One last thing !


If you don’t know who I am ( which is probably everyone ) I am the network manager
for a UK school. A few years ago we went openSUSE for all our student machines
which is around 400 pc’s. At the time the school baulked at changing the teacher
machines so they stayed at Windows 7. Now with the upcoming demise of that OS I
have one chance to pitch GNU/Linux everywhere and finally get rid of MS. There are
about 150 teacher machines of which about 80 are in classrooms. This is where my
problem lies. They use SmartBoards. Smarttech gave up on their Linux offering at
version 11 which was only released for Ubuntu and that was 14.04. So to end a long
and possibly boring ramble I need something like SmartBoard software. It doesn’t
have to be as functional , just to be able to write on the board and over presentations
would be fine. I know LO Impress works fine but for ‘political’ reasons I can’t sell that
as a solution. Any ideas ?



Perhaps OpenBoard is a suitable option here…

Do you mean the “SMART Learning Suite”?

OpenBoard homepage…

And, this thread pointed to by the OpenBoard Forum: <>.

I assume you mean those whiteboards which work with light pens instead of dry-erase markers.

Been awhile since I looked into this, but at the time these boards where often proprietary, so you needed to start with the manufacturer and model, then look up the technical specs, and from that you can do an effective search for alternative software.

As always,
You can look into whether the software runs in Wine.
Or, deploy Win7 in a virtual machine to make it difficult although not impossible to hack over the network.


I have been playing with OpenBoard and the experimental package seems to run on
Tumbleweed OK with a bit of persuading. There are two things however that I am
currently stuck on. If someone has the answer it will save me a whole lot of Googling

  1. When you use either Impress or Office 364 and send the presentation to the
    whiteboard it goes over the top of OpenBoard. Since OpenBoard doesn’t seem
    to use Plasma I don’t know how to make sure OpenBoard is always visible/on top

  2. As anyone who uses SmartBoards knows once they get a bit old the calibration
    is terrible. TW saw the Smartboard immediately as a mouse the calibration is about
    1cm out. Can I tell TW to ‘recalibrate that mouse input’ so to speak.

Those things being said I am fairly optimistic that I can at least put on a good demo shortly



The OpenBoard page link I shared back in post #4 has links to the OpenBoard forum and documentation that might be helpful here.

Yes, calibrating the ‘mouse’ input device can be done, and essentially involves creating a calibration or transformation matrix to calibrate the input device concerned…
This can be added as a udev rule, or via a custom config file in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/ directory.

Although a script is provided that helps with generating the required configuration, the author mentions that it won’t work for a device handled by libinput, however the manual steps are outlined here…

Don’t feel daunted by it, as it can be scripted to help with the task once the steps are understood. I may be able to help you further with this if needed.

The available device properties (attributes) can be checked using

sudo libinput list-devices

There should be a “libinput Calibration Matrix” property or similar. That is what is used to calibrate the mouse.

Hope that helps as a starter.

Groovy… many thanks

I will give it a go next week and come back if I get stuck if you don’t mind



Having never used OpenBoard I’m not quite sure what you mean here, but AFAIU it is using the QT 5 framework since version 1.3, so I would hope it operates nicely with KDE. It can apparently be started in ‘Board’ or ‘Desktop’ mode as desired. The OpenBoard forum may be a good place to get further community support.

I did the xinput_calibrator thing and it gave me a list of things to put in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/99-calibration.conf
which seems to do absolutely nothing. I even changed the values a lot to see if it had any effect.

The whiteboard is accurate top to bottom but left and right is out - it’s fine on the right but as you go left if get out
by the time you get to the far left it’s out by a couple of inches



It’s Open Source – I see that, you’re already in the OpenBoard forum – AFAIKS they don’t offer a Bug Report system – you’ll have to contact the OpenBoard folks either via the Forum or, visit them in Switzerland … :wink:

I see that their GitHub repository has some useful Release Notes material …

Can you share the ‘libinput list-devices’ output for this device, and also any existing config file you have? Sound like the horizontal scaling and offset slightly out.

Device: SMART Technologies Inc. SMART Interactive Whiteboard Controller (SB6) Mouse
Kernel: /dev/input/event19
Group: 7
Seat: seat0, default
Capabilities: pointer
Tap-to-click: n/a
Tap-and-drag: n/a
Tap drag lock: n/a
Left-handed: disabled
Nat.scrolling: disabled
Middle emulation: disabled
Calibration: identity matrix
Scroll methods: none
Click methods: none
Disable-w-typing: n/a
Accel profiles: n/a
Rotation: n/a

and the 99-calibration.conf in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d

Section “InputClass”
Identifier “calibration”
MatchProduct “SMART Technologies Inc. SMART Interactive Whiteboard Controller (SB6) Mouse”
Option “MinX” “121321”
Option “MaxX” “188050”
Option “MinY” “0”
Option “MaxY” “65925”

but you can put any values in here and it makes no difference



Which Desktop GUI?

From reading ‘man xorg.conf.d’ and the Archwiki page regarding the ‘transformation matrix’ option, I note the following…

Option “TransformationMatrix” “a b c d e f g h i”
Specifies the 3x3 transformation matrix for absolute input devices. The input device will be bound to the area given in the matrix. In most
configurations, “a” and “e” specify the width and height of the area the device is bound to, and “c” and “f” specify the x and y offset of
the area. The value range is 0 to 1, where 1 represents the width or height of all root windows together, 0.5 represents half the area,
etc. The values represent a 3x3 matrix, with the first, second and third group of three values representing the first, second and third row
of the matrix, respectively. The identity matrix is “1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1”.

and the config should look more like this AFAIU…

Section "InputClass"
       Identifier      "calibration"
       MatchProduct    "SMART Technologies Inc. SMART Interactive Whiteboard Controller (SB6) Mouse"
       Option          "TransformationMatrix"  "a 0.0 c 0.0 e f 0.0 0.0 1.0"

with suitable values applied.

The best of course :wink:

Plasma ( X not wayland )


This gets more fun …

If I do xinput set-prop “blah blah” “libinput Transformation Matrix” a, 0.0, c, 0.0, e, f, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0 etc etc as per the instructions
and then list the properties they have changed. but it cancels the xinput --map-to-output blah blah. If you then reapply the
xinput --map-to-output it puts the the Transformation Matrix back to what it was before. There must be some defaults lurking somewhere

sigh !



I wasn’t aware you were trying to use ‘xinput --map-to-output’ option, and not aware of the impact that it has with respect to the “libinput Calibration Matrix” configuration. I’m not sure what else to advise here, except to raise a bug report perhaps. Perhaps the OpenBoard developers can advise further about this?