Wacom provides a web browser plugin that allows pressure sensitive drawing with their and other PenAPI compatible tablets in a browser. Unfortunately their plugin only supports Windows and Mac OS X. Is there a way to get this functionality under Ubuntu Linux?

Currently, I can already use pressure-sensitive drawing in some Linux applications like GIMP and Inkscape, just not in a web browser.

A browser based application that would benefit from pressure sensitive drawing is for example DeviantArt's Muro, a HTML5 based drawing application. Under Windows and Mac OS X, Muro supports pressure sensitivity when the Wacom-supplied browser plugin is installed.


4 Answers 4


Short answer is no.

In order to provide pressure sensitivity, the browser (or a plugin) would have to hook into the same code (XInput) that drawing applications like Inkscape or the GIMP use. Browsers, like most desktop applications, generally leave input details to the operating system so they only see mouse or keyboard events.

I see that the Muro plugin is a proprietary Wacom application, so I wouldn't expect to see it ported any time soon. However you could open bugs requesting pressure sensitivity in conjunction with HTML5 canvas for the various browsers. As multitouch screens are becoming more important it is increasingly likely someone has been working on at least a plugin that might provide such information.


openCanvas pressure sensitivity works under Wine, so you may try installing firefox under wine and trying it that way.

I think they've fixed the problem with the Y-axis being inverted, so that may be a way to get it working.

Good luck!

(also, for other drawing applications you may want to try mypaint (my fave) and drawpile)


Two plugins that enable pressure-sensitive input in Linux browsers have become available in the meantime:

  1. WacomWebPlugin. Works in both Firefox and Chrome, but has to be compiled. (I could not find pre-compiled Ubuntu packages.) Did not test this one, but it seems the more advanced one, and source code is available.

  2. Mikro's plugin. There is also a discussion thread for it. Source offered, but not available for download. Development seems to have stopped. But it works: I just tested it on Firefox 35.0 64bit, using Muro.

For installing plugins manually in recent versions of Firefox under Ubuntu, refer to this answer.


Hello from the future world of 2022!

The PointerEvent.pressure property is supported in major browsers, and allows web applications to utilize pressure-sensitive input devices.

In my experience (on an Ubuntu 20.04-derived distro) this worked out-of-the-box with Chromium; that is, Google Chrome, less the proprietary Google bits. I used the Flatpak version; your mileage may vary with the Snap or .deb package.

With Firefox, I found I had to set MOZ_USE_XINPUT2=1 in the environment in order to get pressure sensitivity. I think this is a regression; follow this bug for details. There is also an about:config setting called dom.w3c_pointer_events.dispatch_by_pointer_messages that might come into play; see here for details.

You can test if this works for you at https://tldraw.com or https://pressurejs.com.

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