tablet-support in Ubuntu

Loïc Martin loic.martin3 at
Sun Oct 5 13:54:04 UTC 2008

Timo Aaltonen wrote:
>    8.10 will not remove support for tablets
> now repeat that umpteen times.
> There has been too much misinformation floating around lately, and + 
> admit that the consequences of input-hotplug could have been informed 
> better, but I'll take this opportunity to clarify things that confuse 
> people the most.
> First of all, things might work differently out-of-the-box, but that 
> doesn't mean that input drivers couldn't be configured like before if need 
> be. By default, the evdev-driver handles all input devices that HAL is 
> aware of and which list input.keys/input.mouse as a capability of the 
> device. Evdev might not be the best choice for example touchpads or 
> tablets, and that's why there needs to be a driver specific HAL fdi-file 
> that makes the device use the correct driver. This is true for synaptics 
> touchpads, wacom tablets and (some) joysticks (WIP).
> Serial devices (some tablets, touchscreens) are more problematic, since 
> HAL doesn't know about them without some trickery (which I'm not an 
> expert of). But in those cases you should be able to configure them via 
> xorg.conf without too much trouble.

Thanks for the clarifications., and sorry I didn't see your email
earlier - for some reason, Thunderbird showed this new thread before
previous one...

> Now the workarounds:
> -If you like to disable input-hotplug completely, add 'Option 
> "AutoAddDevices" "false"' to the ServerFlags-section. Then you are on your 
> own, and get to keep both pieces.

The syntax is the xorg.conf one, however I see no ServerFlags or even
Server sections in Intrepid's xorg.conf. Do you mean Section
"ServerLayout", and if not in which file is the option "AutoAddDevices"
supposed to go?

> -If you like to just skip i-h for a single device you have, add an fdi 
> file to /etc/hal/fdi/policy which matches your device and leaves 
> input.x11_driver empty. Then you can configure that device in xorg.conf 
> and prosper.

I tried that, but failed. There's two problems as an user :
1. The only example file in /etc/hal/fdi/policy, " preferences.fdi" is
about hotpluggable storage devices
    <match key="storage.hotpluggable" bool="false">
      <match key="storage.removable" bool="false">
        <merge key="storage.automount_enabled_hint"
What is the syntax for a wacom tablet, and what is the syntax for a

2. Wacom Cintiq 12wx shows as both /dev/input/tablet-cintiq12wx and
Does it need 2 fdi in /etc/hal/fdi/policy, and if so does it need
duplicate entries in xorg.conf?

To update Ubuntu community documentation, I think it's better to chose
your second solution (skip i-h for a single device).
Then, since Ubuntu's xorg.conf doesn't have any configuration for wacom
devices anymore, are the lines from still good - for
example added at the end of /etc/X11/xorg.conf? Bryce Harrington (cced)
edited the page two month ago : "*This content is quite old and may not
be applicable to current versions of Ubuntu."

Section "InputDevice"
  Driver        "wacom"
  Identifier    "stylus"
  Option        "Device"        "/dev/input/wacom"
  Option        "Type"          "stylus"
  Option        "ForceDevice"   "ISDV4"               # Tablet PC ONLY

Section "InputDevice"
  Driver        "wacom"
  Identifier    "eraser"
  Option        "Device"        "/dev/input/wacom"
  Option        "Type"          "eraser"
  Option        "ForceDevice"   "ISDV4"               # Tablet PC ONLY

Section "InputDevice"
  Driver        "wacom"
  Identifier    "cursor"
  Option        "Device"        "/dev/input/wacom"
  Option        "Type"          "cursor"
  Option        "ForceDevice"   "ISDV4"               # Tablet PC ONLY

Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier      "Default Layout"
        Screen          "Default Screen"
        InputDevice     "Generic Keyboard"
        InputDevice     "Configured Mouse"
        InputDevice     "stylus" "SendCoreEvents"
        InputDevice     "cursor" "SendCoreEvents"
        InputDevice     "eraser" "SendCoreEvents"

Is there anything to add to xorg.conf for joysticks?


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