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I've been using Wacom tablets on Linux for quite some time, almost exclusively in Ubuntu, and in previous versions I've used xidump to track input values. I would use that information to put calibration settings in my xorg.conf file. However, in the most recent Ubuntu release, this command does not exist, and the package wacom-tools that previously installed it has now been removed.

Is there a new method for calibrating Wacom pads under Linux? Should I have been using a different method all along for obtaining this information?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Here's what ended up working for me.

1) Find the device number of your tablet. (For me, using a string as the device identifier didn't work. Using the device number seems to be the best way to go.)

$ xsetwacom --list --verbose
... Display is '(null)'.
... 'list' requested.
... Found device 'Virtual core XTEST pointer' (4).
... Found device 'Virtual core XTEST keyboard' (5).
... Found device 'Power Button' (6).
... Found device 'Video Bus' (7).
... Found device 'Power Button' (8).
... Found device 'Sleep Button' (9).
... Found device 'AT Translated Set 2 keyboard' (10).
... Found device 'Serial Wacom Tablet eraser' (11).
Serial Wacom Tablet eraser ERASER    
... Found device 'Serial Wacom Tablet' (12).
Serial Wacom Tablet STYLUS    
... Found device 'Macintosh mouse button emulation' (13).
... Found device 'SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad' (14).

2) Find the default/current values for your system.

$ cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep "Serial Wacom Tablet:"
(**) Serial Wacom Tablet: Applying InputClass "Wacom serial class"
(II) Serial Wacom Tablet: type not specified, assuming 'stylus'.
(II) Serial Wacom Tablet: other types will be automatically added.
(**) Serial Wacom Tablet: always reports core events
(II) Serial Wacom Tablet: hotplugging dependent devices.
(II) Serial Wacom Tablet: hotplugging completed.
(--) Serial Wacom Tablet: top X=0 top Y=0 bottom X=30730 bottom Y=18520 resol X=2540 resol Y=2540

3) Tweak until you find good values.

$ xsetwacom set 12 TopX 60

4) Once you find good values, put them in /usr/lib/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-wacom.conf

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "Wacom serial class"
        MatchProduct "Serial Wacom Tablet"
        Driver "wacom"
        Option "ForceDevice" "ISDV4"
        Option "Button2" "3"
        Option "TopX" "60"
        Option "BottomX" "30690"
        Option "TopY" "10"
        Option "BottomY" "18350"

Having to repeatedly reset the values is a little bit of a pain (more so than just writing down four numbers, anwyay) but it's not the end of the world.

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I've never really seen a need for calibrating my Wacom tablet, but maybe I can still help you...

Install the package evtest and run sudo evtest /dev/input/wacom. This worked fine on my system. Contrary to its man entry, however, evtest only seems to capture the momentary values when started. So for calibration, you'll have to run evtest several times and stop it using CTRL-C.

If you want to store your calibration settings, you should put them in the file .xsessionrc which is sourced whenever you log into your X server. Here comes an excerpt from my file that switches the stylus buttons:

if [ -x /usr/bin/xsetwacom ]; then
  # Wacom Intuos3 (Stylus)
  xsetwacom set 'Wacom Intuos3 6x8' 'Button1' '1'
  xsetwacom set 'Wacom Intuos3 6x8' 'Button2' '3'
  xsetwacom set 'Wacom Intuos3 6x8' 'Button3' '2'
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Don't forget that most convertible tablets are also a type of Wacom tablet. My Fujitsu Lifebook has a Wacom digitizer built in to the screen and, uncalibrated, it can be almost as much as an entire centimeter off at some positions. It's times like that when calibration really matters. – advs89 Feb 1 '12 at 23:37

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