How to get your TabletPC working on Ubuntu Intrepid

by Ugo


First, here is a video showing everything working

TabletPC running Ubuntu Intrepid + Compiz from Ugo Sangiorgi on Vimeo.

Since i’d started with OmniModeling project my advisor borrowed me a TabletPC, it’s a Compaq2710 and it had windows installed by default. I will not explain here the reasons why i dont use windows for a long time now, but I struggled for one week trying to get used to work with it because, well, the pc its not mine, I couldnt mess with the partition table installing Linux. And i didnt knew if X11 supported tablet pcs or not after all.
So i installed Wubi, picked a username and Ubuntu got up and running like a charm, using a big file on windows as hard drive. I didnt even needed a cd image, Wubi downloaded it for me. It’s wonderful. If you want to show Linux to someone who uses windows, do it with Wubi.

But what about the stylus pen? it was not recognized right away. After some search, here is what I did:

1.Install the wacom driver using this script, just execute it

chmod +x install_linuxwacom
./install_linuxwacom

2.Then gksudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf and append this at the end of the file:

Section “InputDevice”
Driver “wacom”
Identifier “stylus”
Option “Device” “/dev/ttyS0” # SERIAL ONLY
Option “Type” “stylus”
Option “ForceDevice” “ISDV4” # Tablet PC ONLY
EndSection

Section “InputDevice”
Driver “wacom”
Identifier “eraser”
Option “Device” “/dev/ttyS0” # SERIAL ONLY
Option “Type” “eraser”
Option “ForceDevice” “ISDV4” # Tablet PC ONLY
EndSection

Section “InputDevice”
Driver “wacom”
Identifier “cursor”
Option “Device” “/dev/ttyS0” # SERIAL ONLY
Option “Type” “cursor”
Option “ForceDevice” “ISDV4” # Tablet PC ONLY
EndSection

Section “InputDevice”
Driver “wacom”
Identifier “pad”
Option “Device” “/dev/ttyS0” # SERIAL ONLY
Option “Type” “pad”
EndSection

# Uncomment the following section if you you have a TabletPC that supports touch
# Section “InputDevice”
# Driver “wacom”
# Identifier “touch”
# Option “Device” “/dev/ttyS0” # SERIAL ONLY
# Option “Device” “/dev/input/wacom” # USB ONLY
# Option “Type” “touch”
# Option “ForceDevice” “ISDV4” # Serial Tablet PC ONLY
# Option “USB” “on” # USB ONLY
# EndSection

Section “ServerLayout”
Identifier “Default Layout”
Screen “Default Screen”
InputDevice “stylus” “SendCoreEvents”
InputDevice “eraser” “SendCoreEvents”
InputDevice “pad” # For Intuos3/CintiqV5/Graphire4/Bamboo tablets
EndSection

3. Restart X11 (ctrl+alt+backspace).

Now you can run wacomcpl to calibrate the pen, and fine tune some parameters such as sensivity.
(I like to use the middle button of my pen as the third button of the mouse, you can configure this on wacomcpl, but for some reason the configuration is lost between boots..)

Another application you will probably find useful is CellWriter, install it (sudo apt-get install cellwriter)
And finally, activating the eye-candy effects with Compiz (System – Preferences – Appearance – Visual Effects) you can have on-screen annotation (ctrl+alt to annotate and ctrl+alt+k to clear) and other useful things such as the zoom feature.
Compiz can be configurable installing compizconfig-settings-manager package ( sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager )

Thats All,
Please comment on the post =)