Generic Graphics Tablets in Linux

Hardware peculiarities, software challenges, and how to make them work

Nikolai Kondrashov

Playlists: 'froscon2018' videos starting here / audio / related events

Presentation on the DIGImend project's efforts to improve Linux support for generic graphics tablets.

Wacom graphics tablets are very well supported by Linux, thanks to the efforts of several core developers and many contributors, including Wacom engineers. However, the story is not so great for tablets from other manufacturers. Those range from the minimal 4.5" signature pads to full-blown 22" tablet monitors. Usually developed by OEMs in Taiwan, those tablets can be accompanied by very poor attempts at Linux kernel drivers, but most of the time no Linux support at all.

This talk is going to present the DIGImend project's efforts to improve support of such graphics tablets in Linux, the hardware peculiarities, software and organizational challenges, and what it takes to make one supported.

Because of their low price, generic graphics tablets are very attractive to artists just starting out, or living in developing countries. Same artists, who, for the same reason, would rather use Linux and Open-Source software, if only their graphics tablet worked with it. One of the aims of the DIGImend project is to support such artists.