "key minus"  # zoom out
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos3 6x8 pad" StripLeftUp "key shift plus"  # zoom in

xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos3 6x8 pad" StripRightDown "key alt down"  # brush radius (must be mapped in GIMP)
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos3 6x8 pad" StripRightUp "key alt up"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos3 6x8 pad" Button 5 "key shift control left"  # prev/next brush (must be mapped in GIMP; disables float)
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos3 6x8 pad" Button 6 "key shift control right"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos3 6x8 pad" Button 7 "key ctrl shift e"  # fit Image in window
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos3 6x8 pad" Button 8 "key F11"  # fullscreen

Inkscape pad button examples

Button 1 "key F2"  # Node Tool
Button 2 "key h"  # Flip horizontal
Button 3 "key F1"  # Selection tool
Button 4 "key shift"
StripLeftDown "key Prior"  # page up
StripLeftUp "key Next"  # page down

StripRightDown "key KP_Add"  # NumpadPlus
StripRightUp "key KP_Subtract"  # NumpadMinus
Button 5 "key F6"  # Pencil Tool
Button 6 "key F8"  # Fill and Stroke Dialog
Button 7 "key F9"  # Toggle View Mode
Button 8 "key F12"  # Layers Dialog

Intuos4

Tip: Similar to the Bamboo P & Ts above, with the 2.6.32 kernel, key mapping for the Intuos4 buttons may be 1 2 3 8 9 10 11 12 13. Again the issue is due to Xinput button mapping reserving 4, 5, 6, and 7 as described above.

xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 2 "key ctrl"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 3 "key alt"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 4 "key shift"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 5 "key ctrl alt shift o"  # Gimp brush down

xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" AbsWheelDown "key shift plus"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 1 "key 1"  # button inside touchring, zoom 100%
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" AbsWheelUp "key minus"

xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 6 "key ctrl alt shift p"  # Gimp brush up
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 7 "key backspace"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 8 "key ctrl s"  # save
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 pad" Button 9 "key ctrl z"  # Undo in Gimp

Cintiq 21

xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" StripLeftDown "key minus"  # zoom out
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" StripLeftUp "key shift plus"  # zoom in
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" Button 1 "key r"  # rectangular selections
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" Button 2 "key ctrl shift a"  # select none
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" Button 3 "key p"  # paintbrush
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" Button 4 "key tab"  # toggle docks
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" AbsWheelDown "key shift plus"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" AbsWheelUp "key minus"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" Button 5 "key shift control left"  # prev/next brush (must be mapped in GIMP)
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" Button 6 "key shift control right" 
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" Button 7 "key ctrl shift e"  #  fit Image in window
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" Button 8 "key F11"  # fullscreen

xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" StripRightDown "key alt down"  # brush radius (must be mapped in GIMP)
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" StripRightUp "key alt up"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" Button 9 "key ctrl"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" Button 10 "key alt"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" Button 11 "key shift"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" Button 12 "key tab"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" AbsWheelDown "key alt up"  # Increase brush radius (must be mapped in GIMP)
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" AbsWheelUp "key alt down"  # Decrease brush radius (must be mapped in GIMP)
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" Button 13 "key apostrophe"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" Button 14 "key backspace"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" Button 15 "key backslash"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Cintiq 21UX2 pad" Button 16 "key ctrl z"  # Undo in Gimp

Sample Runtime Script

Now say I have a Bamboo Pen and Touch tablet and I want to write a runtime script for it. I want to change the PressureCurve for the stylus and eraser, using a softer one for the stylus and a firmer one for the eraser. Also I have the GTK CPU utilization bug in Gimp so I want to adjust RawSample up to decrease the lag between where the stylus tip is and when the line is drawn in Gimp. On top of all that I noticed the stylus wasn't quite reaching the top and left screen edges so after calibrating I have some new tablet area values I want to use. I'm a pretty quick double tapper who drinks a little too much caffeine and I want to decrease my TapTime a little. 250 msec is an eternity! Plus I want my scrolling a little more sensitive. And I want my pad (tablet buttons) to have the default Windows XP setup, just because.

I need to obtain my "device names" by running the xinput list command in a terminal. Now I can proceed to assemble the following shell script.

#!/bin/sh

## Stylus
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 2FG 4x5 Pen stylus" RawSample 8
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 2FG 4x5 Pen stylus" PressureCurve 0 10 90 100
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 2FG 4x5 Pen stylus" Area -10 -20 14720 9200

## Eraser
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 2FG 4x5 Pen eraser" RawSample 8
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 2FG 4x5 Pen eraser" PressureCurve 5 0 100 95
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 2FG 4x5 Pen eraser" Area -10 -20 14720 9200

## Touch (2FGT)
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 2FG 4x5 Finger touch" ScrollDistance 18
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 2FG 4x5 Finger touch" TapTime 220

## Pad
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 2FG 4x5 Finger pad" Button 1 "key ctrl t"  # key combination for toggle touch script
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 2FG 4x5 Finger pad" Button 2 "key backspace"
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 2FG 4x5 Finger pad" Button 3 3  # right mouse click
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 2FG 4x5 Finger pad" Button 4 1  # left mouse click

In the sample script above the "device names" were used because they don't change with hot plugging. The ID # can be used for convience when using a get or set command during a session. However it can change after a hot plug of the tablet or another usb device.

Running the Script at Startup

Now I want my new shell script configuration to apply even after a restart. While you can change your settings on the fly using xsetwacom commands in a terminal, because they are runtime commands they only apply during the current session. So you need to set a xsetwacom script to auto-start. Create a file and enter the contents of the script you want into it. Name it .xsetwacom.sh (or whatever you prefer).

Place the script in a file called bin/.xsetwacom.sh in your home directory. You may need to create the bin directory in /home/yourusername/ first. Many distributions recommend placing user binaries and scripts in a user /bin directory rather than just in /home/yourusername/. Make the script executable with:

 chmod +x $HOME/bin/.xsetwacom.sh

The . in front of xsetwacom makes it a hidden file. You don't have to do that although it helps prevent directory clutter. Then in Gnome go to System > Preferences > Startup Applications (or your distribution's equivalent) and click on Add and for the command write "sh /home/yourusername/bin/.xsetwacom.sh" (without the quotes).

Script Survival after a Hotplug

Just as the runtime xsetwacom commands do not survive a restart of the current session they will not apply after a hotplug event either. You could simply rerun the script after the hotplug or you can use another solution such as Wdaemon. The wdaemon tar is available on the Downloads page.

Profiles

A Profile contains the settings you prefer for an individual program you use your tablet in. Usually it consists of modifying the pad button assignments but can also involve changing the PressureCurve or Stylus button assignment or whatever else is useful for a given program. To select different pad button assignments you should become familiar with the keyboard shortcuts available in the program you are interested in. For e.g. with Gimp look in Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts or Edit > Preferences > Interface > Configure Keyboard Shortcuts. For Inkscape it's Help > Keys and Mouse reference which takes you to the keyboard shortcuts online. Some of the pad sections above contained possible Gimp and Inkscape button assignments.

So let's write a Gimp profile for a Bamboo tablet. If you plan on a long or multiple scripts for profiles the following script technique using variable assignment for your "device names" might make them a little easier to write. Or you could use the vanilla xsetwacom commands like in the Sample Runtime Script. Say the stylus and eraser are already set the way you prefer in Gimp by the startup script, so no need to modify them. Especially since the stylus Button 3 is already set to middle click (2). Which is the hand (grab) in Gimp. And right click (3) brings up the Menus which is fine. Then you assign the four pad buttons and scroll wheel to commands you find useful in Gimp.

#!/bin/bash

DEVICE="Wacom BambooFun 4x5"

STYLUS="$DEVICE stylus"
ERASER="$DEVICE eraser"
PAD="$DEVICE pad"

## Stylus

## Eraser

## Pad
xsetwacom set "$PAD" Button 1 "key shift ctrl n"  # New layer
xsetwacom set "$PAD" Button 2 "key p"  # Paintbrush
xsetwacom set "$PAD" AbsWheelDown "key minus"  # Zoom out
xsetwacom set "$PAD" AbsWheelUp "key shift plus"  # Zoom in
xsetwacom set "$PAD" Button 3 "key a"  # Airbrush
xsetwacom set "$PAD" Button 4 "key control z"  # Undo

Tip: Europeans should use "key plus" for Zoom in.

Call it Gimp_Profile.sh or .Gimp_Profile.sh (or whatever you prefer) and Save. Remember you have to make the profile script executable.

Now let's write an Inkscape profile. In Inkscape it turns out you prefer the stylus pressure softer and you want the eraser at the default (linear) pressure. Middle click is also grab, so that's good. You also want a different set of pad commands, ones that are useful in Inkscape.

#!/bin/bash

DEVICE="Wacom BambooFun 4x5"

STYLUS="$DEVICE stylus"
ERASER="$DEVICE eraser"
PAD="$DEVICE pad"

## Stylus
xsetwacom set "$STYLUS" PressureCurve 0 15 85 100

## Eraser
xsetwacom set "$ERASER" PressureCurve 0 0 100 100

## Pad
xsetwacom set "$PAD" Button 1 "key F2"  # Node tool
xsetwacom set "$PAD" Button 2 "key F1"  # Selection tool
xsetwacom set "$PAD" AbsWheelDown "key minus"  # Zoom out
xsetwacom set "$PAD" AbsWheelUp "key shift plus"  # Zoom in
xsetwacom set "$PAD" Button 3 "key F9"  # Toggle view mode
xsetwacom set "$PAD" Button 4 "key ctrl z"  # Undo

Tip: You can also add a notification to your script if your distribution supports libnotify. For example to install libnotify in Ubuntu sudo apt-get install libnotify-bin; in Fedora su -c "yum install libnotify". Then as the last line of the script add notify-send -t 1500 "Gimp Profile Ran", choosing the appropriate name for the profile.

Call it Inkscape_Profile.sh or .Inkscape_Profile.sh then Save and make it executable.

Launcher for Profile

In Gnome right click on your Desktop and chose Create Launcher... In your distribution do the equivalent. In the Launcher enter a name, such as Inkscape Profile. Then in the Command box add the entire path for the script. It's a good idea to select an icon also. Close and the profile script will now run when you double click on the Launcher.

It's also a good idea to set up your general or start up configuration script in a Launcher. That way when you're done using the application a particular profile applied to, you can restore your general configuration.

Static Configuration

xorg.conf / xorg.conf.d

Warning: Adding or altering any X configuration file runs the risk of breaking X. Be sure to back up the current working 50-wacom.conf or xorg.conf and be prepared to restore it from the command line when booting into your distribution's Recovery mode. If you are creating a 52-wacom-options.conf or xorg.conf be sure you know how to rename or remove it from the command line before you do so. Once the new file is working do not forget to back it up.

Tip: Settings present in xorg.conf and xorg.conf.d are overridden by gnome-settings-daemon. If you are running Gnome 3, be sure to verify its static configuration is appropriate as well.

Entering man wacom in a terminal will bring up the Options you can enter into your /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/52-wacom-options.conf or in the xorg.conf.

In xorg.conf.d you may not be able to configure dependent devices, depending on your X server version. However hot plugging is supported. To configure your devices you add a 52-wacom-options.conf file to /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d and add the Options to it. See Xorg.conf.d for detailed explanation and examples on how to use it.

In your xorg.conf you can configure dependent devices but your configuration will likely not last through a hotplug. Start entering your Options for each input tool below the last Option line you use from the example xorg.conf in your xorg.conf. Unless you use the Nvidia binary video driver you are likely not to have an xorg.conf and would need to create one. Locate it in /etc/X11 as /etc/X11/xorg.conf. When you use a xorg.conf remember the "device names" in xinput list will be stylus, eraser, cursor, touch, and pad, depending on your input tools.

gnome-settings-daemon

The gnome-settings-daemon is responsible for setting the parameters associated with a Gnome session. Beginning with Gnome 3, the daemon can detect when a tablet is plugged in and configure several settings:

  • Area
  • PressureCurve
  • Mode
  • TabletPCButton
  • Touch
  • Rotate

Configuration can be set through the gsettings CLI program or the dconf-editor GUI. Keys are present under org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.wacom

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