HowTo: MicroTouch Touch Screen Setup and Calibration

Below is a step by step process from ground up of what I followed. No other poor sucker need suffer. I setup a MicroTouch Touch Screen Controller with the Excalibre Chipset. Ubuntu 5.10 comes ready to go with a the driver ‘mutouch’ that works with Xorg

1. Install Ubuntu
2. Figure out where your touch screen is plugged in.
— For my case I had a serial interface so I plugged it into the serial port on the tower. To test, at the command prompt I typed:

cat /dev/ttyS0

I then touched the touch screen. If a bunch of garbage is displayed then you have found the right device. You may also want to try cat /dev/ttyS1
— If you have a USB interface then a nice litle trick I learned is

tail -f /var/log/dmesg

now unplug the connector from the tower and plug it back in. The tail program should display new entires in the log and display which device was unplugged and plugged. For example /dev/ttyUSB0
— If none of this works, it is possible you havea a hardware problem and need to change setting at bootup to enable USB and Serial ports or maybe you need a new computer!
3. Once you figure out how the screen is connected we need to edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file so the that the touch screen driver is loaded when you load GDM (Windows Manger). You need to have root privelages to edit and save this file.

sudo pico /etc/X11/xorg.conf

You need to make two entries. One for the settings and one so the setting will be executed.
Below is a configuration that works for me taken and slighty modified from a famous touchscreen how-to. If you have the same setup as I this should work fine but if not look at the FAQ for setting for your specific device. (…een-HOWTO.html)

I added this under the similar block of settings for the mouse InputDevice block.
Section “InputDevice”

Identifier “TouchScreen”
Driver “mutouch”
Option “Type” “finger”
Option “Device” “/dev/ttyS0”
Option “ScreenNo” “0”
Option “MinX” “0”
Option “MaxX” “16383”
Option “MinY” “0”
Option “MaxY” “16383”
Option “SendCoreEvents” “yes”


I then added one line to the Server Layout block (in bold)
Section “ServerLayout”

Identifier “Default Layout”
Screen “Default Screen”
InputDevice “Generic Keyboard”

InputDevice “TouchScreen”


Now reboot GDM. This can be achieved by Ctrl+Alt+Backspace. If GDM does not come back up then you may need to recheck the xorg.conf or restart GDM.

–To check to see if there is a configuration issue Alt+Left Arrow one or more times to find a warning in a different console
–To edit the xorg.conf – sudo pico /etc/X11/xorg.conf
–To restart GDM

sudo killall gdm
sudo gdm

Once GDM is running again try out the touch screen. It will most likely not be very accurate but it should work. If not do a little  and double check everything. The next step is calibration.

1. Download the calibration tool. I used touchcal-0.23 which I found here:
Unpack the file to your /tmp folder.
2. Prepare your system to compile the calibration tool. Ubuntu comes with all the tools you need to unpackage this file but not to compile the program.
If you installed Ubuntu off a CD-ROM then you need to update the /etc/apt/sources.list file to look for packages from the internet.

sudo pico /etc/apt/sources.list

Uncomment the lines that collect packages from the network. Save the file and exit.
To get the packages you need to compile touchcal run the following lines

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gcc make libncurses5-dev

3. Compile touchcal
Now run the configure script

cd /tmp/touchcal-0.23

Then run make


If either of these steps fail it is most likely because you are still missing some required packages. I may have missed some so do a little  and try and figure out which packages are missing.
4. Run touchcal
–touchcal comes with a good README file. I highly recommend reading it.

pico /tmp/touchcal-0.23/README

–Go to console Ctrl+Alt+F1
–shutdown gdm (Xserver)

sudo killall gdm

–run touchcal program

cd /tmp/touchcal-0.23
./touchcal m /dev/ttyS0
(m stands for mutouch, /dev/ttyS0 is where the touch screen is connected to. (see above)

–follow the onscreen instructions
When finished running, touchcal should output your new calibration coordinates (MinX, MaxY etc). Copy these values and use them to replace the preset values in the /etc/X11/xorg.conf for the touchscreen device.

Option “MinX” “0”
Changes to
Option “MinX” “2254”

5. Restart GDM

sudo gdm

Once GDM has loaded try it out! If you are still unhappy try going through step 4. again.

Hopefully this has helped at least one person save time

DISCLAIMER: These instructions are by no means 100% complete or correct. Please let me know if I have any errors. Good luck!