Archives par mot-clé : Printing

Ubuntu Hardy gets Brother printers drivers

Well, it seems Brother printer drivers will make it into Hardy (Ubuntu 8.04, coming up next month), under GPL and Brother Software Open License Agreement – all driven by the community and with some help from Canonical.

Although I’d rather have 100% free Brother printer drivers, it’s still nice Brother has made their license clear about what can be done with their drivers, effectively opening the door to packaging by anyone:

This Agreement provides terms and conditions for license grant from Brother Industries, Ltd (« Broher »). Brother, who owns all copyrights to the software that is distributed with this Agreement (« Software ») to recipients thereof (« User »), for use of the Software. User shall have the right to use the Software only in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement. Any use by User of the Software shall be deemed as its agreement hereto.

Please click on « I Accept » while holding down « Shift » or right click on « I Accept » and select « Save Target As,,, » from the menu.

Brother retains any and all copyrights to the Software. In no case this Agreement shall be construed to assign or otherwise transfer from Brother to User any copyrights or other intellectual property rights to whole or any part of the Software.

Brother grants User a non-exclusive license: to reproduce and/or distribute (via Internet or in any other manner) the Software. Further, Brother grants User a non-exclusive license to modify, alter, translate or otherwise prepare derivative works of the Software and to reproduce and distribute (via Internet or in any other manner) such modification, alteration, translation or other derivative works for any purpose.

Even nicer is actually seeing the first mention of these drivers a bit over two years ago and the path and work leading to its final packaging and testing just hours ago by many community people and even Canonical through the bug report on Launchpad and a corresponding wiki page.

I hope this raises the importance of supporting Linux properly for Brother and, who knows, perhaps they will be more visible for scanner and PC to Fax support in Ubuntu (and generally, Linux) in the near future. I would bet increasing Ubuntu + Brother customers would already justify this.

I do own an MFC model at home and it makes me think of the same comparisons I hear about the  » readiness of the Linux Desktop « . Compare this to all Hewlett-Packard does to support its printers under Linux, there still is a lot to do before both can be compared on equal grounds. Or is it ?


Installing and managing HP printers (including multi-function) in Ubuntu

The HP Linux Imaging and Printing (HPLIP) project really makes it easy to install and manage HP printers (and their extended functions like scanning and faxing) under Ubuntu. I only wish Samsung and Brother provided the same!

On Dapper and Edgy, the hplip package is available and provides command line configuration (very handy when assisting someone via ssh!). You can also optionally install the python-qt3 package if you want to use a GUI configuration.

On Feisty, HPLIP is installed by default but invisible from menus. Go to System > Preferences > Main Menu and then enable HPLIP Toolbox under System > Preferences. A bug report (now solved) details why python-qt3 is not a dependency in case you wonder:

Since Gutsy there is now an hplip-gui package that should be used when wanting full GUI love.

For network printers, from command line, first make sure your printer is visible to your workstation (either ping it or visit its management tools via web at http:// »ipaddress »).

sudo hp-setup IP_ADDRESS

and follow the prompts. The default values for each question are fine. You may reject the proposed PPD driver file and specify the absolulte path to a new PPD file you download if you wish to use one from the OpenPrinting database.

You may also configure fax headers if your printer supports faxing. You can access all the printer functions (scan, copy, fax, status, etc) using the /usr/bin/hp-toolbox GUI to HPLIP.

To scan via network from your workstation, access Applications > Graphics > XSane Image Scanner. You can also insert scanned images directly into an OpenOffice document for example: Insert > Picture > Scan > Request (‘Select Source’ should be pointing to the printer/scan device).

So, if you or a friend / relative / colleague are looking for printer suggestions for Ubuntu, you know what to recommend if you are « the Ubuntu guy » in their neighborhood 🙂

If anyone has suggestions or other printing tricks (for HPs or else), I’d be glad to hear about them.