Printing

CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) is the supported mechanism for connecting to printers on Void Linux.

As prerequisites, install the cups package and enable the cupsd service. Wait until the service is marked available.

Installing Printing Drivers

If the printer is being accessed over the network and supports PostScript or PCL, CUPS alone should be sufficient. However, additional driver packages are necessary for local printer support. The cups-filters package provides driver support for CUPS.

Depending on the hardware in question, additional drivers may be necessary.

Some CUPS drivers contain proprietary or binary-only extensions. These are available only in the nonfree repository, and sometimes only for specific architectures.

Driverless printing

Most modern network printers support printing driverlessly using the IPP Everywhere standard. See https://www.pwg.org/printers/ for a list of self-certified printers supporting this standard. Even if a printer is not on this list, there is still a high chance it is supported.

Do note that cups-filters is still required for driverless printing.

Gutenprint drivers

Gutenprint provides support for many printers. These drivers are contained in the gutenprint package.

HP drivers

Printers from Hewlett-Packard require the hplip package.

Running the following command will guide you through the driver installation process. The default configuration selections it suggests are typically sufficient.

# hp-setup -i

Brother drivers

For Brother printer support, install the foomatic drivers, which are contained in the foomatic-db and foomatic-db-nonfree packages.

Configuring a New Printer

CUPS provides a web interface and command line tools that can be used to configure printers. Additionally, various native GUI options are available and may be better suited, depending on the use-case.

Automatically

Printers with support for IPP Everywhere can be discovered and configured automatically using ZeroConf. To enable this, install the avahi package and enable the avahi-daemon service.

Web interface

To configure the printer using the CUPS web interface, navigate to http://localhost:631 in a browser. Under the "Administration" tab, select "Printers > Add Printer".

Command line

The lpadmin(8) tool may be used to configure a printer using the command line.

Graphical interface

The system-config-printer package offers simple and robust configuration of new printers. Install and invoke it:

# system-config-printer

Normally this tool requires root privileges. However, if you are using PolicyKit, you can install the cups-pk-helper package to allow unprivileged users to use system-config-printer.

While system-config-printer is shown here, your desktop environment may have a native printer dialog, which may be found by consulting the documentation for your DE.

Troubleshooting

USB printer not shown

The device URI can be found manually by running:

# /usr/lib/cups/backend/usb