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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Joy Touch - P1120 Touchscreen on 2.6 Kernel in Ubuntu

[UPDATE 2006/4/22: Download the driver here: joytouch-1.2.tgz. I'd still appreciate an email just to let me know it's working ok.]
[UPDATE 2007/5/19: Seems to work fine on Ubuntu Feisty 7.04]
[UPDATE 2007/12/21: Apparently works in Ubuntu Gusty (tested on xfce)]

The 2.6 Linux kernel for some reason now treats my touch screen as a joystick, which means my old config no worky any more. While I made some progress in locating and/or creating an updated driver, the whole embeded driver approach is a pain in the ass, both to maintain and to configure, so I've come up with a simpler solution.

One of the extensions provided in the default Ubuntu Xorg distribution is a module called XTEST, which offers a dirt simple way of injecting mouse events. So I just wrote a little standalone, user-space application that reads the touch screen, calibrates the values appropriately, and sends them on to the X server. Pretty obvious (once you know XTEST exists--it's pretty obscure), and it seems to work just fine.

So, for all you Googlers with P1120's (or any other pointer device that presents as a joystick) trying to get your touchscreen working under Ubuntu (or any distribution using a 2.6 linux kernel), I may have your solve. For now just send me an email and I'll send you the app and if people are happy with it I'll clean it up a little more and post it here. Download it from the link at the top of this page.

It includes a graphical calibration utility which you should run once to calibrate it to your particular screen, but that's it for config -- no mussing with the X configuration at all. Just run the program, and suddenly your touch screen works.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com