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I am thinking of buying a Wacom Bamboo Pen tablet for drawing with an Ubuntu installation.

I seem to remember there being settings specifically for Wacom in the Settings Manager. Is that still the case? (I am currently not on Ubuntu, so I can't verify).

The searching that I have done have brought up results in threads where people have to do manual setup (editing of config files) to get their Wacom tablets working. Is that the case or is there good support for Wacom tablets (with graphical configuration) in Ubuntu?

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WACOM tablets have been supported by Ubuntu for some time now, they work perfectly fine out of the box. – Thomas W. Apr 22 '13 at 19:36
Confirming the success in my Bamboo MTE-450 since Ubuntu 9.04 up to 12.04. Good luck! – Geppettvs D'Constanzo Apr 22 '13 at 22:23

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Ubuntu has great Wacom support. It's all plug and play but with great graphical configuration options. You can configure pens and erasers and buttons for all common Wacom tablets. I was even surprised to find that you can lock a tablet to a single monitor in a dual-monitor set-up.

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Thanks, now I can buy with confidence! – mydoghasworms Apr 23 '13 at 4:54

Sorry but the Ubuntu Wacom Gui tool doesn't offer enough options to fully make use of the device, button (re)mapping e.g is not supported, and and you really want to disable/configure the weird touch behaviour and defaults of the device for working without annoyances, or for using it as a mouse replacement.

I bought a Wacom Bamboo Fun Pen & Touch a few days ago hoping to get full support without googling around for days and getting dirty in the terminal and heavy text editing.. but exactly this is what you have to do, otherwise the device is almost unusable for any serious work. Take that in mind before paying the extra Wacom price compared to other brands. You have to get dirty with text editing anyway, it doesn't matter if you use Arch or Ubuntu, or if you buy a random UC Logic Tablet or Wacom one, to use the device like it should be used a similar amount of self effort is required, and this can put a lot of people off.

If Canonical want artists using other OS switching to Ubuntu, they NEED to make a proper GUI tool for those widespread devices, or artists will return to other operating systems immediately.

If you're comfortable with text editing/scripting, the options to configure the devices are great though.

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Why is it Canonical's responsibility, when Wacom provide drivers for other OSes, where tablets don't work at all out of the box? – Stavros Korokithakis Mar 15 at 14:48

I know this is an old thread, but I think that the below information is relevant to those with the same question that mydoghasworms had a few years ago.

Wacom support is not really up to scratch in 15.04. Still, you can buy a Wacom tablet knowing that you can get it to work well, though it will take a bit of work. I use a combination of the Wacom Tablet settings in System Settings and xsetwacom to set the buttons on my Intuos4 and Intuos5 to things like hotkeys, modifier keys and toggles (even the ring toggle button works). I have not managed to get the LED displays to work, but I didn't try very hard and others seem to have managed it, and in my opinion, a tablet without those working can still be a killer tablet.

These links will provide very useful information:

This one specifically for the correct numbers of the buttons in xsetwacom, that took me ages to figure out:

Personally, I think Ubuntu really has to put a lot more effort into the Wacom tablet setup and configuration tools, but still, get yourself a tablet, it is worth it!

By the way, KDE used to have even more customizability options, including the ability to easily switch between program specific button setups, so you could have a setup for Gimp, and another for Krita for instance. This was great, but those options seem to be gone or not working in Plasma 5.

Good luck!

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Support was very good in 12.10 but 13.04 is partly broken. There are work arounds see and hopefully this will be fixed soon.

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