installing print drivers

Graham Todd grahamtodd2 at
Mon Sep 3 08:15:25 BST 2007

Hash: SHA1

On Sun, 2 Sep 2007 21:51:13 -0700
D T <drden2000 at> wrote:

> I find it so hard to use this stuff the way it is.  Do I really have
> to find a Japanese driver then open it to view it, then get a
> separate package installer to install it?  Will it go in then?  Or is
> there more to do than this?  There has got to be one installer that
> does them all? right? Is there really no drivers (in America?) for a
> Canon IP 3000, a Dell 1110 and a Brother 3820CN?  These are all very
> common printers are they not? Canon has a driver for some of the
> printer but not mine and the are .tz extension.  I'm so frustrated, I
> hate MS with passion but ... 3 days and all I have is only the stuff
> that came on the original cd I downloaded and burned.  I even went
> back to my 4 year old computer (it ran the "live cd's) because I
> couldn't install most of the stuff (drivers) on a new system it would
> just lock up. 

Manufacturers, by and large, ignore the Linux community and produce
drivers for Windows alone.  This leaves the Linux community to
back-engineer is own drivers (which might be illegal in some places) or
to write its own code.  This isn't a matter of the printers being
common, its a fact of life when you seek to leave the hand holding in
the Windows world for a different OS system.

No, there is not one installer that "does them all", but libraries of
drivers available that various packages call upon to enable them to
print output.  When installing Kubuntu I make sure that CUPS,
gutenprint libraries, and gimp-print are installed to make sure my
printer(s) have the necessary drivers.

By Googling, I found this:

which shows that gutenprint is the library package you want to install
the driver.  There are two ways of doing this, by apt-get:

sudo apt-get install libgutenprint2 libgutenprint-dev

or through Synaptic or Adept:

search on gutenprint, then install all packages shown

I found that virtually everything searched upon was installed by other
packages (depending on what you have installed on your system, you
might find the same).  When I reinstall Kubuntu, I always search on
"print" (no quotes) when using Synaptic and install as a matter of
course gimp-print and libgutenprint2 which with CUPS covers most of the
problems I shall find.

Now, as to getting .rpm files installed in a Debian universe (like
K/Ubuntu) you should first install the package alien:

sudo apt-get install alien

then cd to the directory when the .rpm file is located and run

sudo alien --to-deb <package name.rpm>

This will generate a .deb package in the same directory as the .rpm
package.  Then run:

sudo dpkg -i <package name.deb>

You might get some problems with dependencies, and if this is so then

sudo apt-get -f install

This will force an install from packages downloaded from the
repositories specified in your /etc/apt/sources.list, so make sure you
have listed there the repositories in which the dependencies are to be

Remember that Windows and Linux regard package management in
fundamentally different ways.  In Windows, you download an executable
file which has everything (together with the Windows OS) to run the
program, even if you have blocks of code that do the same job
duplicated in various packages.  Linux is more modular, in that each
package is really calling on other libraries and blocks of code, and
each of those blocks of code is improved and maintained by different
people.  As an example, a word processor would have a gui which depends
on the integration of, say, gtk in the desktop, and the dictionaries
maintained by others, etc.  But this means you can also address these
programs (dependencies) directly through the command-line which means
in turn having some proficiency with the CLI and using basic tools.

Linux is a world of choice, not tied to proprietary standards.  Enjoy!
- -- 

Graham Todd
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