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Distribution-Indpendent Printer Driver Packages on the OpenPrinting Site

To make installing printer drivers not provided by the Linux distributions easier for users, and to make providing printer drivers easier for the printer manufacturers, we have introduced a new concept of distribution-independent printer driver packages.

The packages are based on the LSB 3.2, so they will work on all Linux distributions which are compliant to the LSB-3.2 or any newer version of the LSB (currently Red Hat/Fedora, Novell/SUSE, Ubuntu, Mandriva, …).

Preparation of LSB-compliant distributions

To assure that everything is installed what the LSB requires (and so everything what the LSB-based printer driver packages need) every LSB-compliant distribution contains a package named “lsb”. Installing the package “lsb” with the distribution's package manager automatically installs everything which is needed to get the system actually LSB-compliant.

So before installing the first driver package install the “lsb” package with your distribution's package manager. Use the system's package management tool and search for the “lsb” package. Install it and accept also the installation of all packages which are needed by the “lsb” package (can be 20 or more packages).

To install by the command line, use for example

sudo apt-get install lsb

on Debian and Ubuntu and

yum install lsb

on Red Hat or Fedora.

Installing the driver package manually


  • Download the desired driver package. Take care of the system architecture (most normal PCs are “x86 32 bit”, newer PCs are “x86 64 bit”, older Macs are “Power PC 32 bit” or “Power PC 64 bit”, newer Macs are “x86 32 bit” or “x86 64 bit”, like PCs). You will find always RPM packages which you can directly use in Red Hat/Fedora, SUSE, Mandriva, … In some cases there are also Debian packages available which are suitable for Debian, Ubuntu, … If your browser opens a media player plug-in, click the “Back” button of the browser, right-click the link for the package, and choose “Save as…”.
  • If you have a non-RPM-based distribution (Ubuntu, Debian, Slackware, …) and no packages of your distribution's format are available, convert the downloaded RPM package(s) with alien. Do (On Ubuntu, preceed the command by “fakeroot” or “sudo”, on other distributions, run it as root):
    alien -ck <name of the downloaded RPM package>
  • Install the driver package with the package installation tool provided by your distribution. Use “rpm” for .rpm packages on distributions like Red Hat/Fedora, Novell/SuSE, Mandriva, … Use “dpkg” for .deb packages on Ubuntu, Debian, … The commands should look like this (execute the appropriate command as root, or on Ubuntu preceeded by “sudo”):
    rpm -Uvh <name of the downloaded RPM package>
    dpkg -i <name of the .deb package>
  • Set up a print queue with your distribution's printer setup tool.

Installation with the package tool of your distribution and automatic updates


We are currently working on support for package management tools of common Linux distributions. These tools allow an easy look-up of installable packages on servers and also automatic updates (for security fixes, general bug fixes, …).

For this we plan to index our package repositories so that they can be looked up by yum (Red Hat, Fedora, SUSE, …), zypper (SUSE), urpmi (Mandriva), apt-get (Debian, Ubuntu, …).


Indexing for apt-get we have already working. Add the line (it is one line)

deb lsb3.2 main contrib main-nonfree

to your /etc/apt/sources.list file and run

sudo apt-get update

From now on your package installation tools will also list our packages and if you have installed packages from us, they will be taken into account on the daily automatic updates.


We have also set up indices for yum, but they need testing. Please create a file with the following content in your /etc/yum/repos.d/ directory:

name=OpenPrinting LSB-based driver packages
name=OpenPrinting LSB-based driver packages

name=OpenPrinting LSB-based driver packages

If this does not work or these instructions are not complete, please report a bug on our bug tracker, for the product “OpenPrinting” and the component “OpenPrinting web site”. If you get it to work with modifications, please tell what to chenge in your bug report.


zypper uses the same package repository indices as yum uses, so our support for this package manager is always as good as for yum.

To add our whole package repository, do

zypper addrepo -c -t rpm-md -n 'OpenPrinting main'
zypper addrepo -c -t rpm-md -n 'OpenPrinting contrib'
zypper addrepo -c -t rpm-md -n 'OpenPrinting main-nonfree'

Distributions which are only LSB-3.1 compliant

The LSB 3.1 does not have requirements on the printing infrastructure, you will have to do some additional simple preparation steps to be able to use these packages on LSB-3.1-compliant Linux distributions.

  • Add the LSB 3.2 requirements for printing by installing CUPS, foomatic-filters, ESP Ghostscript 8.15.3 or newer or GPL Ghostscript 8.60 or newer (on most distributions they are already installed)

On Ubuntu or Debian unstable you do not need to do the following step.

  • Install the fhs-printingdirs package or do:
    mkdir -p /usr/share/ppd
    ln -s /usr/share/ppd /usr/share/cups/model/0-driverppds

Source packages


Do you want to rebuild the packages to be optimized for your system? Customize them? Learn how we built the packages?

The source RPM packages of all driver packages (at least of the ones which are free software) you will find here. And here you can have a quick look into the spec files for the RPMs. Note that we have no source files for the Debian packages, as they are all generated from the RPMs using the alien command shown above. So the sources for the Debian packages are also the source RPMs.

If not otherwise stated our packaging is licensed with the same license as the driver itself. Therefore we must provide source RPMs for packages of free software printer drivers.

openprinting/database/driverpackages.txt · Last modified: 2016/07/19 01:20 (external edit)