Printing and Linux

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by BdON003, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. BdON003 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    #1
    I have my printer, Canon PIXMA MP470, connected to my Desktop which runs windows XP and Gentoo Linux. I want to be able to print from my Macbook to the connected printer, but I am having troubles. When my desktop is running windows, it works fine. My problem is when I am running linux, which is most of the time. First, the printer only semi-works in linux. The drivers for my model don't exist yet, so I tried the MP500 drivers and I can print text files in linux, colors, though, are not aligned correct. I am running OS X 10.5.1 on my MB and when I go to add printer, I click the windows icon and my linux work-name shows up, I click that and my printer shows up, so I select it and select the same driver I use when I connect through windows. When I go to print, it brings up the printer queue with my correct printer picture, but immediately stops the job. Anybody have any suggestion? It is printing through CUPS right now, should I try SAMBA or Bonjour if they have Bonjour for linux?
     
  2. gsahli macrumors 6502a

    gsahli

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #2
    CUPS is the heart of the printing system on OS X just like on linux. When you talk about Samba or Bonjour(mDNS) or IPP, they are backends (comm protocol drivers) provided with CUPS. CUPS follows the unix philosophy of modular software tools. To print, you use a chain of separate replaceable modules of code that do different things, like PPD parser > page counting > postscript interpreter > backend.

    The issue you are having is definitely about drivers. On OS X there are two kinds of drivers, Carbon and CUPS. The Canon OS X driver is a Carbon driver which bypasses CUPS - that means they can limit the driver to just USB.

    To use the network protocols that are part of CUPS, you need to use CUPS drivers, like the Gimp-Print (or Gutenprint) ones Apple included in OS X. Get the latest Gutenprint driver version here:
    http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net/MacOSX.php3
    (but, looks like MP470 is still not in there)
    There is a commercial source of CUPS drivers too:
    http://www.printfab.net/
    (MP460 but not MP470 is in that group)

    Bottom line - you need to complain to Canon about not supporting CUPS.
     
  3. BdON003 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    #3
    Thanks for the clarification and quick response. I tried PrintFab, and still no luck. I guess I am stuck rebooting into windows whenever I need my printer. It could be worse. This is the one thing I hate about open source - no support from manufacturers(there are a few exceptions).
     
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Don't forget The Linux Foundation's Open Printing website. In the case of the Canon PIXMA MP470, this is a moot issue. Support is available only from Canon. The closest CUPS support may come from PrintFab's MP460 driver, which seems not to work for BdON003.

    I have to strongly disagree with BdON003's comments about opensource. The opensource community has no obligation to support his printer. That said, it does a fantastic job of supporting a vast array of printers from a broad spectrum of manufacturers. The responsibility lies with the buyer to be an educated consumer. Just because a manufacturer offers a product for sale doesn't mean that we have to buy it. Buy only those products that do the jobs we need in the way that we need them done. It makes precious little sense to pay good money for a printer or anything else and then try to force it into my workflow after the sale.
     
  5. BdON003 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    #5
    When did I say that it was anybody's responsibility? I don't believe that it is, and I was simply stating that it sucks that they don't offer support, like drivers. Ideally, then I wouldn't have a need to also use windows at home. It doesn't mean that every piece of software should also be available on linux. Why should I expect a business to use their resources to make drivers and ports when there are already people out there that do it for free or are paid by somebody else? They're a business and I am guessing they looked into making linux drivers and found that it was not a good business idea. I still use open source software everyday, and that won't change.

    I don't know how you thought that I was trying to force my printer into your "workflow", not even sure what that means. If you are an open-source programmer, good to hear it, but I never said anything that implies that I want programmers to drop everything and make a driver for my printer. I even said that I guess I'll just boot into windows to use it, meaning it's not a big deal. Even if I was told there would never be a driver for my printer, I still wouldn't fret over it. If there were a solution simpler than learning to write drivers and then write one for my printer, I would explore it, but it doesn't seem that way.
     
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    Huh? Every single printer is or has been supported by its manufacturer. The only problem is that some are not supported for your preferred OS. Of these, many are supported by the open source community. It is your duty an educated consumer to buy only those printers for which support on your favorite OS is available whoever provides it.
     
  7. BdON003 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    #7
    Yes, I meant to only refer to support for my preferred OS, Linux in this case. I agree that it was entirely my fault that I did not check if my printer was supported in Linux. That was my point in my previous post; I don't blame the open-source community nor the manufacturer, nor do I expect them to help me. There are alternative ways to use my printer, and I am fine with using them. If things in this regard were different, though, and there was better support, from whomever, then things would be better.
     

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