Does a touchscreen work on Linux

A simple industrial touchscreen driver for Linux Ubuntu

The customers of our industrial touchscreens are increasingly using the Linux Ubuntu open source operating system. Ubuntu has grown to be a versatile, easy-to-configure environment with a large community and massive support from Canonical. We have seen customers use Linux more and more in the industrial environment, and in the past few years Ubuntu has taken the lead. In addition to the standard Linux driver provided by Elo, Ubuntu users now have a very simple touchscreen driver solution that does not require any new software.

Update Jan. 2018 - for a more recent overview of the compatibility of Hope Industrial touchscreens with Linux operating systems, see this post.

The easiest connection interface for using your touchscreen with Ubuntu is via USB. You'll find that most Hope Industrial Systems touchscreens respond instantly to touch when plugged into an Ubuntu 12.04 system, albeit with an inverted Y-axis. The standard Ubuntu desktop installation comes with the "Xorg touchscreen driver" that uses the Xinput protocol. This ensures that our touchscreens are immediately ready for use with Ubuntu. The only trick is to calibrate the screen to correct the cursor inversion and align the cursor precisely with your finger.

If you open the Ubuntu Software Center and search for “calibrate touchscreen,” the first result will be a software package with the same name. The actual name of the program is Xinput_Calibrator and is alternatively supported by several other Linux variants. Visit the Linux website for more information. Simply install the package by clicking “Install”. When the process is complete, an icon should be created in your launcher. After the installation is complete, start the calibration by clicking the symbol in your program launcher or search for “calibrate touchscreen” in the Ubuntu search bar.

It is important to heed the message that appears when the calibration is complete. To keep the calibration settings after a shutdown or restart, you must create a configuration file with these settings. First make sure that the "MatchProduct" is recognized as an Elo device. If not, disconnect and reconnect your touchscreen. Then try to calibrate it again. Then copy the desired settings by marking everything from “Section‘ InputClass ‘” to the end of “EndSection”, right-clicking on the marked text and selecting COPY. Then you must first create the directory pointed to by Xinput_calibrator for the location of the configuration file, and then open the configuration file for editing. This can be achieved simply by running the following two commands:

sudo mkdir /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/99-calibration.conf

When the editor opens, paste your configuration, save the file, close the editor and you're done! If you want to implement a “Hold for Right Click” function just like the Windows function, then add this line of code via “EndSection”:

Option "EmulateThirdButton" "On"

We found this to be a great, quick way to get your touchscreen working on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and 14.04 LTS. Our research has shown that it can even work with some old versions of Ubuntu, and according to the Xinput_calibrator website, it can work with a number of Linux distributions.