Installing Printers in Linux

A guide to installing your printer in Linux

Steve Smith, host of your Technology Questions Answered, explains how to get your printer working within Linux.

Episode #1-32 released on May 8, 2011

Watch on Youtube

p>Welcome to another episode of your Technology Questions Answered. Today, we are Mother's Day, so on behalf of any of you who have forgotten, Happy Mother's day to all the Mothers who follow my show. Today, I'd like to talk to you about a few site upgrades that affect my podcast, explain how to install printers within Linux, and I'd like to invite you to do a listener survey.

First, we have just added Podtrac to our web-site. More specifically, to our podcasts. Podtrac is a service that allows Podcasters to more accurately determine how many people download our podcast, where our listeners reside, and which days of the week listeners tend to download our episodes.

Web-site News and Updates

I've also made accessing each of the episodes easier and faster. You can now start from the very beginning and listen to all our podcast episodes from the start. Each episode includes a Previous Episode and Next Episode link (in any). Every show notes page includes links to the Youtube page, direct download links for the Audio and Video version of the show. And, we have updated our podcast bookmark to look better and be easier to use. Every page of our site features this podcast bookmark that allows you to download directly the current episode, access the show notes, go directly to Youtube, fill out our survey, and even subscribe to our show.

Listener Survey Request for Completion

Now, you're going to hear me say this in my show for the next couple months: We're taking a survey of our listeners, and we'd like you to participate. It will help us learn more about you - - no matter how long you've been a listener or how frequently you listen to this show. So please take a few minutes and visit our website at You'll find the listener survey link right on the home page. And you can complete the survey anonymously. Thanks!"

Installing Printers in Linux

In a day of digital medians, we still find a real need for printers, and in an age where more and more of us are converting to Linux based operating systems, we are finding that its a real deal and headache trying to get our printers to work within linux, so today, we tackle the installation process for getting your printers to work within Linux.

Things you'll need are as follows: a dash of patience, a few breaths of air, a printer, a computer with linux installed, and a few minutes to follow our instructions. I've found the sites you need, and the instructions you require, so the rest you don't need to worry about.

  1. Plug in printer prior to turning on your computer to allow Linux to determine which printer it is.
  2. Access the applications folder within linux, in Unity toolbar its the icon with the plus sign
  3. Add new printer, let yours be detected.
  4. Choose your printers driver, if not available attempt to use the recommended version, or download linux driver and ppd file from internet by searching your model on the internet. Note : some printers have linux drivers that are only made available for users in Asia or Europe, so check on those pages to find if any exist.
  5. Print test page when the installation is complete.

Troubleshooting Issues

Some printers are rebuilt on other printer hardware, like the Canon MP560 is the new version of the Canon MP620 which uses the MP610 driver, and not the MP500 driver like Linux recommends.

When all else fails, if you still run one Windows machine in your network, use the Samba printer share option and take advantage of the printer, or use the Generic Printer setting and look up which details need to be modified.

I've included some links on the show notes page (down below), to help any of you that wish to get your particular printer working if its not listed. Just a note, it is in my opinion that canon deliberately makes it complicated to install several of their printers by using non-standard port variables and delays, so don't be too upset if it doesn't work the first try. There is bound to be other people that have had the same issue, and have solved it.

Final Speech

So, in finishing I'd like to thank you for listening to my show, let's see you all back here next week, don't forget to visit my web-site at, fill out the listener survey, subscribe to my weekly show, and support my show by either donating to our Paypal account at or buying some of unique gear and apparel, they also make great gifts. This has been your technology questions answered, good bye and good day!

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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