Wacom USB Graphire Tablet Tutorial..

This Tutorial has been written specifically to make Wacom Graphire 3 USB tablets work with the Dapper, Edgy & Feisty versions of the Ubuntu operating system. It’s only been tested with Feisty Herd 4 (clean install) & 5 (upgrade) releases so far.

It should also work with Wacom 1, 2 & 4 Graphire tablets as well, but I’m not making any promises πŸ˜‰

For a more in depth look at this tutorial & some tips, click here to view the Tutorial Dissection thread in the Ubuntu-VAIO forum.

WARNING: If you also use a USB mouse on your laptop, you always need to use the mouse1 fix that’s in the Final Section.

You have more than just a single option when installing a Wacom Tablet, due to the restrictions/bugs currently within the drivers & software.

Is the best if you just want the pen to act like a basic mouse with no fancy tricks. This is the only option (so far) that currently detects the tablet correctly if you remove the tablet from the USB port & then plug it back in.

This options good if you want to add (limited) pressure to the tablet. The pressure will only work if the tablets plugged in when you turn the computer on. If you unplug the tablet & then plug it back in, the tablet will revert back to option 1 until you restart the xserver or computer.

OPTION 3: (Option 3 needs to use the mouse1 fix for the modes)
This one will give you the works, but you will need to restart the xserver or your computer every time you unplug the tablet & then plug it back in.
This option adds pressure & allows the configuration of separate absolute & relative modes per device.

Absolute Mode: The Wacom pen will act more like a real pen.

Relative mode: Makes the Wacom Pen act like a computer mouse.

Option 3 of this tutorial will set the Wacom Pen & Wacom Eraser to absolute mode, whilst the Wacom Mouse will be set to relative mode. This is how the official Wacom driver would set them up.. if there was one πŸ™‚

Now for the tutorial..
It allows you to work through all the options in order, to build up a more advanced configuration by adding each option only when needed.

Example – If you want to use option 2..
Follow the tutorial to the end of the Section 2, miss out Section 3 completely & carry on from the Final Section.
If you want to use option 3 then do it all πŸ™‚

Anything written in BOLD will either need changing or adding in your original xorg configuration file.


Section 1:

Plug in the tablet before you turn the computer on. This will make sure that it’s detected correctly.

Enter sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup into a terminal & press enter to backup your xorg configuration file.

Enter sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-wacom wacom-tools in a terminal & press enter to make sure that the needed software is installed.

Now type sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf into the terminal & press enter. This will open the file with the gedit text editor & allow you to change the settings of your xorg file.

WARNING: Just add/change the parts that are highlighted in BOLD, don’t copy & paste the texts from here. Copying & pasting could result in an unbootable system.

Section “InputDevice”

Driver “wacom”

Identifier “Wacom Pen

Option “Device” “/dev/input/wacom

Option “Type” “stylus”

Option “USB” “on”

EndSectionSection “InputDevice”

Driver “wacom”

Identifier “Wacom Eraser

Option “Device” “/dev/input/wacom

Option “Type” “eraser”

Option “USB” “on”


Section “InputDevice”

Driver “wacom”

Identifier “Wacom Mouse

Option “Device” “/dev/input/wacom

Option “Type” “cursor”

Option “USB” “on”

Also add the 3 extra input device lines to the Server layout section..

Section “ServerLayout”
Identifier “Default Layout”
Screen “Default Screen”
InputDevice “Generic Keyboard”
InputDevice “Configured Mouse”
InputDevice “Wacom Pen” “SendCoreEvents”
InputDevice “Wacom Eraser” “SendCoreEvents”
InputDevice “Wacom Mouse” “SendCoreEvents”

InputDevice “Synaptics Touchpad”


Section 2:

Add the pressure option to the following section..

Section “InputDevice”
Driver “wacom”
Identifier “Wacom Pen”
Option “Device” “/dev/input/wacom”
Option “Type” “stylus”
Option “PressCurve” “50,0,100,50” # Default is “0,0,100,100”
Option “USB” “on”


Section 3:

Add the absolute/relative mode options..

Section “InputDevice”
Driver “wacom”
Identifier “Wacom Pen”
Option “Device” “/dev/input/wacom”
Option “Type” “stylus”
Option “Mode” “absolute”
Option “PressCurve” “50,0,100,50” # Default is “0,0,100,100”
Option “USB” “on”

Section “InputDevice”
Driver “wacom”
Identifier “Wacom Eraser”
Option “Device” “/dev/input/wacom”
Option “Type” “eraser”
Option “Mode” “absolute”
Option “USB” “on”

Section “InputDevice”
Driver “wacom”
Identifier “Wacom Mouse”
Option “Device” “/dev/input/wacom”
Option “Type” “cursor”
Option “Mode” “relative”
Option “USB” “on”


Final Section:

Time to add the mouse1 fix for those of you who either use a USB mouse with your laptop, or opted to use all of the options. Just replace the word mice with mouse1 within the mouse section..

Section “InputDevice”
Identifier “Configured Mouse”
Driver “mouse”
Option “CorePointer”
Option “Device” “/dev/input/mouse1
Option “Protocol” “ExplorerPS/2”
Option “ZAxisMapping” “4 5”
Option “Emulate3Buttons” “true”

Now you can save the file & exit.

Reboot the laptop or restart the xserver with ctrl+alt+backspace.

Finished πŸ˜€

Optional Section:

Head over to Gnome Graphics Tablet Apps & download the current build of Tablet Apps (currently 0.3.1) in deb form to your Desktop.

Just double click the deb file to install it using gdebi.

Don’t worry if all the options for the programme don’t work at the minute (like being able to change the Device Mode). Ubuntu needs a more recent version of wacom-tools installing than what’s currently in the repo’s. This will be updated soon I hope πŸ™‚

Wacom 4 Tablets: (Untested)

I can’t test this as I don’t have the right tablet, but it should work.

Either add this info at the same time as the other sections in option1 or re-open a terminal & again type sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf & press enter..

Add this new section after your “Wacom Mouse” section (you can copy & paste this entire section as it’s new & correctly formatted)..

Section "InputDevice"
Driver        "wacom"
Identifier    "Wacom Tablet"
Option        "Device"        "/dev/input/wacom"
Option        "Type"          "pad"
Option        "ButtonsOnly"   "on"
Option        "Button9"       "2"
Option        "Button10"      "3"
Option        "USB"           "on"

Add this line to your “ServerLayout” section at the bottom of the page..

    InputDevice "Wacom Tablet"

You don’t need to add “SendCoreEvents” as it will interfere with your regular mouse. You can add it if you don’t use a normal mouse though.

If you need to save the file again then do it & reboot the laptop or restart the xserver with ctrl+alt+backspace.

Let me know if it works πŸ˜‰


14 thoughts on “Wacom USB Graphire Tablet Tutorial..

  1. Hey,

    Thanks a lot!

    This helped me get my Graphire 4 set up perfectly on Ubuntu Feisty, fixing my bug with the pad (set to event0, not wacom). Anyways, thank you very much, this was by far the easiest tutorial I’ve seen for setting up a wacom. (Yeah, the pad code works)

  2. Nice to know that the pad code works Garoth & I’m glad that you found the tutorial useful.
    Cheers for the comment (& sorry it’s a little late) πŸ™‚

  3. I can’t get the “mode” “relative” setting to work with the Wacom Mouse. That is the most important part as far as I’m concerned. The absolute setting is almost unusable. Why does it default to absolute?

  4. Thank you for the valuable clues. I’m running Ubuntu 6.10 on a PPC mac, ancient, first generation G4 and the Graphire table isn’t much newer. I did your option 1. I had to install the wacom-tools package to get /dev/input/wacom to link to the proper /dev/input file and I deleted the xorg.conf lines in mine that had Option Force….

    I’m a happy camper.

  5. Glad to be able to help you guys out πŸ™‚
    Not too sure why you had trouble ryan, but shoot me an email or get me on messenger if your still having problems.

  6. X11/gdm crashed for me when I tried to make these changes.
    What I want is to set the pen to relative.
    I added the Wacom Pen section from option 1 and that alone crashed gdm on restart.

  7. Thanks a bunch for this how-to. Have been searching all over the net for a tutorial, since the one on the ubuntu forum didn’t work out as well as i had hoped.

    Thanks again! πŸ˜€

  8. Just wanted to say thank you :-). After screwing up my xorg.conf (several times) and managing to fix it again I found your tutorial which worked perfectly :). Thanks again!

  9. Thank you for the tutorial, but I still hava a problem: the Wacom Tablet is detected by de system:
    > lsusb
    Bus 004 Device 002: ID 056a:00d6 Wacom Co., Ltd

    > dmesg
    [ 4.504014] usb 4-2: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 2
    [ 4.673366] usb 4-2: New USB device found, idVendor=056a, idProduct=00d6
    [ 4.673370] usb 4-2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
    [ 4.673373] usb 4-2: Product: CTH-460
    [ 4.673375] usb 4-2: Manufacturer: Wacom Co.,Ltd.

    But does not appear the device in /dev/input
    > ls /dev/input/
    by-id by-path event0 event1 event2 event3 event4 event5 mice mouse0

    ΒΏCan you help me?
    Thank you

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