Tips on how to Set up Printer Drivers on Linux

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You often needn’t set up {hardware} drivers on Linux. It can robotically detect the {hardware} in your pc and set it up for you – that is the aim. However printers could also be a distinct story.

This is a enjoyable truth: Printing on Linux is dealt with by way of CUPS (“Widespread Unix Printing System.”). Apple owns CUPS and employs the lead developer – CUPS additionally handles printing on Mac OS X.

Use a Fumatic Database

associated: Tips on how to Set up {Hardware} Drivers on Linux

Usually, your Linux desktop surroundings will present a graphical printer configuration software that lets you simply configure CUPS and arrange printers. There are a number of methods to attach a printer, from direct reference to a USB cable to over community. For some kinds of connections, your printer could also be robotically detected and configured. For others, you might have to do it your self.

Ubuntu and lots of different Linux distributions use a printer configuration developed by Purple Hat. Different printer configuration instruments carry out largely the identical features, as all of them use CUPS on the backend. Launch the Printer Configuration software in your Linux desktop and begin including printers. (On Ubuntu, open the System Settings window and click on Printers, or launch the Printer utility from the Sprint.)

Relying on the kind of printer protocol you’ve gotten chosen, you might want to offer a printer driver. This software will give you the checklist of printer drivers accessible within the Fumatic database. Choose your printer’s producer and search for its mannequin quantity within the checklist.

Do not see the precise mannequin of your printer within the checklist? Search for the closest mannequin quantity and check out it.

After establishing the printer this fashion, you may positively wish to print a take a look at web page to substantiate that the printer driver you chose labored correctly.

You’ll be able to solely use the CUPS internet interface for printer setup and configuration. It is rather less user-friendly, however it must be accessible on each single Linux distribution. Open an online browser, plug localhost:631 in its tackle bar, and press Enter. Click on “Administration” and use the “Add Printer” hyperlink so as to add a printer by way of the online interface. You’ll be requested for a password. Enter the username and password to your Linux consumer account. For some Linux distributions, you might want to make use of the username “root” and the foundation password.

get ppd file from producer

The Printer Configuration Instrument lets you present the PPD file straight. Some producers present these recordsdata for his or her printers. You’ll be able to embrace them on the printer’s driver disc, the producer’s obtain web site for that printer, or, if the printer is a PostScript printer, the Home windows drivers themselves.

Search for the PPD file on the producer’s web site or on the motive force disc. You may additionally contemplate downloading the Home windows driver and attempting to open it in a file-extraction program. Sure, though it’s an .exe file, you possibly can open it and dig round to see if you’ll find the PPD file. This will likely require the cabextract software.

You may additionally contemplate doing an online seek for the printer’s identify and “ppd file” to see if different folks have efficiently discovered a PPD file that can work for the printer. When you’ve got the PPD file, you possibly can set up it from the printer configuration interface.

Faucet into OpenPrinting.org’s Printer Database

The OpenPrinting.org web site maintains a database of printers with advisable printer drivers for them. The Printer Configuration Instrument can really search and obtain PPD recordsdata straight from there. Nonetheless, you can too merely go to the printer database on the OpenPrinting.org web site and seek for your mannequin of printer.

The database will let you know how properly the printer works, suggest drivers, and supply PPD recordsdata. You’ll be able to obtain the PPD file straight and set up it manually, if the database offers it.

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

However it’s nonetheless not working!

In a great world, your printer can be robotically detected and “simply work.” Nonetheless, printers have been a significant ache level for Linux customers. The database of PPD recordsdata supplied by Fumatic is designed to make working with them as easily as attainable, and the OpenPrinting.org web site is designed to offer a centralized database of directions for maintaining printers working correctly on Linux. Is.

However some printers aren’t but supported and won’t work. Some printers may go, however not very properly. Different printers could require proprietary drivers supplied by their producer, and people drivers can usually be a headache to put in – or they might not set up in any respect on newer Linux distributions as a result of they’ve been constructed and up to date over time. haven’t been finished.

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

For a lot of printers, there is not a lot you are able to do. If you wish to use the printer with Linux, it is best to search for a printer that helps Linux

You too can do an end-run across the total printer state of affairs – for instance, in case you discover a printer that helps Google Cloud Print, you need to use Google Cloud Print to keep away from any printer driver issues. You’ll be able to print by way of Linux. There’s additionally a Google Cloud Print driver for CUPS, which permits any utility to print to a Google Cloud Print printer that helps the usual CUPS system (i.e. most Linux desktop functions).


Having issues printing? Think about going paperless. You’ll be able to all the time print paperwork to PDF and hold them in digital type – or just take these PDFs to a different pc with a printer and print them there.

Picture credit score: Jared Moran on Flickr

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