Wacom Jitter Fix (for Linux) :: 01 Jan 2010

My Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet has been exceptionally jittery on my Lenovo ThinkPad. I assume this is probably caused by EM noise from the computer (though I'm not sure). [Update: it's actually caused by a noisy power supply.] Today I decided I should try to fix that.

Here's an image to demonstrate the problem (click to enlarge):

On Ubuntu, there's a package called wacom-tools that includes a configuration utility named xsetwacom. The xsetwacom utility has a couple parameters to help against noise: RawSample and Suppress. RawSample allows you to adjust the number of samples taken from the tablet before the coordinates are committed to the mouse pointer on screen. Suppress prevents the mouse pointer from moving unless it has been moved by a given amount. So, all you need to do is tune those parameters to something that works well for your setup. I found the following to be acceptable:

xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 4x5" RawSample 9
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 4x5" Suppress 10

Note that those commands are specifically for the Wacom BambooFun 4x5 tablet. You will probably need to replace that part with something else. You can find out what you should replace it with by executing this command and looking over its output:

xidump --list

Now, I wanted these commands to be run automatically every time I logged in, so I created a small script at ~/.local/bin/wacom_init and put the following in it:

#!/bin/sh
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 4x5" RawSample 9
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 4x5" Suppress 10

Finally, I went in my menu to System → Preferences → Startup Applications and created an entry to automatically run the command /home/david/.local/bin/wacom_init.

All done!