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#1 2011-04-28 11:25:03

Giniu
Trusted User (TU)
From: Wrocław/Poland
Registered: 2007-04-02
Posts: 61
Website

New Wacom tablet drivers package in AUR

Hi all,

this is not really new package but a rename of linuxwacom-bamboo-cth-ctl. I'm posting this here because lots of people use it and I wanted it to be posted on forum for reference.

Why the rename? It was discussed in comments of linuxwacom-bamboo-cth-ctl package. The name comes from old times and causes confusion now. First of all, it was made to add Bamboo CTH/CTL patches to linuxwacom driver. I adopted the package some time ago and continued maintaining it. Meanwhile, the driver changed the name from linuxwacom to xf86-input-wacom - while linuxwacom is still available and patched from time to time, but works only for old kernels. When someone is asked on driver developers list what driver he uses and answers with linuxwacom-bamboo-cth-ctl, it looks like he uses old version. Also, the support for Bamboo was integrated in core some time ago so the patches were no longer needed.

Why is this package still useful, why not just install input-wacom and xf86-input-wacom separately? For a few reasons. First of all, input-wacom and xf86-input-wacom should be paired, not all versions work well together - that's why developers try to make the version numbers match too. Also, it's easier for people to install one package than two. It also happens from time to time, that with new version of driver some devices stop working correctly, then I patch the driver before it is released. I try to patch all known and fixed upstream bugs. Finally, input-wacom shouldn't be replaced by only default kernel module how one could think, because official kernel module lags behind a bit (not all new devices are supported right away) and does not provide user-space tools that input-wacom provides (inputattach for serial tablets).

So what the wacom-drivers package provides? It provides latest X.Org driver coupled with correct kernel driver and user-space tools to manage serial tablets. It also comes with set of default udev rules that create user-readable device names in /dev/input and supports plugging multiple tablets at once. The file is slightly different than one in Debian family, we have more strict rules for names in few places. Finally, if some feature is broken and the fix is known, it is patched ASAP. I cherry-pick all bug-fixes from git version if possible, leaving alone all documentation changes, refactoring or new features.

Current version comes with no patches for now and it's version is 0.11.0 for both X.Org and kernel drivers. If you used linuxwacom-bamboo-cth-ctl driver before, please switch to new wacom-drivers package. I will leave linuxwacom-bamboo-cth-ctl for one month and then request deletion on aur-general mailing list. The package is now at https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=48555

Have fun,
Andrzej.


My GPG fingerprint: 7170 26A9 D477 9FC5 3940  7266 40F5 57B7 3149 6106

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#2 2011-06-18 01:45:58

xelados
Member
Registered: 2007-06-02
Posts: 314
Website

Re: New Wacom tablet drivers package in AUR

This fragmentation has me confused as hell as to which to install and which package has what. xf86-input-wacom is in [community]. Do I still need wacom-drivers from AUR?

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#3 2011-06-25 20:04:00

Giniu
Trusted User (TU)
From: Wrocław/Poland
Registered: 2007-04-02
Posts: 61
Website

Re: New Wacom tablet drivers package in AUR

To explain a little the situation. For the wacom device to work correctly you need to have kernel driver and X driver. Some time ago, the only right way was to use linuxwacom package, that came with both drivers packaged. Later on, lot of effort was put to clean up the drivers in separate, the kernel driver (named input-wacom) and X driver (named xf86-input-wacom). Around kernel 2.6.37 most of input-wacom was merged into mainline kernel. So if you are using common USB tablet, you can live with default kernel 2.6.39 + xf86-input-wacom 0.11.1 and skip wacom-drivers package.

The package wacom-drivers on the other hand will always provide latest patches to support new devices and features, even month before they reach stable pair of kernel + xf86-input-wacom (just like it did for Lenovo X220, which is supported in prebuilt form since today - the build of xf86-input-wacom, but was in AUR in form of wacom-drivers for lot longer). wacom-driver package also already provides udev rules that support multiple tablets plugged at once, the inputattach tool to support serial devices under USB-like /dev/input/event and soon it will support hot-plugging bypass for persistent preferences.

There is also xf86-input-wacom-git also, which may work for you. It also provides new features, but there might be issues with stability. In case of wacom-driver you get stable driver + critical patches, in case of -git version you get latest unstable driver.

In short, you can do:
1) install xf86-input-wacom and be done, good if you use well supported or older device
2) install wacom-drivers from AUR if you use new device, or device with features still evolving (like multitouch)
3) install xf86-input-wacom-git if you are developer or just adventurous smile

Last edited by Giniu (2011-06-25 20:05:27)


My GPG fingerprint: 7170 26A9 D477 9FC5 3940  7266 40F5 57B7 3149 6106

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#4 2011-06-26 14:31:42

imag1narynumber
Member
From: Connecticut
Registered: 2008-07-23
Posts: 56

Re: New Wacom tablet drivers package in AUR

This is working flawlessly (well, except the eraser [who cares?]). Thanks!

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