The way to Set up Printer Drivers on Linux


You typically don’t want to put in {hardware} drivers on Linux. It’ll mechanically detect the {hardware} in your laptop and set it up for you — that’s the purpose. However printers is usually a totally different story.

Right here’s a enjoyable reality: Printing on Linux is dealt with through CUPS (the “Widespread Unix Printing System.”) Apple owns CUPS and employs the primary developer — CUPS additionally handles printing on Mac OS X.

Use the Foomatic Database

RELATED: The way to Set up {Hardware} Drivers on Linux

Typically, your Linux desktop atmosphere will present a graphical printer configuration device that lets you simply configure CUPS and arrange printers. There are numerous methods to attach printers, from direct connections with a USB cable to over the community. For some sorts of connections, your printer could also be mechanically detected and configured. For others, you might want to do that by yourself.

Ubuntu and lots of different Linux distributions use a printer configuration developed by Crimson Hat. Different printer configuration instruments work pretty comparable, as all of them use CUPS on the backend. Launch the printer configuration device in your Linux desktop and begin including a printer. (On Ubuntu, open the System Settings window and click on Printers, or launch the Printers utility from the Sprint.)

Relying on the kind of printer protocol you’ve chosen, you might want to supply printer drivers. This device will give you an inventory of printer drivers obtainable within the foomatic database. Choose the producer of your printer and search for its mannequin quantity within the checklist.

Don’t see your actual mannequin of printer within the checklist? Search for the closest mannequin quantity and take a look at it.

After establishing the printer on this means, you’ll positively need to print a take a look at web page to substantiate that the printer driver you chose labored correctly.

You may also simply use the CUPS net interface for printer setup and configuration. It’s a bit much less user-friendly, nevertheless it needs to be obtainable on each single Linux distribution. Open an internet browser, plug localhost:631 into its tackle bar, and press Enter. Click on over to “Administration” and use the “Add Printer” hyperlink so as to add a printer through the net interface. You’ll be requested for a password. Enter your Linux consumer account’s username and password. For some Linux distributions, you might want to make use of the username “root” and the basis password.

Get a PPD File From the Producer

The printer configuration device additionally lets you present a PPD file straight. Some producers present these information for his or her printers. You could discover them on the printer’s driver disc, on the producer’s obtain website for that printer, or included in the Home windows driver itself if the printer is a PostScript printer.

Look across the producer’s web site or on the driving force disc for the PPD file. You may also think about downloading the Home windows driver and try to open it in a file-extraction program. Sure, even when it’s an .exe file, you might be able to open it up and dig round to see if yow will discover a PPD file. This may increasingly requier the cabextract device.

You might additionally think about performing an internet seek for the identify of the printer and “PPD file” to see if different folks have efficiently situated a PPD file that may work for the printer. You probably have a PPD file, you’ll be able to set up it from the printer configuration interface.

Faucet Into’s Printer Database

The web site maintains a database of printers together with reccomended printer drivers for them. The printer configuration device can truly seek for and obtain PPD information straight from there. Nevertheless, you can too simply go to the printer database on the web site your self and seek for your mannequin of printer.

The database will inform you how properly a printer works, advocate a driver, and supply PPD information. You’ll be able to obtain the PPD file straight and set up it manually, if the database affords it.

For some printers, you might be pointed in the direction of particular drivers supplied by the producer. You could want to put in these to get the printer working — it’s usually a good suggestion to seek for your mannequin of printer and “Linux” for directions on getting it working. Looking for directions particular to your Linux distribution can be useful, for instance, your mannequin of printer and “Ubuntu.”

However It’s Nonetheless Not Working!

In a perfect world, your printer can be mechanically detected and “simply work.” Nevertheless, printers have been a giant ache level for Linux customers. The database of PPD information supplied by foomatic is designed to make them work as simply as doable, and the web site is designed to supply a centralized database of directions to make printers work correctly on Linux.

However some printers simply aren’t supported and gained’t work. Some printers may match, however not very properly. Different printers might require proprietary drivers supplied by their producer, and people drivers can usually be a headache to put in — or they could not set up in any respect on newer Linux distributions as they haven’t been maintained and up to date over time.

RELATED: How (and Why) to Get Began with Google Cloud Print

For a lot of printers, there’s simply not a lot you are able to do. If you wish to use a printer with Linux, it is best to exit of your approach to search for one which helps Linux.t

You might additionally simply do an end-run round the entire printer state of affairs — for instance, in case you get a printer that helps Google Cloud Print, you would simply print to it from Linux through Google Cloud Print, avoiding any printer driver issues. There’s even a Google Cloud Print driver for CUPS, permitting any utility that helps the usual CUPS system (meaning most Linux desktop purposes) to print to a Google Cloud Print printer.

Having issues printing? Think about going paperless. You’ll be able to all the time print paperwork to PDF and preserve them in digital kind — or simply take these PDFs to a different laptop with a printer and print them there.

Picture Credit score: jared moran on Flickr


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