[nmglug] Epson printer driver and implications, LSB, OS

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Wed Nov 10 17:49:03 PST 2021

Ted Pomeroy writes:
> Leroy & NMGLUGers, 1) Probably a good idea to upgrade to Bullseye, Debian
> 11; many articles are out on the 'net; eg.

Agreed, especially with Debian stable where there's such a long
interval between releases.

But with regard to printers: I like Debian a lot, but printer
configuration is one area where I've found Ubuntu to be much better
than Debian.

And even on Ubuntu, printer configuration via the CUPS web service,
http://localhost:631, doesn't work all that well. What they
really want you to do is run the avahi daemon -- the Linux version
of the service Apple used to call Zeroconf and now calls Bonjour --
and let avahi watch for your printer and auto-configure it.

We have two laser printers in our household, a monochrome Dell
and a color Brother. When I ran a lightweight Debian without avahi,
I spent several hours trying printer configurations one after
another, but I couldn't make it work without downloading binary
packages from both Brother and Dell (I wrote about the details,

On Ubuntu, the first time I needed to print something, I hadn't
gotten around to removing avahi so it was still running. I turned
on the printer, did a File->Print in Firefox or GIMP or whatever
program I was running, and the printer magically showed up, and worked.

That sounds like I'm a fan of avahi, right? Not really. Actually
I'm rather annoyed that Linux printing has gotten so complicated
that the only way to get CUPS talking to a laser printer without
downloading proprietary drivers and spending an hour randomly
switching between settings is to keep a daemon running constantly
just for the once or twice a month that I want to print something.
But oh, well.

Anyway, LeRoy: one thing you might try is to set up a live Ubunto
USB stick, boot from it, switch the printer on, and see if you can
print. If that works, then at least you know it's possible, and you
just need to figure out how to duplicate that in Debian.


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