New printer installation

Do I need to install a new printer with their CD or Ubuntu will find drivers and install it automatically?

Hi @Juandev :slight_smile:
Mostly, ubuntu will do the work. Printers are mostly plug & play and ubuntu knows how to deal with them with generic drivers.
Give it a try and tell us :slight_smile:

1 Like

So if the result is kind of mish mash on the paper, do I need to install driver manually?

Some printer manufacturers on some models do supply Linux drivers. Most (at my last check) do not. Windows drivers will not help you.

It might help the list to know what exact model printer you have.

Are you serving the printer through CUPS?

Does the printer do a self-test correctly?

Is it on a parallel port or USB or WiFi or Ethernet?


You might also want to check the Linux compatibility of your printer at the OpenPrinting site:

1 Like

Sometimes, where the printer-config app does not seems to corrrectly configure your printer, you can try to configure it with the CUPS web interface : http://localhost:631/admin

1 Like

All depends on your printer. With my Samsung printer I needed to install a driver.

Depends on your printer like others have said. In my experience, HP printers work best with free operating systems. I have a DeskJet 2620 and it works like a charm thanks to the free software hplip drivers that are packaged by default in Ubuntu MATE. Additionally, you may want to install the hplip-gui package that provides notifications, even if the tray icon is kind of buggy (see If the printer is very new and is not yet supported by the hplip package in Ubuntu MATE, you can find more information at and download the latest version from there.

Long ago, back in the GNOME 2 days, I also had a Brother printer. I had downloaded the drivers from their website. The problem was that the driver had proprietary components, so it wasn't included in Ubuntu. And at some point Brother stopped updating the driver for the then current versions of Ubuntu, so it became a paperweight when I upgraded, unfortunately.

TL;DR: Don't rely on CDs, make sure you have a free software driver included in the distribution before purchasing the printer.

IMHO: Best choice is (still) to buy a PostScript printer. Cost more, but print processing is built into the printer with a universal language instead of a buggy ( or outdated, or abandoned) software driver, or trying to do a translation through Gutenprint. Our office uses every day a PostScript laser we bought in 2004.

I agree don't try to use the installation CD, it is for Windoze. While I agree HP has the best support, I have had trouble with their printers themselves. I switched to Brother which has good Linux support.

No, I am not.

I don't know. What is a self-test? Another computer that runs Win 10 can print on that paper correctly.

I am connecting it via blue tooth.

What if, there is not my model in the list?

How? I have tried the test page from there and test page seems fine. What is my username in there? Is it the name of the computer?

Well at home I have HP Deskjet which works with my Ubuntu, but at my girlfriends house there is an old Samsung. Test page from CUPS went well unfortunately printing from Libre Office makes these problems. What about to use her Win 10 PC as a server and send printing task via her computer somehow. Is it possible?

Still not knowing what your printer brand is (unless I missed it), makes it harder to help.

If there are many other models in your brand that are listed as compatible, you may be lucky.

Printer manufacturers are highly cost driven. If they can remove electronics from the printer and substitute software drivers in the host computer to do the processing, they often will do. At that point your "printer" is a cartridge with a motor in a box, and the rest of the printer is in the Windows computer. If they don't provide a compatible driver for Linux (rare) or open-source the specs so that someone else can write a driver (more rare) then a Linux developer is left with reverse-engineering to try to design a driver. If the old Samsung is the printer you are looking to support, and a driver is not available now, don't expect it to ever be available. Neither manufacturers nor developers have time to spend on backporting to support odd, old printers.

If the manufacturer does not care more about Linux customers than this, it is impossible for any developer to help. Compatibility and drivers vary widely from brand to brand. HP is so common that many want to support them. Any Postscript will work because ALL of the processing is done inside the printer. Other major brands are pretty well supported, such as Epson and Lexmark.

Can you send through a Win 10 computer? probably. You should be able to set up a CUPS server on that machine, broadcast the server to your Linux machine, and use the printer.

You can also print in Linux to a PDF, then move the file over and print from Windows. Any of these will be a pain compared to just getting a printer that works.

When you say "tried the test page from there and test page seems fine. What is my username in there?" I have no idea where "in there" is.