X11 Tablet Support On Mac

XQuartz, the cutting edge version of Apple’s X11.app, supports pressure-sensitive tablets as of the latest version, 2.3.0. Or so says the page — I have not personally confirmed this yet.

This could finally put to rest my Linux twitchiness if it turns out to work!

UPDATE: I can confirm, through the xinput commandline tool, that it does now get pressure and location data. However, as noted here by Jeremy Huddleston, GTK and therefore the Gimp and Inkscape are not receiving that data, for reasons which are unclear. Furthermore, with this New Hotness working, you can’t use the tablet the way you used to be able to — as a mouse. Because tablet taps don’t register as mouse clicks.

So a threshold has been crossed, but this whole wacom/XQuartz thing is still not ready for prime time.

And it’s a total hassle to uninstall XQuartz once you installed it (you have to blow X11 away completely and reinstall from your OS X install DVD.)

UPDATE 2: “Total hassle” doesn’t begin to describe it. Despite having reinstalled from the DVD per instructions, X11 doesn’t work at all anymore. I’m not sure what I can do to restore it short of a total OS reinstall from the DVD, restoring my stuff from my Time Machine backup. Ouch.


I did the reinstall. X11 stopped working. Apparently a bug in Apple’s 10.5.3/4 combo update hoses X11 completely. Guess what the recommended fix is?

Install xquartz from macosforge. WHICH IS WHAT STARTED THE DAMN PROBLEM.

I’m going to try an earlier version of Xquartz (2.2.3) in the hopes that I get the fix without hosing my tablet in X11 again.


Just confirming that installing the next-to-last release of Xquartz (2.2.3) brought things back to normal. Geez, and I think of Linux as being full of bullshit technical hoops to jump through!

1 thought on “X11 Tablet Support On Mac”

  1. “Geez, and I think of Linux as being full of bullshit technical hoops to jump through!”

    My sentiments exactly ;)
    I thought image processing would become easier after switching to a mac … but I suppose that’s only true, if you’re used to paying big bucks for the software. Now what? Install a virtualbox with ubuntu on it to do image processing? … unbelievable.

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