The Linux Wacom Project
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Linux Wacom Project HOWTO
10.0 - Working With Gimp
Note: Gtk does not handle extended devices in relative mode. Please don't use Gimp in relative mode.
Bring up gimp and select "File -> Dialogs -> Input Devices" if using 1.x or "File -> Preferences -> Input Devices -> Configure Extended Input Devices" if using 2.x. You will see a drop-down list with all devices present. After enabling them, you can see their respective statuses by calling up "File -> Dialogs -> Device Status". It has been recommended that the devices be set to "Screen" mode rather than "Window".
I have successfully been able to use gimp with several different pens, including the tips and erasers. Tilt does not appear to be used by gimp at present, but pressure works fine. If the pressure is too coarse, or doesn't kick in until too late, you may need to lower your threshold value. The pressure curve setting can be changed through graphic tool, wacomcpl, and command line tool, xsetwacom.
Also, a useability note with Gimp: Each input device (stylus,cursor,eraser) has a completely different set of attributes in Gimp, and in theory, you can even assign a unique serial number to different pens to get even more granularity. You will experience this when you try to use your eraser for the first time. Rather than selecting the eraser tool, you get the rectangle selection tool instead. This is by design, believe it or not. Gimp does not care that its an eraser, just that it's not the pen you were just using. If you choose the eraser tool now, it will remember that for the next time you try to use it. On the plus side, you can set the eraser to be anything, including the Airbrush tool or Clone tool.
If you change the tool's mapping area while Gimp was running, you need to relaunch Gimp to use the new settings. Otherwise, the tool tip will be off from the drawing point.
One tablet user has pointed out that deleting his .gimp directory and rerunning gimp was necessary before his airbrush worked correctly. If you are having trouble, it's worth a shot.