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First ever use of an Android Tablet to draw in GIMP

By at 2013-01-16 15:30:39 UTC, last updated about 1 year ago. CC BY-NC License

GfxTablet app to draw in GIMP with your TabletPC GfxTablet app to draw in GIMP with your TabletPC

In the last week we’ve developed something very cool: We have made a protoype of a new Android app that allows you to use your android devices to draw in GIMP on your desktop PC.

My co-admin redforce is much more into all kind of programming than me, so it was actually him who has made the app.

  • He first developed the input driver that is used for the desktop PC (running Linux in this case, which has a X display server running) to receive the touch events of your Android.
  • Then he made a native Android 4.0 app which acts as the input device for the PC. Pressure sensitivity of the tablet (if supported, for instance on the Galaxy Note 10.1 with stylus pen) is transmitted to the PC too.

This is pretty much working really smooth and without any delay as you can see in our Video demo on Youtube. The neat thing is that GIMP can handle pressure input and that the paint dynamics work just awesome with it. But basically you can use it with any application on your PC, not just GIMP!

Everything works over WiFi, so no cable connections are required. You could lay your hand on the tablet or set it to a mode where only stylus pen inputs are accepted (so the hand movements does not interrupt your pen drawing!). You can disable this feature to work with your finger however, if you don’t have a pen on your device,

This new app is called “XorgTablet”, is not available in the Play store, but you can test it by downloading it on Github where the project is hosted (see links below). Also keep in mind that you need a Linux with X server to install the driver. It should work with any Android device, however the best use is much likely be done with a tablet and pen! We tested it with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and with the Samsung Galaxy S2.

You can also work on the app if you want, we made it all open source.


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5 months ago

ilm pc deve avere Linux o basta gimp in Windows,si può utilizzare il cavetto invece che la connessione wi-fi?

about 1 year ago

it would be great if we could use it through usb... im looking for something that can make me use my android phone as a drawing tablet on my pc through usb, and all i can find is remote app's through wi-fi and none of them work, and if they do work, it's to hard to me to make them work.. dont know if it's impossible to make such program/app or if no one didn't think of it yet

JNormann member for over 5 years JNormann 2 comments
about 1 year ago

This is interesting; however, I'll have to wait until the Windows O/S is supported. I do like Android. I have had a pressure sensitive Genius, but find that dragging everything with me is cumbersome so having the smartphone double is a great idea.

about 1 year ago

Cool :)
Thanks :)

about 1 year ago

Great app. It's a shame you can't see the display you're working on, on the tablet itself.
Are there any future plans to implement this? Perhaps via VNC or something?

over 1 year ago

There is a way to run GIMP natively on Android:
This app does not support pressure sensitivity,, and navigating through UI is awkward, see the demo video:

Francois member for over 5 years Francois 10 comments rated this topic with 5/5
over 1 year ago

I got my Bamboo tablet for 2011 Christmas. I tried it once on Windows, then uninstalled the driver, because the Windows software is such a crap. You know I a generally a Windows defender against some exaggerated criticisms from Mac and Linux fanatics. But this one is really the archetype of the bad, invasive, too ambitious, inconvenient software. Some eight months later, I tried it again with the Ubuntu built-in support. Now, I use it very often, on Linux, mainly to remove blemishes on analog negative scans.

JimmyVolatile member for over 1 year JimmyVolatile 7 comments rated this topic with 5/5
over 1 year ago

This is overly, seriously cool! Let me know when it's available in the Play store! I'm happy to pay for this :)

Lyle member for about 2 years Lyle 70 comments rated this topic with 4/5
over 1 year ago

Got a Bamboo for Christmas and used it all for one day. lol

Still cool to convert your Android into a wireless pad. Better to actually port GIMP into Android but don't that will happen any time soon. :)

devvv member for over 7 years devvv 1390 comments
over 1 year ago

We'll try to get you a precompiled driver, meanwhile you need to compile it. There is an apk already hosted on sourceforge!

over 1 year ago

please publish this as final apk and deb for linux for easy instalation. l can't instali it on HTC flayer some package problem.Thank You so much for this. Great news and great job.

TheWelshOne member for over 1 year TheWelshOne 1 comment
over 1 year ago

Wow, great stuff love it.

I own a Samsung Galxy Note and can't wait to try this out.

Nice one :0

Francois member for over 5 years Francois 10 comments rated this topic with 5/5
over 1 year ago

Brilliant achievement. But I'm getting old, I'll probably never purchase a tablet (my main computer weighs about 20 lbs, I type much faster on a keyboard than on a screen and I prefer my i7 processor), and I'll keep me satisfied with my Wacom tablet. But this is great for young people. I suppose it was also a good programming challenge.