I recently purchased a Wacom Bamboo digital pen and tablet. It’s not supported for Linux. However, with the help of some open source drivers, the pen and tablet will work nicely. It’s not recognized out of the box by Ubuntu. After I connected it to the usb port, I see that the tablet is powered up. The led on the table is on, and lsusb shows the device ID.
$ lsusb Bus 003 Device 004: ID 056a:00d4 Wacom Co., Ltd Bus 003 Device 002: ID 08ff:2580 AuthenTec, Inc. AES2501 Fingerprint Sensor Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub Bus 002 Device 002: ID 03f0:171d Hewlett-Packard Wireless (Bluetooth + WLAN) Interface [Integrated Module] Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
You’ll have to download the open source driver, compile and install it. Make sure you have the prerequisites.
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential $ sudo apt-get install libx11-dev libxi-dev x11proto-input-dev xserver-xorg-dev tk8.4-dev tcl8.4-dev libncurses5-dev
Download the wacom driver from SourceForge. The current driver as of this writing is linuxwacom-0.8.6-1.tar.bz2
$ tar jxvf linuxwacom-0.8.6-1.tar.bz2 $ cd linuxwacom-0.8.6-1/ $ ./configure --enable-wacom $ cd src/2.6.30/ $ make $ sudo cp wacom.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/input/tablet $ sudo depmod -a $ sudo rmmod wacom $ sudo modprobe wacom
The Wacom tablet should be recognized now when you connect it to the usb port. The pen should now be able to function as a mouse. Now let’s get the pressure sensitivity working in an application like Gimp. Start Gimp and go to Edit|Preferences.
Select Input Devices and Configure Extended Input Devices…
Select Device: Wacom Bamboo Pen 4×5, and Mode: Screen. Save those choices and Close. Now lets do a simple test of the pen tool. Go to the Gimp menu bar, select File|New… Choose a template. I’ll choose 800×600 for this test. Then choose the paintbrush tool from the toolbox. I’ll use a caligraphy brush tip for this. Now write something and use variable amounts of pressure and you should see that “paint” has various levels of darkness depending on the amount of pressure.