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Linux drivers

It shows on your main site that you support many opensource graphical software options but doesn't include any information about tablet drivers on Linux.


Note written on June 8th 2020



I'd like to bring your attention to two projects:



Option 1:


The digimend project


Offers Huion and other tablet drivers on Linux not supported by the Xwacom project. Most of the time its is "hit or miss".  Its missing some functionality on Huion tablets but on the plus side it more or less already "works out of the box" since its been merged into the kernel.


To get the most of it you have to manually add your specific tablets features and map the digitizer to the monitor you want using the command line. Since it just assumes your targeting all of your monitors. The pen works, so do the buttons. Mapping the buttons varies from super simple to to being a pain depending on what your using. Pen tilt and touch strips don't work.


This is an older project and receives less active development.



Option 2:


Huion linux drivers


Offers only drivers for Huion tablets. Unlike the digimend drivers these drivers fully support the Huion features per model, including Pen tilt and touch strips. The buttons have also been pre-mapped and you can select different mappings per application when installing the drivers.


It doesn't currently "work out of the box" on Linux since you have to install it and it is not yet merged with the kernel. To get the most of it you still have to map it to the monitor you want to use just like the digimend drivers.


Right now during installation you have to select your tablet model, however in the near future of the project it should automatically detect your model  when its plugged in and "work out of the box" after the driver is installed.


After using both drivers this project is currently the obvious choice the future for quality Huion support on Linux.  Honestly if you were to officially support Linux via a opensource project this would be the one to currently approach.


I hope your reach out to them and at least make resource available to answer any questions they might have. With really minimal support you could see this project fully developed to cover all of your tablets and mainlined into the Linux kernel so they all "work out of the box" with full functionality.


Additionally with minimal advocacy by reaching out to projects like KDE, Gnome, Krita, Gimp, Inkscape, Blender and other opensource projects you could get near parity or possibly even better software support on Linux than Wacom currently has.


This a new project and receives active development.



Side note 1 - Monitors - :


Linux handles monitor drivers separately from the digitizer, pen, buttons, touch strip, or touch screen. Which is why you have to manually configure it or have an external app manage it. Its honestly a small issue that a super simple GUI app could fix.


Options sort of exist for this already but they mainly support Wacoms, either reaching out to those GUI utility developers - mainly the gnome and kde projects - could fix the issue, if they don't do it themselves by their own initiative in the future.


Side note 2 - GUI utilities -:


Just like mentioned above most GUI utilities for configuring or calibrating drawing tablets on Linux were originally developed to support the Xwacom driver, Since quality alternative hardware used to be a rarity. However for most of these projects adding support for Huion models using the Huion Linux divers shouldn't be major a issue in the future since they essentially function very similar.


In fact some non-wacom tablets can already be used with some such GUI tools.

Sometimes there already exists a way to manually add non-wacom tablets. Occasionally they also provide support by fooling Xwacom into believing their wacom tablets if their hardware is compatible enough.


In the future these GUI apps should add additional specific support for non-wacom tablets once the individual brands indicate they want to support drawing tablets on Linux or Wacoms industry competitors have acquired more mindshare and are a more matured marketforce. To do so before at least one of these two things happen would be a waste of community resources for their projects and as a result it is a "low priority" for them. However if Huion formalized any sort of support standards on Linux by aligning with one project or the other should be a clear indicator your interested in support from the Linux desktop community.


Right now most Huion configuration is done via the command line during installation, such as button and monitor mapping. Most calibration if done, is done within each specific app - like pressure curves in Krita for example - because at that level their tablet agnostic and less specific with less control. This could all be much more simple and specific with an external GUI utility app though, just like pointed out above which exists for Xwacom.


Side note 3 - Color profiling and calibration -:


On Linux color profiling and calibration for Huion devices is already supported via software such as DisplayCal and ArgyllCMS. It is essentially no different than calibrating any other monitor on Linux because they treat the tablet monitor exactly the same as they would any other monitor.


Side note 4 - Wine and Windows targeted software -:


On Linux by using wine you can run Windows targeted software such as photoshop for example. If your driver is supported by Linux, then it should behave the same within Wine and Windows targeted software that would normally be able support it.


So drawing tablets drivers which are configured and calibrated in Linux should behave the same in photoshop running via wine and not require any additional software, drivers, or configuration.



Conclusion:


I just wanted to point out the current availability and level of support on Linux. That way you and your customers can have a general rough idea about the current level of community support you can expect on Linux.


It clearly is supported with some minor issues that can mostly be addresses with some effort if you can follow instructions.


Honestly its pretty good if you can get past the installation, and configuration using the command line. However It isn't something that I would currently recommend to people uncomfortable with the command line though, which is the major difference between Huion and Wacom products on Linux right now in my opinion.




Please note:  This is a generalization of my opinion and is not meant to be a guide, please check the linked projects and search online in detail to make sure your hardware is supported.


Some specifics about software outside of the drivers may or may not be explicitly correct and the details I have provided may not be totally complete. Your personal experiences may vary from mine.


I am not  a developer of any of the mentioned projects or software, there may be information outside of the scope of this generalized forum post of which I am unaware of or which is implemented differently then described when exhaustively reviewed.


Additionally while I can say that the Linux community is generally optimistic about new hardware support and participation with businesses I do not want you to take my opinion about how the community may or may not react as grantee of  each independent Linux projects or developers opinions, future actions, or support.


Much what I have written above in the regard of the Linux communities efforts is generalized speculation and opinion. You would have to enter into a conversation directly with them and ask them directly to know their opinions or future intentions.

1 Comment

Hi  Sean Neil , Thank you for your feedback, we are appreciated with it!


Kindly note that we will report the issue to our technical department and try to improve our products, thank you for your support!


Best regards, 

HUION Customer Support



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