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12.04 for digital painter artist : Install notes

04 october 2012

You are probably used to see me publishing my Install notes now.
I updated them for the Open-sources digital painting software I use.
This time using PPA , no compiling. The most userfriendly way to have an updated system.

I assume this guide will works on all the 'buntu family  , well, I tested and install them all on free time...
Note : Next month 12.10 will come, but I'll stick to 12.04 for the moment.

Gnome 'buntu family :
Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon , Linux Mint 13 Mate , Ubuntu 12.04 unity, or pure Gnome 3 desktop
KDE 'buntu family :
Kubuntu 12.04 , Linux Mint KDE 13
XFCE 'buntu family :
 Xubuntu 12.04 , Linux Mint Xfce 13, Voyager 12.04, Ubuntu Studio 12.04
LXDE 'buntu family :
Lubuntu 12.04 , Linux Mint Lxde 13
( also tested Awesome and Open Box )
... you understood, all Linux  'buntu based 12.04.

Note  : To use the code here , open a "terminal" ( you can find it in your application menu )  then copy paste this each line by each line ( with Ctrl + C to copy the selected line but Ctrl+Maj+V  to paste in a terminal ) confirm when needed with typing 'y'  or enter, or type your password when asked.

✤ 1. System :

Its wise to update it after a fresh install :

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
also , if your system propose it, use the proprietary driver for your Gfx card. Read your distribution documentation about.

Xfce family :
You will probably want to update the XFCE version :
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.10
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
Kde family :
You will probably want to update the KDE version :
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Common package :
sudo apt-get install filezilla inkscape agave blender audacity vlc agave gcolor2 synaptic
A little pack of useful softwares.

✤ 2. Wacom tablet :

Gnome family : 
Go to the configuration panel of your system , and click on the 'tablet icon' to setup your tablet via an interface. The interface is simple and allow you to do the common things.

KDE family :
Install the tablet module :
sudo apt-get install kde-config-tablet
then reboot your system, you should see in the 'system setting' panel , under "Input device" an interface to configure the tablet. The interface is simple and let you set any advanced things.

LXDE / XFCE ( and all other in option ) :
You have to write a script and load it at each start to setup your Wacom tablet :
For more infos, watch the 'Wacom tablet' chapter this old depreciated how-to  :  , the Wacom part is still working.

✤ 3. Mypaint 1.0.0+Git ppa  :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:achadwick/mypaint-testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mypaint

Notes : Mypaint will run fine on mainly all desktop environment.

LXDE / XFCE :  Mypaint feel "smoother" here for sure.

KDE family  : you may miss some GUI icons or be limited to a poor set of old GTK2 gnome icons if not using System Settings > Apparence > GTK Panel : 'oxygen-GTK'  ; it seams there is issue with GTK icons and KDE icons management ; and oxygen-gtk sort of let KDE installed icons theme to be used in the GTK apps. One cons os  'oxygen-GTK' produce also errors of clicking in Mypaint brush menu. An alternative is to install another GTK theme as 'Greybird' , etc... But this will make you have poor icon and a 90s look. 

✤ 4. Gimp 2.8.1 + G'Mic  :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gimp gimp-gmic
Notes : Gimp 2.8 series lags compare to 2.6, on every desktop environment I tried ( and on more than 5 differents PC I tried ) . The main lag comes from the brush outliner ( bug report here ) ...  Also all the new  'on canvas' things (  traced fat ) just seems to refresh slowly or have five frame per second. This make a frustrating experience compare to 2.6 .I stopped to paint on Gimp after 3 years using it daily  for this.  But many awesome features as "single windows" , "cage transform", "group layer", "on canvas text editing" made the pills OK to eat. I use it occasionally to launch G'mic and some color filters nowadays.

✤ 5. Krita 2.5.2 :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install krita
Notes : Krita relies on a lot of library and is deeply mixed to KDE. I advice to update your whole system after installing this ppa.
sudo apt-get upgrade
If you use proprietary drivers, or Gfx driver, you may want to have the last stable :
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
KDE family  :  Krita run here without any problem.

All other family :  Krita may looks bad , I mean really bad themed , and color and also for the icons. You will need to install other package to configure it's 'look' and feel.
sudo apt-get install qt4-qtconfig systemsettings
With installing this 2 GUI you 'll have control over KDE apps theme.
- Run 'qtconfig' and set 'Appearence > Select GUI style > Oxygen'  , go in the menu, File > Save , then File > Exit
- Run 'systemsettings' and go to 'Appearence  > Icon '  you can install new icon theme with 'Get New Theme' to fit your actual D.E.system theme.

✰ Bonus ✰
my brushes Kit for Krita :

I pasted easy code lines to install them here :
Launch Krita, my preset and brushes will be at the end of the list

✤ 6. Open raster thumbnails :

I work mainly with open-raster file format. Having thumbnails is important to keep track of the version of the pictures I work on. Some D.E. have preview some not.

XFCE : have a *.ora thumbnailer, but Thunar display very little thumbnail in 'max' view size. Well it's an exellent move.
KDE :  If you have Krita installed, go into Dolphin ( File manager ) then on preferences to configure Dolphin. You can select the open raster preview on General > Preview
Gnome family : They will work when Mypaint save a *.ora. But not otherwise on Nautilus environment.

✤ Conclusion :

Here I use KDE for the moment and since 10 month, I'm happy with it because of the exclusive advanced features : Plasma widget , dualscreen management, Windows rules, multiple files rename in Dolphin , Cleaner file configuration , a mode running without openGL desktop effect for super performances,  a total control on every preferences , highly customisable , centralised forum and bugtracker and a good community.
My actual problems are with GTK application who behaves badly on it :  Oxygen-gtk problem ?  Not easy to guess. With Inkscape , Gimp and Mypaint , I'm forced to adopt an 'hybrid' system for GTK/KDE apps. But the split feels more and more accentuated. KDE 'buntus distribution are raw materials and need a lot of tweaking to enjoy it.  Default settings produce one of the worst desktop. But after customisation , it's for me the best. Better default would be great.

For Gnome based ( Unity / Cinammon / Gnome ), not enough configuration, missing *.ora thumbnails , hard to customise... XFCE is making is way nicely...

To end, I've heard about future other big breaking in the Linux desktops  ; 12.10 ?  Qt 5 ?  GTK+3 for XFCE ?  Wayland ?  I already feel bad for all the feature user will loose on the way ...

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1. lolko7

thursday 04 october 2012, 10:00

Thanks a lot. Great work !
Can You tell me which distro / which version: Mate or Cinnamon do You use ?

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thursday 04 october 2012, 10:42

Bonjour David,

Merci ce billet confirme ce que nous disions à nos lecteurs dans l'article qui vous a été consacré.

Attention, paramètrer KDE peut vite devenir addictif...

Le Magazine de la Création 3D avec Blender

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3. Marco

thursday 04 october 2012, 11:41

I've a partition with 12.10 since a long time. But I'm still using Ubuntu Natty and I would use it forever, but the support for updates will end this month.
I tried on 12.10: KDE, xfce, Gnome 3 with gnome-shell and fall back mode, Unity.
I haven't tried Cinnamon and Mate but... I think I'm going to stay with Gnome 3 Fallback mode. With some tweaks now is almost identical to my previous desktop.

Which configurations options are you missing on Gnome 3?

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thursday 04 october 2012, 15:48

How about use, instead of Mypaint, KolourPaint in KDE?
thursday 04 october 2012, 18:19

@lolko7 : In the conclusion I write it : I use KDE on the top of Ubuntu base : Kubuntu 12.04 : J'ai bien reçu le mail et l'URL de l'article ! Un grand merci ! super travail et désolé de mon retard de réponse. Merci encore! Oh oui, KDE est un vrai joujou , mon âme de perfectionnisme aime pouvoir faire des clics droits sur un peu prêt tout pour les ajuster à mon goût.

@Marco : Hey, you yep Natty was a pretty system ; before the G3 package mess. On Gnome, I miss *.ora/*.kra/*.xcf thumbnails. I also dislike the forced 'compositing' animation. They use a lot of display ressources, Digital painter need 'real time' movement. The Fall back mode proposed by Ubuntu sound good. I'm not sure they want to support it in the future, but for now it sound good. I also miss multiple rename of files, different task bar on multiscreen , icon customisation , script integration to file manager, file association, and many , many other tiny point I can find on KDE or XFCE.

@Jai : KoulourPaint , ha ha ha xD Good joke :-)
Still better than doing Ascii art in the terminal :D

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6. home

friday 05 october 2012, 00:28

Icon set worked.. using KFaenza :D
friday 05 october 2012, 07:39

@home : Good to know it worked also for you ;) ( KFaenza here too, I also think I'll contact the author to extend the icon set ; some apps still missing little picts , as Kdenlive )

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8. chops

sunday 07 october 2012, 03:27

gimp from git no longer lags and has 32 bit support

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9. Andre´

sunday 07 october 2012, 09:30

Here you can find a script that compiles latest GIMP for 12.04 and 12.10. Works for me! :)
sunday 07 october 2012, 11:37

@chops : Hey chops, yes, it's very recent (less than 1 day ago ? ) . I'm testing and give feedback on it this last days to the brillant, responsive and friendly Gimp developpers Alexia Death and Michael Natterer who work hard to get it solved ( thanks to them again ) ; yesterday the 'on cancas tools' (here) get 50% less lag after a commit. Full conversation here , re-opened 3 days ago : . For the moment I use the branch 2.8.3 where the change for performance are also made.

@Andre´ : Yes :) I also compile Gimp git here in /opt from time to time, but I do it manually. I used Zanchine script by the past , and it's a really good work.

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11. Marco

sunday 07 october 2012, 23:36

God I've seen the videos you posted on bugzilla and your customized KDE looks so good.
Do you know if KDE has an alternative for Shotwell? I love Shotwell because I can add multitags to pictures and is really fast.
I know I can still use it on KDE, but maybe is better to use something more integrated with KDE.
sunday 07 october 2012, 23:56

@Marco : Hey thanks for reading Gimp bugzilla. Big improvement are done :) A native KDE program for photos ? may be Gwenview ... but I don't know it enought to advice you. If shotwell does the job, you should simply install it in KDE. The integration is seamless when theming is set correctly.
Thanks for my desktop customisation ; I'll probaly do a blog post about simple KDE 'to-do' in my opinion after install to have a 2012 desktop :)

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13. Marco

thursday 11 october 2012, 16:07

I see that now Ubuntu has an option to donate money:

For a digital artist where the money should go? Better hardware support? Performance optimization? Community participation? Better support for xubuntu, kubuntu etc...? The first option to me is not very transparent.
I'd prefer to give the money to Mint or to KDE since I don't like Mark Shuttleworth's taste and strategy. But at the same time Mint has not the infrastructure that Canonical has, especially for packaging, security fixes and things like Launchpad.
But Mint community is more receptive and the things you mentioned above I think could be changed by the Mint community and also KDE community is very receptive.
I don't know... at the end open source is a mix of many things. And this donations' idea It's not like the Humble Bundle where you exactly know where the money goes: It goes to specific games that you like to support. And what I care most are the programs and good driver and GUI support for graphic tablets, dual monitors...for me Gnome2 was fine as it was. So where I donate the money in that list? I think is too vague...
thursday 11 october 2012, 22:54

@Marco : Hey Marco , I think I would advice you to donate to KDE for desktop ; it will support also KDE apps. Krita also have a donate button on the website, and developpers are paid to do specialised work ; refactoring, performances, bug tracking cleaning. I think they are really good with managing the money on the project. Just my input.
(PS: same here about Gnome2 desktop, desktop choice was simplier for me before )

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15. Marco

friday 12 october 2012, 13:59

I bought Krita DVD a while ago, though I still have to look at it. Krita I've now is old and too unstable. Many times I see the knotify error message.

Yes maybe I prefer to donate to KDE. I didn't even thought about it. I think they should promote donations a lot more. Distros get too much credit, while projects that are really making the software live in their shadow.
Probably the only project that is having a good strategy for donations is the Blender Foundation.
friday 12 october 2012, 14:31

@Marco :Sure, the Blender F. do a good job around it. Same observation about desktop environment living in the shadows of distributions. I'm happy the Gnome 3 project will do the Gnome Os distribution ( I still disn't read enough about it to know on what package system it will be based, etc.. ) . I really would like KDE and XFCE to do the same. So they can polish the desktop experience more ... or at least if the project decide to focus on a distribution and advice it.

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17. Marco

friday 12 october 2012, 14:51

As far as I understand the Gnome OS it's not meant to be a distro for users, you don't use it in a production environment. But it's like the shipment of a version to execute tests and receive bug reports and then later distros can incorporate it and give it to users.
I think the goal is to make it easier the communication between downstream and upstream. While now the Gnome guys develop and people download the alpha and beta versions shipped by the distros.
friday 12 october 2012, 15:07

@Marco : Oh, thanks for this information ; as you can see, I ignored a lot about it :)
Thats sound like a good strategy

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19. Marco

friday 12 october 2012, 15:20

Also it should be used by external developers to create software for Gnome.
I think the problem is that a lot of people think they want to create their OS and I don't know if people will test against their Gnome OS or they will still prefer to do tests on Ubuntu and similar distros.

Btw are you aware that there are companies like that sell computers with Ubuntu pre-installed and also offer their own support? For example if there is a new firmware for the webcam you use they put it in the updates.
I don't understand why Canonical don't publicize them a lot...since they pay Canonical for support. Or even why they don't buy them? People want easy solutions. The idea of a OEM Operating System can be good only for big companies like Microsoft and Google.
friday 12 october 2012, 16:15

@Marco : Sure for hardware support. My own computer is a product of it ; I bought a Dell Vostro 'Ubuntu certified' (it was at a time where the logo was visible on Dell website) and true, I can load any distribution of Linux, I'll never have an hardware problem for what is inside the computer box ; and live -CD works like a charm.
What I like, is also a website for hardware in France, LDLC where a lot of Linux user use the 'comment' of the product to add if the hardware is compatible, or link to the forum how to install. It's fine to buy a new laptop and see on comments ' work out of the box on Ubuntu 12.04' . I just wish this info was given directly by hardware manufacturer. How it cost ? just put a live CD, boot, do a bit of test and then says if its out of the box or not. Easy.

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21. Marco

friday 12 october 2012, 16:38

The problem with Dell, HP, Asus that sometimes they sell computers with Linux. But they don't advertise them and they sell the same computers also with Windows. So the user will always compare them: "I buy this laptop with Ubuntu...but at the same price (or for a few dollars more) I can have the same one with Windows and to install all that software that isn't available on Linux". So they choose the one with Windows.

There is the need of a computer with its own original design and on which you can't install Windows. So users can't compare them. Because at the moment Dell sold notebooks with Ubuntu like if the only advantage was the cheapness.
When you sell a computer that tights togheter Linux+Hardware (like Apple does with OSX) then you can say to hardware manufactures and third party software companies:
"Look I sold 10 millions of these computers... why when you sell your hardware you don't put my logo so people will know that your scanner, printer, graphic tablet will work out of the box on my computer? And you software developers why don't you port and test your products for my platform?"

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22. Michael R

sunday 14 october 2012, 11:27

David, are you saying Krita is to unstable, even on Linux? It struck me as the best painting option on Linux. I had only one real issue where files wouldn't save properly. Often a file would be missing a lot of work after reopening. What is your primary painting program?
sunday 14 october 2012, 14:12

@Marco : Yes the argument of FOSS is still about the price into the industry, and because of lower ( non existant ) price , considerered as bad . I don't think it will change. This is how industry made up the mind of potential buyer into our society , in my humble opinion.

@Michael R : Krita 2.5 is still alpha on Windows, so experimental and unstable. On Linux , it's stable. No major problem, exept what I describe into my article above who are environment problems ( theme / icons ). Krita is in my opinion the best painting application, and also my main tool.
I use it more than 8h each day with Mypaint since January ( I work on a lot of freelances comissions, unfortunately , I can't show them on my blog cause of non-disclosure agreement everywhere ).

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24. Michael R.

sunday 14 october 2012, 17:36

David, don't know why my post had a double. Maybe something to do with the PS3 browser. So, you've never had issues with work being lost after a save? it happened to me on the Kubuntu Distro. Projects will just lose elements of the sketch or paint...constantly. I really started to like the Linux Mint distro.

You have any inside track info on how long before the Windows version is expected to be stable?

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25. Marco

monday 15 october 2012, 11:32

I have a partition with Ubuntu 12.04 and KDE. But it's a KDE that is using Neon repository which should use just for testing since it uses the nightly builds.
I tried to add the backports repository and follow the instructions. But at then when I do login I see only the NEON version. I think that probably now I've a mixed enviroment.
Is there a way to clean Ubuntu and to have just the backport's stuff?
Or is it better to reinstall the entire OS?
monday 15 october 2012, 17:50

@Marco : Hey, try to look at purge-ppa ; it can delete package from a ppa, and replace them by package available ( you can purge Neon with it )

@Michael R. : I had some slowdown lastly on my website, due to my hosting service, it was tech issue at OVH. I don't know when the Windows version will be stable for Krita. Krita-sketch will be stable and delivered soon I think ( this christmass ?) and on Windows for primary delivery.
For issue about saving, I never had. If you have one, or a corrupted file, bugreport, this are major data loss ; the worst bug.
( btw, on Kubuntu, sometime Dolphin doesn't refresh the saved file on the file explorer ; you need to press F5 )

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27. Marco

tuesday 16 october 2012, 19:51

I purged, I reinstalled...but at login doesn't show anymore KDE as an option.

I've tried's really impressive. The Illustration filter (I don't remember the exact name because I'm back on Natty) it's incredible, now I understand how some people on DeviantArt got that effect. Too bad it takes a while, even if in the preferences I'm using 4 threads I see it's using mostly only 1 core.
tuesday 16 october 2012, 21:15

@Marco : Ouch for KDE removed. It also happened to me when I had to remove a MySQL component, and the package had some dependency with whole KDE , so, it uninstalled KDE package. Your desktop customisation on KDE is safe ( under ~/.kde/ ) I think you can reinstall the package with a 'sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop' to have it back ( it's a meta package with all the dependency of KDE package ).
For the conference now in Turin, I installed on my laptop XFCE 4.10 on the top of Kubuntu, and my laptop run faster this way.I'm impressed, and will have a look more in depht to XFCE asap.

For G'mic, I did a workshop on it today. I love here the Color > Lab > Slider brighness contrast : so easy to boost the light on a scene.
Yes, too bad it's a 1 core centric ; but I also meet next month the main developper, so I will ask him about his future project. I'll surely blog post about it.

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29. Marco

wednesday 17 october 2012, 01:13

OK thx it worked

Well now I'll try to make it look better

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30. Marco

friday 19 october 2012, 23:50

Have you ever tried ? it's for notebooks, but maybe will make the desktop lighter. It's a rolling release, it means that once installed you don't have to upgrade every 6 months.
friday 19 october 2012, 23:57

@Marco : Hey, about the rolling release , Razor-Qt is not a distrib, but a desktop environment. I tested it one year ago. I will have a look again. I'm back from Turin, and tested an hour ago Manjaro ; a Xfce distrib based on Arch Linux . It's really well polished, and I'm being seduced. ^ ^

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32. Marco

saturday 20 october 2012, 00:06

Welcome back. Yes I knew it wasn't a distro, but it was defined as a half-rolling release in the place that linked to it.
I tried KDE and I'd prefer a lighter environment. Or a tutorial to make it much simpler than it is now.

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33. Marco

thursday 15 november 2012, 00:55

Today for the first time I placed a glass on my intuos4 and I tried to trace it to make a circle on screen. I've noticed that it came out an eclipse. I tried this on Ubuntu 12.10 and 11.04, same result.
My monitor has a resolution of 1920x1080 and I have an nvidia graphic card. What can be possibly wrong? Which settings file have I to look for?
Or maybe is it normal that it happens?
thursday 15 november 2012, 03:27

@Marco : hey Marco ; this happen when the ratio of the height and width of the tablet is different than the ratio of the screen. I see you have a 16/9 screen , and probably a 16/10 tablet (intuos4 series are 16/10 afaik) . With xsetwacom , there is the 'area' parameter you can tweak to set the right proportion ( you will loose a band of active area on the tablet ).
I had a 16/9 screen by the past, but I hated the ratio , I bought back a 16/10 now. In my old script I still have the code to make a Intuos4 Medium proportionnal to a 16/9 screen ( I can't test it , I hope my file wasn't wrong ) :
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 stylus" Area 0 0 25146 44704
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 eraser" Area 0 0 25146 44704
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 cursor" Area 0 0 25146 44704

and in conferences, for a 4/3 projector :
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 eraser" Area 0 0 37200 27940
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 stylus" Area 0 0 37200 27940
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 cursor" Area 0 0 37200 27940

default value :
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 eraser" Area 0 0 44704 27940
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 stylus" Area 0 0 44704 27940
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 cursor" Area 0 0 44704 27940

Also, the KDE tablet GUI have a 'force proportion' check box who does it automatically. I hope Gnome tablet applet will have it soon too.

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35. Marco

thursday 15 november 2012, 11:12

Thank you.

Ok I went to KDE and I was able to use "force proportion". Also I'm left handed, there isn't an option for left handed like on gnome, but at the end I just need to select rotate Half. Now the proportions are correct.
To configure the tablet buttons I had to use my script, the GUI for that doesn't seem to work correctly. Later I'll see how to set up the LEDs as I did on 11.04 with Gnome.
I'll have to configure the joypad, I hope it will work.

It will be hard for me to get used to KDE. It's not my kind of desktop. But at least is configurable.

Now I understand why it was so hard to draw circles. I feel so dumb. I had this tablet for about 2-3 years and I noticed that proportions were wrong only yesterday.
I've some problems to get used to KDE.
thursday 15 november 2012, 13:58

@Marco : I understand , Kde need a little time to adapt ; but you can also try to go to preferences of each things and set it to work as you want. Here my 'dolphin' behaves like a nautilus for exemple, and I removed all anim and all effect to have a 2D desktop. For the LED ; I use this :

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37. Marco

friday 16 november 2012, 22:25

If someone is not using KDE4 the line to have the right proportions for an intuos 4 on a 16/9 monitor is:
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 stylus" Area 70 65 44704 25146

Sadly on 12.04 since yesterday the tablet isn't working well. If I select a brush on mypaint and I press too much when I move the pen it moves the icons. When I draw sometimes I can keep far the pen from the tablet and it keeps drawing. I deleted .mypaint but the problem remained.
I don't know if it was caused by the Ubuntu updates. It was a few days I wasn't installing updates because I didn't use the 12.04 that much. It happens both in KDE and in Unity.
friday 16 november 2012, 22:36

@Marco : Thanks for the feedback. Here I'm also on 12.04 packages ( via a Linux Mint 13 KDE tweaked to receive Kubuntu and ubuntu package, so very similar ) and my Intuos is ok. I'll probably move on the next reinstall to a XFCE system; I still need to test newer Ubuntu studio , I'm charmed with the idea of a distro with XFCE + nautilus as a file browser.
I also keep an eyes on the release of the next XFCE Linux Mint. Hope your problem with tablet will go away soon.

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39. Marco

saturday 17 november 2012, 01:26

Problem solved. I was wrong, it was happening in Natty too.

And the problem was that I tried a new nib yesterday, exactly this one:

Only with this nib I have this problem
saturday 17 november 2012, 02:55

@Marco : Nice to know it was only an hardware problem. I was affraid of a regression on the 12.04 LTS package :)

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saturday 17 november 2012, 09:15

David add this script in the list for users of Core i7 / Nehalem and others that Laptop goes in shutdown after reaching 80`C. And if you can make some LinuxMint admins to include it by default in init.d will be perfect for people to use it. *Usable for HP,DELL and other brands of laptops that don`t have this control in bios. *I`m stuck with Windows audio hardware is not supported on Linux correctly for audio production (ASIO and VST/VSTi no real alternative exists).

Found this info and I share it for the others :)

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42. Anonymous

tuesday 11 december 2012, 13:17

Hello, have you thought of tweaking your graphic tablet to match the drawing on the screen 1:1? Not just the ratio, but also the length and width. The math involved is rather simple:

1) set the stylus and eraser to relative mode
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 stylus" mode Relative
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 eraser" mode Relative

2) match your graphic tablet aspect ratio with screen aspect ratio
e.g. Intuos 4 medium is 16:10 and the screen is 16:9 (1920x1080 pixels)

2.1) we need to know default Intuos active area values:
xsetwacom get "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 stylus" area
= "0 0 44704 27940"

2.2) the ratio of screen is (16:9) = 1.777777778 = 1920 ÷ 1080

2.3) the same ratio (16:9) on Intuos is therefore:
44704 ÷ 1.777777778 = 25146

2.4) set the stylus and eraser to 16:9 aspect ratio
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 stylus" area "0 0 44704 25146"
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 eraser" area "0 0 44704 25146"

3) for 1:1 movement we will use deceleration (assuming that graphic tablet is smaller than screen)

3.1) we need to know exact tablet drawing area, in our example Intuos 4 medium has dimensions 223.5 x 139.7 mm (*note, the surface sheet is usually larger than the actual area there you can draw)
These pages should give you reliable specs for Intuos3/4 -- and

3.2) screen dimensions:
use command "cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep dimensions" or look at product specs
let's say that our imaginary 1920x1080 16:9 screen has dimensions 476.64 x 268.11 mm

3.3) knowing physical characteristics of the screen and tablet all we have left to do is divide screen width with tablet drawing area width:
476.64 ÷ 223.5 = 2.13261745

3.4) and set this deceleration for eraser and stylus:
xinput --set-prop "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 stylus" "Device Accel Constant Deceleration" "2.13261745"
xinput --set-prop "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 eraser" "Device Accel Constant Deceleration" "2.13261745"

*note: don't forget "xset m 1 1" or set acceleration and threshold (shown as "sensitivity") to 1 and 1px in mouse settings and check the results yourself with something, like for example with markings on paper.

Everything written here might contain fatal mistakes.

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43. Tyson

wednesday 02 january 2013, 05:03

Hello, I'm running this setup on Kubuntu 12.10 and it works well. However recently I switched to a non wacom tablet that uses the evdev or wizardpen drivers and pressure sensitivity no longer works with krita or blender. as far as I can tell it seems to be a compatibility issue with qt. Short of recompiling a bunch of stuff, which is beyond me, I can't seem to find a workaround. Any help would be appreciated with fixing this somehow.
wednesday 02 january 2013, 18:29

@Tyson : Hi Tyson, thanks for the feedback. I'm sorry to hear the support of other brand of tablet is not a happy situation on Linux. But I can't help you as I never owned those tablets. Here I keep buying and advising tablet Wacom ( version -1 current ) to be sure the driver is well supported.
Good luck ; maybe a developper will have the problem and solve it; or the brand of your tablet produce a Linux driver in a near future.
If you want to make move things, you can take your time and repport it ; on launchpad and KDE bugtracker, as well as on Blender tracker. With this developpers should be at least notified of the issue.

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45. Tyson

friday 04 january 2013, 04:51

Thanks for the effort, and I'll be sure to report the bug. I would stick with wacom but the larger tablets are price prohibitive for me as an amateur.

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46. Bruno George de Moraes

sunday 20 january 2013, 16:54

Awesome work, as for real-time is good for painting have you tried adding "threadirqs" to your kernel commandline like:

sunday 20 january 2013, 21:21

@Bruno George de Moraes : Hey, thanks for the tip. I tried Ubuntu Studio who has a real time kernel, and for sure that was a bit smoother on my old laptop. But I thought it was mainly because of lightweight XFCE. Good to know it may also affect

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48. EscapedNight

thursday 14 february 2013, 23:13

Do you think wacom is best for digital painting or other pen-tablets (which ubuntu/linux often call the WizardPen tablets- can do the job flawlessly too?
At end it's the artist's capacity to create an art but still there is so much hype about Wacom and it costs much than just any other tablets.
Ofcourse the intuos or cintiq has higher and more sensitive functionality - that is undeniable, but I'm asking the comparison between the Bamboo series and other non-wacom tablets.
friday 15 february 2013, 08:08

@EscapedNight : Every tablets are fine. With minimum of 512 level pressure, and a good resolution / size.
The problem on Linux, is Wacom will work mostly out-of-the-box , while you'll get hard time with other . ( ex ; on Krita, non wacom user have to build/patch Qt manually ).
It's just a choice.
Here I advice Wacom, Intuos series. The price worth them. I even think it's not really high compare to what musician have to pay to got a good instrument.

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50. EscapedNight

friday 15 february 2013, 09:34

Yeah That's right.. I thought later - wacom would be a secure choice.
Thank you :)
And yeah musician thing is absolutely right :D Even a good starter violin or guitar costs more than wacom

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51. EscapedNight

friday 15 february 2013, 20:50

Just another thing.... I was reading few things like in Qt5, it is dropping support for Wacom. And they don't support other tablets either. So How on earth, they think one will use/paint on Krita? :P
friday 15 february 2013, 22:08

@EscapedNight : Ha, that was a rumor ( fake ) who spreaded well. But they won't drop it. Also, too big clients use Qt for graphic apps nowaday : Thefoundry for Mari and Nuke , Daz for Poser, Adobe for Photoshop Element, Real Flow, Maxwell , Autodesk Maya... etc... etc... I don't think they would let no tablet support on it :)

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53. EscapedNight

friday 15 february 2013, 22:28

Ah that's a relief to know :)
Thank you a hundred times :D

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54. Bruno George Moraes

monday 11 march 2013, 04:06


To improve things further check the BFQ IO patch.
Demonstration here

Also the BFS cpu scheduler is awesome. To use both check:

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saturday 12 april 2014, 20:25

Bonjour David,

Merci beaucoup pour toutes ces infos / tutos / aides... Quand j'ai commencé à me lancer sur Linux avec Lubuntu, je dois avouer qu'au départ, les astuces pour se servir d'une wacom cintiq m'ont plutôt effrayées et je pensais ne pas vraiment pouvoir continuer mes créations graphiques sur cet OS et avec ces tablettes, et du coup, je suis resté essentiellement sur Windows 7 pour dessiner.
Peu de temps après, j'ai découvert un plus Krita (plutôt par hasard) et quand je l'ai testé la première fois, le désastre. Le logiciel était extrêmement lent et instable (j'étais sur Cinnamon). Du coup, j'ai abandonné jusqu'à ce que je n'installe en plus KDE. Mais là, je ne sais pas si c'est moi, le PC et l'environnement de bureau, mais KDE s'est mis à devenir lui-même instable. Alors, j'ai désinstallé / réinstallé KDE avec Kubuntu 13.04, mais encore une fois, environnement instable, mon ordinateur s'éteignait tout seul, sans raison, au bout de 20-30 minutes. Comme ça.
Bref, tout récemment, je me suis mis cette fois sous Ubuntu studio 13.10 et là, j'ai été surpris de voir que Krita était présent alors que j'étais sous XFCE et plus surprenant encore, qu'il fonctionnait parfaitement, comme sous KDE.
Alors aussi, j'ai remarqué qu'une nouvelle version de Krita était sortie, entre temps. Du coup, je me suis demandé, comme il me semble que vous participez au développement de ce programme, sauriez-vous si c'est la nouvelle mise à jour qui est plus stable sur les environnements de bureau ? Ou peut-être que c'est moi qui ai mal installé Krita sur les autres environnements la première fois (J'avais pensé à installer qt4-qtconfig systemsettings comme vous nous l'aviez conseillé sur cette page-ci) ? Ou alors, serait-ce les développeurs d'Ubuntu studio qui ont fait un sacré bon travail pour intégrer Krita dans un environnement XFCE ?
Bref, j'ai du coup pu tester Krita et j'avoue que j'ai vraiment adoré ce logiciel ! C'est vraiment un bon mélange de ce que j'aime sur Photohop et ce que j'aime sur Paint tool sai, même si je dois reconnaître que les outils vectoriels de Lineart de Sai me manquent beaucoup. Le logiciel a quand même encore quelques instabilités (à un moment j'ai du recommencer ce que j'avais dessiné parce qu'il a planté quand j'ai voulu tester un filtre), mais globalement, il est juste super ! =D
En revanche, j'ai aussi remarqué que vous proposiez votre kit de brosses ici, mais le lien sur lequel vous nous renvoyez a l'air mort.

Bref, encore merci pour tout ! Vos indications m'ont beaucoup aidé et je commence à prendre plaisir à enfin dessiner sur Linux ! =D

tuesday 15 april 2014, 22:27

@Akelun : cool pour le retour sur Ubuntu Studio ; ça fait pas mal de temps que je l'ai essayer. Ici , j'évite XFCE parceque la calibration de la Cintiq et celle de la sonde colorimetrique serait a gerer via le terminal ; et comme c'est une chose que je dois faire tous les mois , une interface graphique comme celle de Gnome me convient.
Pour Krita dans les autres environnements de bureaux , les dernières versions s'en sorte beaucoups mieux. Grace au travail que les developpeurs ont fait pour l'adapter à Windows.
Bonne continuation ! Ca risque de rester toujours un peu rock'n' roll sous Linux, il faut toujours garder de la patience :-)

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