Please help! Wacom tablet applet

Hi! I’m new to the forum and joined because I was going insane after spending 12+ hours trying to make my Wacom tablet work. I’m left handed and needed to rotate it “xsetwacom” provided that and with a simple script + a call in the i3 config file I managed to get it working. But for the life of me, I can’t get a single graphical tablet GUI settings manager to work, I tried all the ones in the arch repos and a few more github projects. Does anyone have recommendations?

The one that worked was wacomtablet but it has no settings for pen sensibility, orientation or button assignment

Welcome to the community! :vulcan_salute: :enos_flag:

Now, because Arch/EndeavourOS is a rolling release, some older settings/packages may not work if they don’t roll with the updates. KDE Plasma used to have the best Wacom support (probably still does), but it’s been reduced since KDE Plasma 6 rolled out.

If a tablet settings GUI is a major factor for your workflow, sorry to say, but you’ll possibly need to use a static release distro that still has KDE Plasma 5 for now. Especially since graphics tablet support is not something the Linux big wigs (KDE and Gnome) are focussed on at the moment.

You can use KDE Plasma 5 with Debian, Linux Mint, or even Ubuntu Studio — find something that works for you, really.

Here’s a link with a deeper explanation of what I just typed.

The right GNU/Linux distribution for professional digital painting in 2024

PS: Not saying that you shouldn’t use Arch, by the way. I’m just saying that you may need to dual boot with a static release distro.

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Small note, Linux Mint doesn’t come with KDE plasma, but Kubuntu 24.04 LTS will come with 5.27.

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Thanks for answering! Damn that’s a shame, I guess I’ll have to keep my work computer with windows for the moment. Unfortunately the available software and support for art is much greater there. Will keep working with EndeavourOS in my main pc tho, maybe I can put together a simple GUI and make it available.

If this is something you can do, it may be better to fork the same settings GUI available from KDE Plasma 5 and bring it forward to KDE Plasma 6. People who miss it on rolling release distros, myself included, would love and appreciate it.

Hope you’re not talking about Adobe here. If you are, maybe you haven’t heard the news, or you have a perpetual :dollar: or “free” :pirate_flag: license?

To be clear, though, Adobe isn’t the only company artists should move away from. Microsoft/Windows is another, but I digress.

Have you tried Kde? Maybe this package on Kde will be better for you?


Edit: I’m not sure what package installs this?

I will try to do it! I’ll share it if it works. And yes haha I do have a “free” license of most Adobe software. But I was mostly talking about the proprietary Wacom app for Windows. Honestly for art only Krita is already great.
I’m also not a fan of Microsoft, I’ll take a look at the link you sent before and find a good distro, thanks for the help.

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I’ve used Kde in the past. Will try to give it another chance, thanks for the info.

@Yoguti Greetings and welcome to the forum!

This may be of little solace to you at this point in time, but I’ll share my experience with EOS and drawing tablets in case it’s of encouragement to others reading this thread in the future…

I have the latest kernel with EOS and i3-wm up and running on a number of different sets of hardware. In all cases, Xencelabs, Huion and XP-Pen tablets have all worked nicely either using drivers downloaded through the Arch AUR or directly from the hardware manufacturer.

They have all worked beautifully using Krita, OpenToonz, Tahoma2D and plenty of other apps. In fact, I put my mouse off to the side of the desk and currently use a Xencelabs pen tablet as my primary daily drive/input device (along with its companion QuickKeys remote thing) and my keyboard for text as needed. The pen tablet is the primary way I navigate around. I use the keyboard merely for typing text (i.e., the same as when I relied on a mouse).

FWIW, like the OP, I too am left-handed and have had no problem flipping the tablet mapping around - even using multiple monitors selectively in the process.

In short, these hardware brands mentioned above all work pretty much as expected within EOS with i3 once you select the configurations you want.

The only brand of tablet I have NOT have good results with is Wacom - although I tried a couple once or twice. I found them to be too finicky/fussy to get set up to my needs and finally gave up.

Again, I don’t expect this is helpful to you if you’re deep into Wacom at this point, but besides being pricier than every other brand, I understand their drivers have frustrated a number of other folks in the Linux world so I stopped trying.

Best wishes to you in finding solutions that work for you :vulcan_salute:

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Nice to know that whenever I decide to upgrade my graphics tablet, Wacom isn’t my only choice.

That being said, the issue the OP has is not about compatibility; it’s about a working and full-featured graphics tablet GUI.

Take a look at the link I posted — you can see the huge difference in what was available in KDE Plasma 5 vs what version 6 has.

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Ah, thanks for the clarification. The side-by-side chart is a bit hard to read for these aged eyeballs, but the sheer volume of tweak’able variables in one vs the other looks to be significant by comparison.

Frankly, I’ve always relied on a pen tablet’s own driver app provided by the manufacturer (for me, currently Xencelabs) to control such things. I find all the tweaking options I need to personalize the touch/feel are readily available through this approach (including pressure, tilt, eraser functions, button customization, etc.)

It’s then inside the particular software (Krita, OpenToonz, ART/RAWTherapee, Digikam, …) where I set up just how I want a pen tablet to respond (brush parameters, flow, tilt sensitivity, and function/command shortcuts, etc.)

Since each software app tends to have its own personality and responsiveness, this works out best to equalize the interactions across different apps.

With that said, I’m not really up to speed on how those interfaces seen above would come into play. :man_shrugging:

I see. Well, let me explain.

For a good while now (over 10 years, I think), Wacom has allowed you to set up “App Profiles”. This allows you to have different settings for specific apps and a global setting for unspecified apps.

The KDE GUI from KDE 5 allowed you to access all of these functions. It was like using Windows, only kinda better because the GUI looked just like your other apps and there is even a tray icon.


The screenshot above is from Ubuntu Studio dual boot with KDE 5.27.

So, basically, Wacom support was king on Linux until KDE 6.

PS: Gnome and Cinnamon, possibly Budgie, Mate, and Xfce as well, had some of these features, but I don’t remember them being as full-featured.

I imagine POP! OS would have had it, and I have never used Deepin or Elementary’s Enlightenment DE, but those probably had it too.

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@ddnn I gather from this that (Wacom) tablet support has been a bit like the wild west out there - somewhere between awesome and not-so-much, depending on distro, version, desktop environment…

I’ve had my minor issues with various tablet manufacturers, but they’ve tended to be fairly small (against my demanding expectations) and mostly resolvable without having to engage anything other than the manufacturer’s own driver app.

Perhaps that’s the benefit - and the opportunity cost - of using the proprietary driver that’s offered up by the manufacturer of a proprietary piece of hardware. Having bought the dang thing, their follow up customer service is what counts.

[FWIW: I’ve found the Xencelabs development/support team to be quite outstanding at promptly responding to even the smallest of issues I’ve discovered. This includes things I told them frankly I didn’t really care much about.]


Yeah, sometimes simplicity works out for the better.

It’s just that for artists who use multiple apps, app profiles can be an added convenience, if not a game-changer.

I love my i3-wm setup on Arch, but KDE Plasma 5.27 is just unbeatable for me. At least, for now — once these Wayland updates become more stable and consistent for everyone.

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Don’t you think Plasma 6.1 will eventually bring back those same features that are present in 5?

That’s great to hear! I was young and stupid when I bought my Wacom, way before I understood quality != price. Once I get the chance I’ll try to go for a different brand

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Actually, yes. The author/artist has since made an update to the article that I am just now seeing when I was looking for a specific thing he said about his communications with KDE devs.

KDE Plasma 6, this sixth generation was built for Wayland. The previously full featured Graphics Tablets configuration plugin of KDE Plasma 5 was completely deprecated and it was decided to rewrite it from scratch. Unfortunately, only 25% of the features were ported before the first release of Plasma 6. Now KDE Plasma 6 has less features than GNOME based ones, and not enough features for me to even configure any of my tablets for digital painting.

Update 2024-06-08: An addition that needs to be made here, thanks to this comment from KDE developer Carl Schwan. I was wrong in the previous paragraph. Plasma 6 can also run on X11, and more surprisingly, KDE Plasma 5’s previously full-featured graphics tablet configuration plugin has been adapted for Plasma 6 and can run on it. But it is only for Plasma 6 running under X11 session, the plugin will not work under Wayland session.

So, using a rolling release should no longer be an issue for this particular plugin under KDE.

That being said, KDE Plasma 5.27 runs way better for me than KDE Plasma 6xx. So, for me, this doesn’t matter. For others, though, it can be THE difference.

@Yoguti Maybe you should give KDE a shot? Also, I’m seeing that there are a few more updates there, so if you haven’t read the article as yet, you should. You may just find what you need.

PS: Didn’t realise all the updates that have been made to the article because I read it the day it was published.

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