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Linux Wacom Project HOWTO

13.5 - Installing wacom driver On Debian

The following documentation for building wacom driver on Debian was written by Olivier Lecarme. You can also refer to Olivier's page here for updates.

Copyright (C) June 14, 2005 Olivier Lecarme.

I'm using the Sid version of Debian, but I was told that the Sarge 
distribution, recently become the stable one, already contains what 
is necessary. Version 2.6.11 of the kernel is the highly preferred 
one by people maintaining the Linux Wacom software.

Download the 2.6.11 kernel

I was completely unsuccessful when trying to configure and compile 
my own kernel: certainly I omitted some capital module, but I could 
not decide what it was. Thus, I chose the last pre-compiled kernel.

   1.   apt-get kernel-image-2.6.11-1-686

   2.   apt-get kernel-headers-2.6.11-1-686

If you use Lilo, configure your /etc/lilo.conf file, taking into 
account that this kernel needs an initrd= line.


If your case is irrelevant, please skip this section and the following one.

   1.      I Have a Broadcom NetXtreme BCM5751 Ethernet card, which needs 
the tigon3 driver, unavailable in Debian kernel 2.6.11. The solution is here.

      Thus I got the package:

         1.   cd /usr/src
         2.   wget

   2.      I have an ATI X 300 video card, whose driver is not available 
in Debian kernel 2.6.11. The solution is here.

      Thus I got the packages:

         1.    for the driver:  wget
         2.    and for the kernel module:  wget

Install the optional packages

   1.   cd /usr/src

   2.   dpkg -i kernel-nonfree-modules-2.6.11-1-686_2.6.11-1_i386.deb

   3.   dpkg -i fglrx-driver_8.12.10-1_i386.deb

   4.   dpkg -i fglrx-kernel-2.6.11-1-686_8.12.10-1+2.6.11-2_i386.deb

Install the wacom tools package

   1.   apt-get install wacom-tools

   2.   dpkg-reconfigure wacom-kernel-source

      Since your debconf configuration probably did not ask for the lowest 
priority questions, this step is needed. You might also use it later if you 
update your kernel, for instance.

      When asked whether you want to build the modules, answer yes, and tell 
where the headers are located (normally /usr/src/kernel-headers-2.6.11-1-686).

Prepare for the /dev/input/wacom link

In /etc/udev/rules.d/10-wacom.rules, add the following line:

KERNEL="event*", SYSFS{idVendor}="056a", NAME="input/%k", SYMLINK="input/wacom%e" 

Thus the drivers will find the Wacom tablet, whatever its /dev/input/eventX address is.

Change your XF86Config-4 file

The important sections are:

   1. The ServerLayout section:

Section "ServerLayout"
        [ ... ]
	InputDevice    "stylus"	   "SendCoreEvents"
	InputDevice    "eraser"	   "SendCoreEvents"
	InputDevice    "cursor"	   "SendCoreEvents"
	InputDevice    "pad"

   2. The InputDevice sections:

Section "InputDevice"
	Identifier   "stylus"
	Driver	     "wacom"
	Option	     "Type" "stylus"
	Option	     "USB" "on"
	Option	     "Threshold" "10"
	Option	     "Device" "/dev/input/wacom"

Section "InputDevice"
	Identifier   "eraser"
	Driver	     "wacom"
	Option	     "Type" "eraser"
	Option	     "USB" "on"
	Option	     "Threshold" "10"
	Option	     "Device" "/dev/input/wacom"

Section "InputDevice"
	Identifier   "cursor"
	Driver	     "wacom"
	Option	     "Type" "cursor"
	Option	     "USB" "on"
	Option	     "Threshold" "10"
	Option	     "Device" "/dev/input/wacom"

Section "InputDevice"
   Identifier "pad"
   Driver "wacom"
   Option "Device" "/dev/input/wacom"
   Option "Type" "pad"
   Option "USB" "on"

   3. The section dealing with your normal mouse must be considered too. See Mouse1 (for some 2.6 systems). 
I didn't use /dev/psaux nor /dev/input/mice. /dev/input/mouse0 works for a PS/2 
mouse. For a USB mouse, there is a problem mentioned in the Remaining problems.

   4. If you use the ATI X300 card, you need to change also the Device section:
Section "Device"
        Identifier      "ATI"
        Driver          "fglrx"
        Option "VideoOverlay" "on"
        Option "OpenGLOverlay" "off"
        Option "UseInternalAGPGART" "no"

Final steps

   1.   Reboot. This will also restart the X server, of course.
   2.   Enjoy!

If you want to use the expresskeys of your Intuos tablet

If you do nothing more, the pad is not usable at all. However, you will find here a specific 
tool for having the pad available in various programs, for example XTerm, Gimp, or Blender.

This tool is very easy to compile, install, and use. If you want to use the pad 
in Gimp, do not enable it in "Preferences -> Input Devices -> Configure 
the extended input devices", contrarily to the three other tools (stylus, eraser, 
and cursor). You can easily configure what the expresskeys send, according to 
your tastes, and use only them for the tasks that need a good control of the 
stylus or eraser.

Remaining problems

If your tablet is always plugged, everything works perfectly. If you want to plug 
it out, for example in order to move it onto another computer, and then to plug 
it back later, problems begin.

For the present, you must take care of the following things:

   1.  If you plug in the tablet again, the corresponding driver is not informed 
of this, thus you must restart the X server.

   2.  If the tablet is plugged when you reboot, and you have an USB mouse, maybe 
the /dev/input address of this mouse is not the same as the previous time. Thus 
you will have to change this in your XF86Config-4 file.

   3.  If you use GDM or KDM or XDM, you should plug in the tablet after rebooting, 
but before the X server starts, which is somewhat difficult! Thus you will be forced 
to restart the X server, i.e. kill it (Ctrl+Alt+Backspace) and not simply logging out.

Final remarks

      I would like to thank all persons who helped me, on the LinuxWacom or the 
Gimp-user discussion lists, especially Carol Spears, Karine Delvare, Ping Cheng, and Ron.

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