installing print drivers

T. Scott Testerman Scott at scotttesterman.com
Mon Sep 3 10:36:15 BST 2007


Printing on Linux seems to be the only area where Linux can't really begin to 
compete with Windows.  This is entirely due to the manufacturers and their 
support or lack thereof.

Canon USA's consumer division has been a nightmare, in my experience, with 
regards to Linux.  Even after parent company Canon Japan released Linux 
driver packages, the USA division refused to even acknowledge their 
existence.  This means that you could get your printer to work fine, as long 
as you could read Japanese.  Interestingly, most of the Canon commercial line 
have Linux drivers of one kind or another available.  Keep the printer if you 
still want to use it in Windows (they're great printers, btw) but otherwise 
you may as well sell it and cease to support Canon until they support you.

That Dell 1110 is a Samsung that they didn't even bother to disguise in a Dell 
black tux, and Samsung printers work quite well, even having official support 
from Samsung.  Linuxprinting.org reports that the ML-1610 built-in driver 
works in 600x600 resolution, which IIRC is the max for the 1110, so you'll 
probably get great output.  You won't get any function out of the Dell toner 
management system, which means you'll have to take the trouble of noticing of 
your toner has run out.  :-D  Samsung's official drivers can break scanning 
on your Kubuntu system unless you're using an all-in-one Samsung, so I can't 
recommend them unless you're OK with that or willing to fix the permissions 
issues.

Another excellent suggestion for your Dellsung is Splix, a set of open source 
Samsung drivers.  (Splix is available in Adept, although it's a slightly old 
version.)  Splix supports my Samsung ML-2250 better than the official Samsung 
drivers, even enabling 1200dpi printing.  The only caveat is that envelopes 
print with a bizarre barcode-like gibberish around the outer edges, but this 
appears to be a per-printer problem, so your model may work perfectly.  I 
have a second copy of my printer installed using PCL6 that I use solely for 
envelopes and keep the Splix copy for the bells and whistles.

Brother is another manufacturer who seems to have seen the light and is 
working hard to support Linux across their entire line.  I can report a 
complete lack of success in trying to get the Brother driver installed on a 
friend's Kubuntu system, but it was a very low-end laser, so a generic PCL 
install worked quite well, albeit without any 1200dpi support.  If you want 
to give Brother's official driver a shot, you can find it here:

http://solutions.brother.com/linux/sol/printer/linux/cups_wrapper_install2.html

_______________
Scott



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