Adafruit touchscreen on a Raspberry Pi B running Slackware ARM.

I recently had the opportunity to get a friend a new Raspberry Pi Model B. I really like these, I have several all running Slackware ARM. While I have tried other distros, I find myself always going back to Slackware after a while for one reason or another, but that is a talk for another day. My friend decided he wanted to run Slackware on one of his Raspberry Pis, so I helped him out and get everything installed. Then I was presented with another issue. He wanted to use his Adafruit touchscreen. Now, Adafruit’s documentation and setup guides are really good, but only if you are running Raspbian (or a Debian based system). So that did present an issue, but one I wanted to solve.

Before I continue, please note that I did get this working (video and images at the bottom of the post), but I had to deliver the Pi back before I got a change to try again from scratch. This guide is based heavily off my best recollection of the steps I took, and may not be complete. If I’m missing something, or you can’t get it to work, let me know and I will try to help… or send me a screen so I can do this again.

Start with checking out this guide: it was helpful in getting everything going.

Now, download all the needed files:


Download and install deb2tgz ( This will help you convert those deb files to tgz for Slackware.

Now convert those deb files to tgz (deb2tgz *.deb)

Then install (installpkg *.tgz)

Now, you need to make a copy of raspberrypi-bootloader-adafruit-20140917-1.deb and place it in another directory. Once there, run:

ar x raspberrypi-bootloader-adafruit-20140917-1.deb

This will explode out the archive. Find the file called data.tar.gz, and run:

tar -zxf data.tar.gz

Now there will be some new directories. One is called boot. Make a backup of you /boot directory, then copy everything in that new boot to /boot.

cp -r /boot /boot.bak
cd boot
cp * /boot

This will install the correct kernel that you need to use.

Next, open /boot/config.txt. The only line you need is gpu_mem=32.

Now, there are a few more packages you need to install. First is called evtest. I found an awesome slackbuild repository located over at, and we are going to install his evtest package.

git clone
cd slackbuilds/
cd evtest/
installpkg evtest-1.32-x86_64-1root.txz

Notice how the arch listed in the Slackware package as x86_64, don’t worry, it works, just install it.

Next is tslib. Here is how I built and installed it (also, I cheated and did not build a Slackware package).

tar -zxf tslib_1.0.orig.tar.gz 
cd tslib-1.0/
make install

Last, we need to build a package called xf86-video-fbturbo. (Forgive me, you may not need to run make in that first directory, but definitely in the src directory)

git clone
cd xf86-video-fbturbo/
cd src
autoreconf -vi
./configure --prefix=/usr
nano xorg.conf 
make install

There, that was fun! Alright, lets edit a few more files.

Open /boot/cmdline.txt, and place this one line in there (it is the only line for me, you maybe different)

dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=tty1 nofont root=/dev/mmcblk0p3 fbcon=map:10 fbcon=font:VGA8x8 rootfstype=ext4 rootwait ro

Then open /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/99-calibration.conf (if the directory or file does not exist, create it!) and place this in the file.
Note the commented out items, I meant to experiment with them, I don’t remember if those options break anything, but I doubt it.

Section "InputClass"
    Identifier "calibration"
    MatchProduct "stmpe-ts"
    Option "Calibration" "3800 200 200 3800"
    Option "SwapAxes" "1"
Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Allwinner A10/A13 FBDEV"
        Driver          "fbturbo"
        Option          "fbdev" "/dev/fb1"
#        Option          "SwapbuffersWait" "true"
        # `man fbturbo` to know more options
#        Option          "AccelMethod" "G2D"
Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "Monitor0"
    Option "DPMS"
Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Screen0"
    Device     "main"
    Monitor    "Monitor0"
    DefaultDepth 16
    SubSection "Display"
            Depth 16
            Modes "320x240"

Lastly, open /etc/rc.d/rc.local and add these lines:

modprobe spi-bcm2708
modprobe fbtft_device name=adafruitrt28 rotate=90 frequency=32000000
export FRAMEBUFFER=/dev/fb1

I also recommend adding the export framebuffer to your user’s ~/.bashrc file. You need that before X will start.

I really hope I got this all right. Feel free to complain. Maybe I’ll get another chance to play with this again in the near future, and this time, I’ll get it right! I wish you all the best of luck! Cheers,


If the video above isn’t loading, you can view it here:

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