Linux and printing

A lot of printer manufacturers totally ignore the Linux market and therefore fail to create quality printer drivers for Linux (not to mention an easy installation process). Fortunately, the open source community has come to the rescue once again:

1. Go to OpenPrinting and search for your printer (click the "Show" button next to your printer manufacturer)

2. My Canon i550 came up as: http://www.openprinting.org/show_printer.cgi?recnum=Canon-i550

3. Make a note of the recommended printer driver (for my Canon i550 it was CUPS BJC8200)

4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the appropriate package for Gutenprint (a set of high-quality printer drivers for Linux). Note: Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu which is based on Debian so Linux Mint users should select a DEB package (for example, I selected x86 32 bit (DEB for LSB 3.2))

5. Open the package with a package installer and install (for some reason, the package has a Postfix dependency which I simply disabled by setting to "Not Configured" when prompted)

6. Once Gutenprint is installed, open your printer manager (Administration > Printing) and create a new printer. It should automatically detect a printer if it's powered and connected to your machine. Select it and click Forward.

7. Select your printer manufacturer and click Forward.

8. Use the driver for the recommended printer found in step 3 above (in my case, BJC-8200).

9. Select the Gutenprint printer driver (in my case, Canon BJC-8200 - CUPS+Gutenprint (OpenPrinting LSB 3.2) v5.2.4 [en])

10. Click Forward, give the printer a meaningful name, and you're finished! Print a test page to verify the new printer driver works.

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