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Disabling Wacom Bamboo touch in Linux


I use a Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch with Skritter to practice Chinese characters, and would strongly recommend this combination for anyone studying Chinese or Japanese.

However, I find that I never use the tablet’s touch functionality, and that it’s actually quite annoying as I keep accidentally touching it and causing various problems.

To disable the touch functionality in Windows or Mac is very easy as there’s a settings GUI included with the drivers. On Linux, you need to get terminal open. The first command you want is:

xsetwacom --list devices

This will produce a list of Wacom devices currently detected, so you can get the ID for the touch functionality. The list will look something like this:

Wacom BambooPT 2FG 4x5 Pen eraser    id: 9    type: ERASER
Wacom BambooPT 2FG 4x5 Pen stylus    id: 10    type: STYLUS
Wacom BambooPT 2FG 4x5 Finger pad    id: 11    type: PAD
Wacom BambooPT 2FG 4x5 Finger touch    id: 12    type: TOUCH

The one you want is “type: TOUCH”. In my case the ID is 12. Then type the following command to switch off touch:

xsetwacom set 12 touch off

Replace the ID 12 with whatever ID number you get from your list of devices.

If you want to switch touch back on again, the command is simply:

xsetwacom set 12 touch on


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  • http://panduaji.com Panduaji

    Thank for the tutorial, i’ve writen about it on my blog using Bahasa. Once again, thank a lot :)
    http://www.panduaji.net/2012/07/mematikan-touch-wacom-di-ubuntu.html

    • http://eastasiastudent.net/about Hugh Grigg

      No problem!

  • http://www.speakerbuilder.dk Henrik Høegh

    A small script using the above method.

    #Turn off touch.
    id=`xsetwacom –list devices|grep TOUCH|cut -c 40-41`
    echo $id
    xsetwacom set $id touch off

    #Turn on touch.
    id=`xsetwacom –list devices|grep TOUCH|cut -c 40-41`
    echo $id
    xsetwacom set $id touch on

    Check that the cut input fits your distro.

    • http://eastasiastudent.net/about Hugh Grigg

      That looks really useful, thanks for sharing it!

      Update:

      To get it working on Linux Mint 14, I used:

      #Turn off touch.
      id=`xsetwacom --list devices|grep TOUCH|cut -c 40-42`
      echo $id
      xsetwacom set $id touch off

  • Eukleyv Cardoso

    Thanks this helped a lot. But is there a way to make it permanent? Everytime I switch off the PC or the Tablet after turning on I have to type this codes again.

    Thanks one more time

    • http://eastasiastudent.net/about Hugh Grigg

      You could set up the script given above to run at startup. How to do that varies by distro, but there will definitely be guides if you Google for it.

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