The older SD and HD series are not supported by the standard XFree86 driver, however, a modified driver that supports these devices as well some OEM products with embedded screens including the IBM Thinkpad 360 PE and Toshiba T200 is available from: http://hwr.nici.kun.nl/pen-computing/pen-computing-formats.html
If ordering the wacom products intuos and graphire, you can choose between two different interfaces:
Serial and USB.
The Serial Interface
The USB Interface
There is a big number of programs based on the gtk library. The gtk has XInput support and makes it very easy to use.
At least the following applications support XInput:
xink is available from: ftp://kiwi.cs.berkeley.edu/pub/raph/xink.tar.gz
USB-Support is done in the kernel. This means that you should be able to configure and recompile the kernel. If you do not know how, consult your local guru.
Make sure in the USB Support section of the kernel configuration you have the following set:
Now recompile the kernel, either load the wacom module (which would be in /lib/modules/<linux version>/kernel/drivers/usb/wacom.o), or reboot, and verify that the module was loaded:
--- USB Human Interface Devices (HID) <M> USB Human Interface Device (full HID) support ... <M> Wacom Intuos/Graphire tablet support
On some system you may want to grep in /var/log/messages instead.
# grep -i wacom /var/log/boot.msg input0: Wacom Intuos 9x12 on usb1:2.0
At least for the intuos series even the latest kernel (2.4.7 as of moment of writing) doesn't have the right Wacom USB driver, so you have to get the right one and recompile the stuff. See Semyon Sosin 's document for this.
I can not tell if wacom graphire works fine with the original driver. But take for sure that the shown __concepts__ will work for both wacom product lines.