Ubuntu on HP Touchsmart tm2

Posted by Timo Kluck on zo 10 oktober 2010

Update January 10, 2011: Read my latest post for some updates.

Encouraged by this post I recently bought HP's tablet PC the "touchsmart tm2-2000" and installed Maverick on it. The support has been improved since Brian's post so I thought I'd share my experience.

The biggest improvement is that touch, multi-touch and the pen now work out of the box. The only thing that is a bit awkward is that when you rotate the screen display, the touch and pen input forget to rotate along. I made a small program that monitors screen rotation and rotates these input devices accordingly. I hope that others can benefit so here's install instructions (type the following into a terminal):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tkluck/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wacomrotator

There's still a bug that sometimes the backlight does not come on when you start your computer. That's pretty bad because the screen is really unreadable when the backlight is off. Here's the bugreport. My workaround for now is to rotate the screen when this happens; for some reason this makes the backlight come on.

Another thing I noticed was that the pen input seemed to be shaky when you have closed the lid with the screen in front ('tablet mode'). It turns out that the back of the screen accidently triggers the touchpad. You can just disable the touchpad to work around this. Actually, the script above already does this when you rotate the screen display (because I only and always rotate the display when going into tablet mode).

Also, multi-touch on the trackpad does not work out of the box. You can tweak the settings of the Synaptics driver to do this. Put the following in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-two-finger-scroll-touchsmart-tm2.conf

Section "InputClass"
   Identifier "enable synaptics SHMConfig" 
   MatchIsTouchpad "on"  
   MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
   Driver "synaptics"
   Option "SHMConfig" "on"
   Option "EmulateTwoFingerMinW" "5"
   Option "EmulateTwoFingerMinZ" "60"
   Option "VertTwoFingerScroll" "1"
   Option "HorizTwoFingerScroll" "1"

(I got these tips from this bugreport). The driver seems to forget these settings once in a while; I think gnome-settings-mouse interferes. If I found out what to do about it, I'll edit here. For now, I just type this into a command line whenever scrolling stops working:

synclient VertTwoFingerScroll=1
synclient HorizTwoFingerScroll=1

Maverick now ships with the vga_switcheroo module compiled into the kernel. That means that you can actually choose whether you want to use the ATi or the Intel videocard. The drivers for the latter seem to work better, so I chose that one. I put the line

echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

into /etc/rc.local to turn of the ATi card. That saves a lot of battery!

What you should most definitely do is install Xournal (it's in the Ubuntu Software Center) by Denis Auroux. It is a note-taking application that lets you write in a notebook with the pen. There's also a very useful patch by Rumen Zarev that gives you the option to ignore touch. Of course Ubuntu always ignores touch when the pen is near the screen, but you also don't want to draw accidental lines when you rest your hand on the screen. I put a patched package into my ppa:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tkluck/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xournal