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Getting the WizardPen driver working on the new Xorg 1.4 on Debian

Filed under: Tutorials and HOWTOs by Hari
Posted on Wed, May 21, 2008 at 10:30 IST (last updated: Sat, Nov 1, 2008 @ 09:15 IST)

My graphics tablet iBall WP5540 stopped working after an Xorg update to 1.4 on Debian testing. Everybody knows how much the Xorg updates can screw up the base system of any Linux distribution.

The older driver of the WizardPen driver (0.5) simply does not work with the latest Xorg because of several changes to the underlying system. Here's how you have to get the new driver to work. These steps worked for me, but might not necessarily work for you.

Download the latest WizardPen driver

You can find the new WizardPen driver source package to download here:


Extract the source code into a directory.

Install the xorg-dev package using (as root)
apt-get install xorg-dev

You might also need pkg-config for successfully compiling the driver:
apt-get install pkg-config

Compile the driver

From the source directory of the driver, issue the usual commands:

Now instead of issuing make install which would not install in the correct location in Debian, copy the compiled driver file wizardpen_drv.so (found inside the directory src/.lib) to the Xorg module directory (/usr/lib/xorg/modules/input/ in Debian). From the driver source directory issue the command (as root)
cp src/.lib/wizardpen_drv.so /usr/lib/xorg/modules/input/

Modify the xorg.conf file

I found out by painful trial and error that the button mappings of the graphics pen is screwed up if you also specify the mouse explicitly in xorg. By commenting out the default configured mouse in the ServerLayout section, everything works fine. Even the mouse works without having to specify it explicitly. I think it's something to do with the new hotplugging mechanism of Xorg, but I haven't found out exactly why this should be so.

Here's my working xorg.conf file for the driver on my HP dv6314 laptop. Only the relevant sections are shown/highlighted.

Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier     "Default Layout"
    Screen         "Default Screen" 0 0
    InputDevice    "Generic Keyboard"
#    InputDevice    "Configured Mouse"    # Note that this is commented out - mouse still works!
#    InputDevice    "Synaptics Touchpad" 
    InputDevice    "WizardPen Tablet"
Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier     "WizardPen Tablet"
    Driver         "wizardpen"
    Option         "Name"           "UC-LOGIC Tablet WP5540U"
    Option         "SendCoreEvents" "true"  # This is very important otherwise the pen won't respond
    Option         "TopX" "0"
    Option         "TopY" "0"
    Option         "BottomX" "32739"
    Option         "BottomY" "32745"
    Option         "MaxX" "32739"
    Option         "MaxY" "32745"

Note that the TopX, TopY, BottomX and BottomY values are decided by running the calibrate utility found within the same wizardpen driver source. The values specified above should work for an ordinary 5.5"x4" tablet.

Note that you no longer need to specify the USB tablet event device (as created by udev) in xorg.conf as the WizardPen driver automatically detects it for you.

You don't have to tell me: Xorg updates are hell when you use third-party drivers. :biggrin:

4 comment(s)

  1. Great tutorial, hari. When I get a tablet, I might have to refer to it, depending on which one I get.

    Comment by MrCorey (visitor) on Wed, May 21, 2008 @ 15:42 IST #
  2. It's not a great tutorial, but it is what works for me. I'm sure Wacom tablets are much simpler to install and use because the drivers exist in Xorg.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Wed, May 21, 2008 @ 23:59 IST #
  3. I notice there is a Debian install at the site now. However it does not install the man page nor does it install the wizardpen-calibrate calibration tool. That tool is important as my tablet (a Genius G-Pen F350) gives different readings for my system.

    Comment by Ross (visitor) on Mon, Sep 15, 2008 @ 16:55 IST #
  4. Ross, I always compile from source as I need the driver on a 64-bit machine. The deb file is for x86 only.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Mon, Sep 15, 2008 @ 21:54 IST #

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