Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx and Wacom Bamboo CTL460 (revisited with Q&A)

In my first post on this subject,  I demonstrated how to enable the Wacom Bamboo CTL460 on Ubuntu 10.04.   Since then, I have received a number of questions which gave me the impression that some items need a more thorough explanation.  Following the Q&A, I will repeat my steps from my previous post.  This time with a slightly newer version of the driver.  The steps are the same.

Wacom Bamboo

Wacom Bamboo CTL460

Questions and Answers

Question:  I tried your steps but my Wacom tablet model xxx doesn’t work. Can you help?

Answer:

If you have some other Wacom tablet besides the model CTL460, these instructions may not work for you.  You are welcome to try them.  Since I only have the model CTL460, I am limited in the amount of advice that I can give you for whatever model you have.  If you can’t figure it out and I’m unable to help, you should try contacting the maintainer of the linuxwacom project or the author of the driver.  (modinfo wacom | grep author)

Question:  My Wacom tablet used to work under Ubuntu 9.xx, or 8.xx.  Why won’t it work under 10.04?

Answer:

One myth that needs to be addressed, is that the Wacom CTL460 is supported by Ubuntu 10.04 and will work out-of-the-box.  That is not true. If you had a previous version of Ubuntu and your Wacom CTL460 worked out-of-the-box, you need to realize that it no longer just works out-of-the-box.  There have been some changes to xorg since then.  In addition, if you have been using instructions in the past (previous to 10.04)  which included making changes to /etc/udev/rules.d, you can throw those out.  Those instructions do not apply anymore.  Furthermore, you do not need to install the package xserver-xorg-input-wacom.  That package contains code that does not work for this tablet. You can remove it if you want since it has no impact on the rest of these instructions.

Question:  Your steps worked great but one day I rebooted and my tablet doesn’t work anymore.  Help?

Answer:

You recently ran Update Manager and one of the packages you updated was the kernel image package.  Not a problem.  This is normal and to be expected.  You need to follow the steps again each time the kernel image package is updated to reinstall a new driver.

Question:  I was trying to configure my table in Gimp but I did not see a wacom input device.  Help?

Answer:

Make sure that your tablet is plugged in and working before you start the Gimp application.

Question:   Help?  I was following your steps but I noticed the following message:

Note: this package only supports Xorg server older than 1.6.5.
You are running a newer version.
Please build xf86-input-wacom instead.

Answer:

Simply ignore it.  I did.

Question: When will the Wacom CTL460 be supported out-of-the-box?

Answer:

I don’t know.  Hopefully in the next version.

Instructions

Install the following packages:

sudo apt-get install build-essential libx11-dev libxi-dev x11proto-input-dev xserver-xorg-dev tk8.4-dev tcl8.4-dev libncurses5-dev

Download the source code for the wacom driver from Sourceforge.  The current version as this writing is linuxwacom-0.8.8-3.

tar jxvf linuxwacom-0.8.8-3.tar.bz2
cd linuxwacom-0.8.8-3/
./configure –enable-wacom
make
cd ./src/2.6.30
sudo cp wacom.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/input/tablet
sudo depmod -a
sudo modprobe wacom

That is all.  You can plug in your Wacom CTL460 Bamboo tablet and begin using it.

If you take anything away from this exercise please remember this

What we did was replace the wacom driver that comes with the kernel package.  We simple copied our newly built wacom driver in its place.  Whenever you update the kernel package, you need to follow these steps again.  Be sure to reboot first so that you are running the new kernel prior to rebuilding a new driver.

If you don’t want to download a new version from Sourceforge, you can keep the folder from above and reuse it.   In that case you just need to do the following steps (don’t overlook the make clean below):

reboot (so that you are running the new kernel)
cd linuxwacom-0.8.8-3/
make clean
make
sudo cp wacom.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/input/tablet
sudo depmod -a
sudo modprobe -r wacom
sudo modprobe wacom

Additional tips

  • When you run Update Manager, be on the lookout for updates to the kernel image.  After updating the kernel image, you should reboot.  You will then be required to reinstall a new wacom driver.
  • Unplug your Wacom tablet before you rebuild a new module.
  • Plug in your tablet after you are done installing the new driver.
  • Plug in your table before you start Gimp or any other application that will be using your tablet.
  • While your tablet is plugged in, you can verify that your driver is loaded by using lsmod | grep wacom
  • Become familiar with modprobe, udevadm, and /var/log/kernel.log for additional low level troubleshooting
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