Resistive Touchscreen Manual Install & Calibrate

If you've grabbed our Easy Install image, or used the installer script, this step is not required, it's already done! This is just for advanced users who are curious on how to configure and customize the touchscreen
This procedure is identical for the 2.4", 2.8", 3.2" and 3.5" Resistive PiTFTs. Not for use with the Capacitive PiTFT!

Setting up the Touchscreen

Now that the screen is working nicely, we'll take care of the touchscreen. There's just a bit of calibration to do, but it isn't hard at all.

Before we start, we'll make a udev rule for the touchscreen. That's because the eventX name of the device will change a lot and its annoying to figure out what its called depending on whether you have a keyboard or other mouse installed.

Run

sudo nano /etc/udev/rules.d/95-stmpe.rules

to create a new udev file and copy & paste the following line in:

SUBSYSTEM=="input", ATTRS{name}=="stmpe-ts", ENV{DEVNAME}=="*event*", SYMLINK+="input/touchscreen" 

Remove and re-install the touchscreen with

sudo rmmod stmpe_ts; sudo modprobe stmpe_ts

Then type ls -l /dev/input/touchscreen
It should point to eventX where X is some number, that number will be different on different setups since other keyboards/mice/USB devices will take up an event slot

There are some tools we can use to calibrate & debug the touchscreen. Install the "event test" and "touchscreen library" packages with

sudo apt-get install evtest tslib libts-bin

Running evtest

Now you can use some tools such as

sudo evtest /dev/input/touchscreen

which will let you see touchscreen events in real time, press on the touchscreen to see the reports.

AutoMagic Calibration Script

If you rotate the display you need to recalibrate the touchscreen to work with the new screen orientation. You can manually run the calibration processes in the next section, or you can re-run the installer script and select a new rotation:

Try using this default calibration script to easily calibrate your touchscreen display. Note that the calibration values might not be exactly right for your display, but they should be close enough for most needs. If you need the most accurate touchscreen calibration, follow the steps in the next section to manually calibrate the touchscreen.

Manual Calibration

If the "automagic" calibration technique isn't working for you, or you have some other setup where you need to carefully calibrate you can do it 'manually'

You will want to calibrate the screen once but shouldn't have to do it more than that. We'll begin by calibrating on the command line by running

sudo TSLIB_FBDEVICE=/dev/fb1 TSLIB_TSDEVICE=/dev/input/touchscreen ts_calibrate

follow the directions on the screen, touching each point. Using a stylus is suggested so you get a precise touch. Don't use something metal, plastic only!

You should see five crosshair targets. If you see less than that, the touchscreen probably generated multiple signals for a single touch, and you should try calibrating again.

Next you can run

sudo TSLIB_FBDEVICE=/dev/fb1 TSLIB_TSDEVICE=/dev/input/touchscreen ts_test

which will let you draw-test the touch screen. Go back and re-calibrate if you feel the screen isn't precise enough!

X Calibration

You can also calibrate the X input system but you have to use a different program called xtcal (xinput_calibrator no longer works)

You can do this if the calibration on the screen isn't to your liking or any time you change the rotate=XX module settings for the screen. Since the screen and touch driver are completely separated, the touchscreen doesn't auto-rotate

Download and compile it with the following:

sudo apt-get install libxaw7-dev libxxf86vm-dev libxaw7-dev libxft-dev
git clone https://github.com/KurtJacobson/xtcal
cd xtcal
make

You must be running PIXEL (the GUI) while calibrating.

Before you start the calibrator you will need to 'reset' the old calibration data so run

DISPLAY=:0.0 xinput set-prop "stmpe-ts" 'Coordinate Transformation Matrix' 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1

Now you'll have to run the calibrator while also running X. You can do this by opening up the terminal program and running the the xtcal command (which is challenging to do on such a small screen) OR you can do what we do which is create an SSH/Terminal shell and then run the calibrator from the same shell, which requires the following command:

DISPLAY=:0.0 xtcal/xtcal -geometry 640x480

Note that the geometry may vary!

If you are using a 2.4"/2.8"/3.2" 320x240 display with landscape orientation, use 640x480. If you're in portrait, use 480x640.

If you are using a 3.5" display with landscape, use 720x480, portrait is 480x720

Follow the directions on screen

Once complete you'll get something like:

Run sudo nano /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-calibration.conf and copy the 9 numbers into the TransformationMatrix option so it looks like:

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "STMPE Touchscreen Calibration"
        MatchProduct "stmpe"
        MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
        Driver "libinput"
        Option "TransformationMatrix" "-0.000087 1.094214 -0.028826 -1.091711 -0.004364 1.057821 0 0 1"
EndSection

or whatever you got, into there.

You will want to reboot your Pi to verify you're done

Your touchscreen is now super calibrated, hurrah!

This guide was first published on Nov 29, 2013. It was last updated on Nov 21, 2018. This page (Resistive Touchscreen Manual Install & Calibrate) was last updated on Mar 28, 2018.