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additional printer drivers to gutenprint: foomatic

Posted: 01 Apr 2013, 16:14
by francois
I have been fooling around all this easter weekend to understand the debian printpack system. Mainly, I wanted to increase the number of printers covered by gutenprint. Which is really something hard to beat.

Finally, except for hplip alone, that is without porteus dependencies, one package was importantS: foomatic-filters. It provides CUPS and system-config-printer with the possibility to download printer drivers or the like to one's installation and get the printer going. However, foomatic-filters only permits installation of ppd files. It does not provide the ppd files themselves:

The case of hplip coverage in my mind is not yet clear. One thing is sure the overall hp system is not necessary for CUPS or system-printer-config to take advantage of it. In addition, other additional single packages pertaining to hp printers seem to be very interesting and could be taken advantage of for the CUPS and system-config-printer interfaces. I will sort that out later.

After fooling around with binary packages with much limited results, I got a breaktrough this morning installing from source the whole system for foomatic: ... e/foomatic
"foomatic-db" and "foomatic-filters" should be installed before "foomatic-db-engine", and "foomatic-db" also before "foomatic-db-nonfree".
This resulted in a package of 31 MB. However, the coverage of printers is augmented in terms of the variety of printers covered.

Trying to find a way to reduce the size of that package, I found a trail. These package are foomatic-db-compressed-ppds.deb and openprinting-ppds_20120523-1_all.deb: ... essed-ppds

It would spare us from the huge foomatic-db size.

Foomatic database of printing drivers by manufacturer: ... nufacturer

Re: foomatic system : additional printer drivers to gutenpri

Posted: 01 Apr 2013, 18:30
by francois
As I am not very good with code, I would need someone to tell me, what the do really. They are script files I got them from within the overall package in the foomatic-db-compressed-ppds-20120523-x86_64-1/usr/lib/cups/driver/ and /openprinting-ppds_20120523-1_all/usr/lib/cups/ folders:

Foomatic-db-compressed-ppds is foomatic database in one small compressed archive. It reduces the disk space and makes listing of all available PPDs and extracting the needed PPD much faster. Openprinting-ppds seems to be the original version.

Are they generating ppd`s, and from which other package? Do they include ppd`s.

Thanks. :)

Re: foomatic system : additional printer drivers to gutenpri

Posted: 08 Apr 2013, 01:51
by francois
So these packages will keep their secrets until someone knowledgeable looks at them or until I contact the author.

Conclusion on foomatic (filters, db, db-engine, db-nonfree) as a database:
- as a database addition provides larger coverage of printers than gutenprint alone
- database could be downloaded and then discarded once the printer driver is identified and provided as a ppd that with a change folder will be placed permanently in /changes/etc/cups/ppd/ . This is not the case of gutenprint. This means that if you remove gutenprint, the printer will no more be functional.

As an example, system-printer-config gui was able to identify and install correctly the mfc-7830-dw brother printer with the foomatic database, while gutenprint was not able to do so.