Linux 5.20 To Support The XP-PEN Deco L Drawing Tablet

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 18 June 2022 at 05:45 AM EDT. 5 Comments
HARDWARE --
The XP-PEN Deco L is a recently launched graphics drawing tablet with its Linux support backed by a user-space binary blob package. But thanks to some USB reverse engineering from a community developer and discovering the hardware's "magic data" needed for initialization, this drawing tablet will be supported by a proper kernel driver in the next Linux kernel cycle.

The official XP-PEN Linux driver remains a binary-only package with a generic tarball as well as a Debian and RPM package shipping a user-space "pentablet" binary for supporting these USB-based tablets. The user-space package is limited to x86_64 and ships its own Qt5 libraries and XP-PEN's Linux support is designed to just support GIMP and Darktable. It's a sad state for Linux driver support in 2022 and more akin to the spotty IHV Linux support from two decades ago.


The official user-space binary package...


Thankfully José Expósito has managed to reverse-engineer support for the XP-PEN Deco L into the "uclogic" Linux HID driver to provide a proper kernel driver for these new drawing tablets. The uclogic kernel driver has supported prior XP-PEN tablets but special handling is needed for the Deco L.


The magic data.


Expósito commented in the patch now in HID for-next: "The XP-PEN Deco L (UGEE) needs to be initialized by sending a buffer of magic data, discovered by sniffing the Windows driver traffic...After initialization, the template report descriptors can be discovered by parsing a string descriptor, similar to the one exposed by HUION v1 devices. Add all the required elements to support the device."


XP-PEN Deco L models


With that patch in HID's for-next Git branch, it's material for the Linux 5.20 cycle later this summer. The XP-PEN Deco L is a 10 x 6 inch drawing tablet and pricing starts at $69.99.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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