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#1 2021-04-18 17:42:10

RMLangham
Member
Registered: 2021-04-18
Posts: 2

Inconsistent Behavior of Wacom Screen in GNOME

So I bought a convertible laptop/tablet PC that was being discarded at my work, a Fujitsu Lifebook T731, for basically nothing at all. It's older, but it's pretty slick. It has an Intel Core I5, and a Wacom pen-input/touchscreen (?) as well as fingerprint sensor, hot-swappable expansion bay with options for second battery (which I have) or SATA CD drive... it was issued to a doctor and used for a while before being returned to IT and discarded--typical corporate stuff.

I had an Arch image from a few months ago, right before they put the installer. I decided to drop in a 500 gig hard drive I had lying around from an old HP Pavilion and see if I could put Arch and GNOME 40 on this Fujitsu. It took me the better part of a night to get it fully up and running, because I mistyped when setting the locale and so GNOME terminal wouldn't run, but I have it running great and, pending some reliability tests, this may become my daily driver. It's fast, and I'm typing this on it now.

But there's one thing that's very odd to me, and that's the inconsistent behavior of the screen. I believe there's a driver issue. GNOME recognizes it as a Wacom and has excellent and consistent performance with the stylus, including the stylus buttons. However, it also acts as a touch-screen. I'm not sure if it's supposed to. I've never had a Wacom product before and I'm not sure if they're supposed to also respond to touching with bare hands. But this behavior is very inconsistent. Sometimes it detects manual touch, sometimes it does not. It usually seems to be on a per-login basis. If I log out to GDM and then touch my username with my finger, I can log in and it will usually let me use it as a touch screen. But usually if I don't touch the username in GDM, or a percentage of the time if I do, it does not respond to manual touch at all, but still responds to the stylus.

I think this is a software issue because there's nothing intermittent about it. If the hardware or the connection were going out, I would expect it to work inconsistently over the course of a login session, coming and going and behaving erratically, but it's either-or--it's sensing manual touch perfectly or it's not. And at no time does it ever fail to respond consistently and cleanly to the stylus.

Is there some reason that a driver would be activated or deactivated based on input received at the GDM greeter? Obviously drivers are loaded long before GDM even starts, but is something hinky going on in systemd?

Last edited by RMLangham (2021-04-18 17:54:19)

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#2 2021-04-19 09:18:37

d_fajardo
Member
Registered: 2017-07-28
Posts: 1,173

Re: Inconsistent Behavior of Wacom Screen in GNOME

There's a whole wiki regarding Wacom here that could be of help.
You can also check udev with udevadm monitor to clearly see what events are being triggered by the device.

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#3 2021-04-19 15:24:03

RMLangham
Member
Registered: 2021-04-18
Posts: 2

Re: Inconsistent Behavior of Wacom Screen in GNOME

Thank you. I will consult both at length before returning. I have just returned to Linux after a long absence, and while I quickly got up to speed as far as installing and configuring Arch (my daily driver is still Fedora, though) I was a teenager the last time I was playing around with Ubuntu and GNOME, so I didn't delve deep into systemd and drivers and stuff. Udev is still something I know fairly little about.

I also have to assume that, GNOME 40 being brand new, it may just be one of those things that will get fixed by some random bug fix down the line. I'm not badly worried about it in any event.

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