Fedora and the WizardPen Tablet of Genius

A few days on from some OS experimentation, and Fedora 10 on the eee is still running strong. Since then i have experimented with several tasks that i normally attempt on a new OS. One of these tasks is to get my tablet ( Genius MousePen 8x6 ) working. Other than being really good ( enough for me to stop using openSUSE on my eee ), it seems that Fedora has a few other surprises.

Downloading the wizardpen driver from the usual place, and performing the usual configure and make on the extracted source, the wizardpen_drv.so file is located in src/.libs. Once this is copied to the Xorg input modules directory ( /usr/lib/xorg/modules/input/ ), the next step involves editing the x.org config file, usually located at /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

So, as i have done for the last 8 years, i opened up a terminal and cd to /etc/X11, and vi xorg.conf. Momentarily i assumed that i had made a mistake, since "new file" was printed at the bottom of the screen. After triple checking the directory and filenames, i realised that there was no xorg.conf in this directory. My first reaction was that ( being a Fedora newbie ) it must have been in a different directory, so after searching through all the obvious directories and finding nothing, i decided to check online. The first relevant forum post states that Fedora does not have an xorg.conf file anymore. Once i had recovered from this news that had just shattered my view of the XServer, i read on. Turns out that it's all auto configured, since X can now dynamically load input drivers instead of having a single fixed config file. After a few minutes of thought and a considerably strong drink to calm the nerves, i looked up some more details on getting the tablet to work. ( Note: it is possible to have an xorg.conf, but it needs to be generated by installing system-config-display and saving those settings, thereafter X will use the newly generated xorg.conf )

With some decent Google search terms, i located a suitable forum post about using the wizardpen tablet under Fedora. Reading down to an entry by user Vikswd, i followed his/her simple instructions, logged out, plugged in the tablet, and it was working. Besides the initial recovery time after seeing no xorg.conf, this was the shortest time that it has taken to get my tablet working under any OS. I suspect that this setup might work for any Linux using the new Xorg with hot pluggable input ( 1.5 i believe ), but i have not tested it and will the moment i have a chance.  This is how it's done:

  1.  Make sure you have built and installed wizardpen_drv.so into the /usr/lib/xorg/modules/input directory. If you don't know how to do this there are many forum posts on the subject and it is really simple.
  2. Find the hardware name of your device by performing either:
    cat /proc/bus/input/devices
    grep -i name /proc/bus/input/devices
    In the output will most likely be something like UC-LOGIC Tablet WP8060U... remember this.
  3.  Create a new file: /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/20thirdparty/99-x11-wizardpen.fdi
  4.  Edit this new file as root user, and put in the following content:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1" ?>
    <deviceinfo version="0.2">
     <!-- This MUST match with the name of your tablet -->
     <match key="info.product" contains="NAME OBTAINED FROM STEP 2">
      <merge key="input.x11_driver" type="string">wizardpen</merge>
      <merge key="input.x11_options.SendCoreEvents" type="string">true</merge>
      <merge key="input.x11_options.TopX" type="string">10</merge>
      <merge key="input.x11_options.TopY" type="string">10</merge>
      <merge key="input.x11_options.BottomX" type="string">32747</merge>
      <merge key="input.x11_options.BottomY" type="string">32762</merge>
      <merge key="input.x11_options.MaxX" type="string">32747</merge>
      <merge key="input.x11_options.MaxY" type="string">32762</merge>
  5.  Plug in the tablet, and log out. This should do it. If not, hit Ctrl+Alt+Backspace for good measure ( twice if openSUSE 11 or above ) and that's it. Pressure sensitivity will work in Gimp by activating it under input devices in Gimp Preferences.
  6. As noted in the forum post, if something did go wrong, check your /var/log/Xorg.0.log for a (EE) line, possibly by doing something like grep EE /var/log/Xorg.0.log 

That is really quick and easy, took me less time to do than running the tablet driver installer on Windows! Since then, i have been thoroughly enjoying having my tablet working again, since it has been roughly a year since i actually tried to draw anything. Some 800x480 KDE/eee backgrounds that i have done can be found here. The XML posted above is very similar to the traditional config, and modifying it would be a simple matter of adapting your usual settings ( based on the output of the wizardpen-calibrate app that gets built with the driver ). As always with my posts ( especially the How-To style ones ), any extra notes or different methods are appreciated in the comments. The more we can help the community, the better.


  1. As my oncle is a fedora user and claimed to me to use a Linux OS that is more likely to configure by hand it suprises me that the OS he chose long time ago and still uses now is such a automated thing though he was the one who wanted me to get down and dirty with my beautiful openSUSE 11.1.
    How can that come to be compared??

  2. i used to think Fedora was all configure by hand, and that is why i never really used it. i've been an openSUSE and Mandriva ( Mandrake ) user for nearly 10 years, so for me to move away from YaST or Mandriva Control Center is really difficult. But Fedora is still impressing me! It just works, i don't need any special config, and getting the KDE 4 beta builds is very easy. Tablet setup was a breeze ( openSUSE 10.3 was difficult and never got it working in 11 ), and it just feels like a "complete" OS. i don't feel the need to use the command line, which is a huge step forward. And it is SOOOOOOOO fast on the EEE!!!

  3. Hey.. I am the sort of guy who fixes some linux problem i have and then forgets about it when i upgrade.. i googled wizardpen fedora hoping to find my old fedora forum entry and i found your blog instead.
    I also found this url that seems to be updated as well http://www.not404.com/content/howtouse-genius-mousepen-8x6-tablet-fedora-9


  4. http://remixforum.blogspot.com/2009/06/soft-cell-tainted-love-chris-kaeser.html