[sf-lug] Playing with the future...

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Jun 27 22:32:51 PDT 2012

Quoting Alex Kleider (a_kleider at yahoo.com):

> Rick, would you be willing to elaborate a little on how that is done?
> I've often been frustrated by not being able to figure out how to get
> drivers and where in the directory tree to put them even if I could
> get them. 

Hmm, it's a bit messy, and some of what I know is probably way out of
date.  And maybe some of it is distro-specific.  

Let's start with the concrete example of the Lexmark E250DN laser
thingie that my wife got for our house.  Used to be, you immediately
headed over to Grant Taylor's http://www.linuxprinting.org/ pages and
related printer-information database.  Grant turned that site over to
Linux Foundation, but the URL still works, redirecting to Linux
Foundation's OpenPrinting pages,
http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/openprinting .

Pick database, Printer Listings, takes you to
http://www.openprinting.org/printers .  Pick Lexmark, pick E250DN, push
buttoon 'Show this printer'.  Wow, that page is... almost totally
uninformative.  Anyway, luckily, the E250DN works really great addressed
as either a bog-standard PostScript printer or as a bog-standard PCL6 or
PCL 5E (HP-type) printer.

Case in point, I have a 

> Xerox_Phaser_3250 [...]

Let's try that.  http://www.openprinting.org/printers, pick Xerox, pick
3250D.  Goes to a page specific to that printer, where there's a
'Contrib' link to Xerox's page where you can download some secret-sauce 
dowload... except that it says it's just a PostScript driver, which
makes one wonder if using the bog-standard regular PostScript driver you
get automatically with CUPS might be just fine. The specs page, 
says it's indeed a bog-standard PostScript 3 printer _and_ alternatively
a PCL 6 one.  So, either one should work fine.

Neither of those printers turned out to require any fancy tricks or
hunting down of obscure Mandriva RPMs (in Bobbie's case) of printer
drivers.  So, perhaps they're not good illustrative examples.

But then, it also points out how nice it is when a printer just does
either PostScript or PCL5 / PCL6, or both, as that makes life really
simple.  And, fortunately, a very large percentage of printers actually

Sometimes, there are special tricks such as really fine control over
colour printing where you don't get complete functionality unless you
download some special secret-sauce thing from the manufacturer, however.

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