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Libwacom is a new library to help implement Wacom tablet settings. It is intended to be used by client-programs that need model identification. It is already being used by the gnome-settings-daemon and the GNOME 3.4 Control Center Wacom tablet applet. In the future, the xf86-input-wacom driver may use it as well.


Libwacom supplies metadata about Wacome tablets including whether or not they are connected to your system, the list of styli it supports, as well as information about the styli themselves. In the past this information was only available within the drivers (as comments), exported in different ways (sysfs attributes), non-machine readable in public documentation, or, worst of all, hidden in Wacom's internal drivers for OS X or Windows.

For example the Wacom tablet applet UI uses information exported by libwacom such as:

  • whether the tablet is built-in (Cintiq or tablet PC) or external
  • which form factor it has and is it right or left-handed reversible
  • the list of styli it supports
  • for each stylus, its full name, the number of buttons, is there an eraser, what it looks like

After knowing what each tablet has to offer, a way to match the definitions to XInput devices, assign settings per-tablet, and importantly, switch stylus configuration when the user switches stylus was needed. This is done using the new GsdWacomDevice and GsdWacomStylus objects, shared between gnome-settings-daemon (which will apply the configuration) and gnome-control-center (which will set the configuration).

There are also a few debugging applications, such as list-wacom in gnome-settings-daemon, to show the attached GsdWacomDevices, or test-wacom in gnome-control-center, to test the display of tablets not available to you.

Tablet Definition Files

If you have a Wacom tablet and it is not yet in libwacom/data, send us a definition file for your tablet. This will assist applications in configuring it because they can then access the metadata in libwacom about your device. See the wacom.example file in libwacom/data for explanations of the requested data and its format.

The definition file intuos4-8x13.tablet demonstrates a "completed" one:

# Wacom
# Intuos4 Large
# PTK-840
# Button Map:
# (A=1, B=2, C=3, ...)
#    *-----------------------*
#    |                       |
#  B |                       |
#  C |                       |
#  D |                       |
#  E |                       |
#  A |        TABLET         |
#  F |                       |
#  G |                       |
#  H |                       |
#  I |                       |
#    |                       |
#    *-----------------------*
# LED Map:
# (XY=Bank X, LED Y)
#     *-----------------------*
#     |                       |
#  00 |                       |
#  01 |                       |
#  02 |        TABLET         |
#  03 |                       |
#     |                       |
#     *-----------------------*

Name=Wacom Intuos4 8x13





Submit your git patch to linuxwacom-devel.

Git Repository and Tar Files

The git repository is located here. To clone the git repository use: git clone git://git.code.sf.net/p/linuxwacom/libwacom The tar files are located here.


Bastien Nocera is the current libwacom maintainer.

Please do not send email regarding bugs or feature requests to the maintainer. Use the mailing lists instead.


Before building from git with ./autogen.sh, install the dependencies:

On Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get build-dep libwacom


sudo apt-get install libgudev-1.0-dev libxml++2.6-dev

On Fedora:

sudo yum-builddep libwacom


sudo dnf builddep libwacom

On Centos 6:

sudo yum install libgudev1-devel


Depending on your system, you may find it helpful to use these commands

./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr --libdir=/lib64
sudo make install

On Ubuntu 16.04 instead use:

./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr --libdir=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/

for the first command in the above block.

Data Files

After building, copy the libwacom data files in to /usr/share/libwacom:

sudo cp -r /home/<path>/libwacom/data/* /usr/share/libwacom/


sudo cp -r /home/<path>/linuxwacom-libwacom/data/* /usr/share/libwacom/


You can check the installation with

$ libwacom-list-local-devices

This command may give an error:

$ libwacom-list-local-devices 
(libwacom-list-local-devices:2595): libwacom-CRITICAL **: Duplicate match of 'usb:056a:00d0' on device 'Wacom Bamboo Touch (2FG)'.

If you get this error you need to delete the following files which shipped with your distro from an earlier version of libwacom:

$ cd /usr/share/libwacom
$ sudo rm bamboo-pen.tablet bamboo-craft.tablet bamboo-2fg.tablet bamboo-2fg-6x8.tablet bamboo-2fg-4x5.tablet

These files have duplicate VID:PIDs, and cause the above error.

Udev Rules (from the README)

If you are updating libwacom to support a new device, the device should also be added to the udev rule to ensure all required properties are set.

When building from source generate an updated ruleset with tools/generate-udev-rules after adding the tablet description files.

When updating an installed version of libwacom, add it manually to the existing ruleset (/lib/udev/rules.d/65-libwacom.rules). Copy a similar device and change the PID to match the PID from the device (for example 0357 below). Obtain the PID from the lsusb command in a terminal. Note that the first line below should start with a '#' to escape the line, not '&#'.

&# Wacom Intuos Pro 2 M
ATTRS{name}=="* Finger", ENV{ID_BUS}=="usb", ENV{ID_VENDOR_ID}=="056a", ENV{ID_MODEL_ID}=="0357", ENV{ID_INPUT_TOUCHPAD}="1"
ATTRS{name}=="* Pad", ENV{ID_BUS}=="usb", ENV{ID_VENDOR_ID}=="056a", ENV{ID_MODEL_ID}=="0357", ENV{ID_INPUT_TABLET_PAD}="1"

You can check if your device was added properly in the rules by libwacom-list-local-devices.

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