Linux (Debian) - How to install a printer

October 2016

Linux (Debian) - How to install a printer

Tested on Debian Jessie amd64 (KDE environment).
The printer used in this tutorial is an Epson Stylus SX105.
This FAQ aims to complete the tutorial already proposed on the Debian wiki and clear the issues that have not been addressed.

Install the packages:

  • Open a terminal (as root) and run the following command:

aptitude update
aptitude install skanlite cups cups-client cups-filters system-config-printer

Some explanations:
-cups is the printing system usually used on Unix.
-You can use apt-get instead of aptitude if you prefer.
If you are running KDE, you should also install:

aptitude install skanlite system-config-printer

- The skanlite package can be replaced with another scanning tool such as xsane (skanlite is scanning tool for KDE).
- The system-config-printer package is also specific to KDE (it enriches the features of the Control Panel and displays an applet near the clock).

If you are using an HP printer, install the following:

aptitude install hplip printer-driver-hpijs 

Add a user to the lpadmin group

Assuming that your username is "foo", run as root:

adduser foo lpadmin

Launch cups

We will now launch the printing system (cups). Note that cups will start automatically thereafter.

As root, run the following command:
service cups start

Possible errors: (specific to systemd)

Job for cups.socket failed. See 'systemctl status cups.socket' and 'journalctl -xn' for details.

Restart cups:
cups stop service
cups service start

Failed to start cups.service: Unit cups-browsed.service is masked

Unmask the service via the command:

service unmask cups.service

Check that the cups web interface is working

Open your favorite web browser (Firefox, Chromium, etc ...) and go to:

From the cups web interface you may automatically find the printer (Administration> Find a new printer). NB: some printer model are not listed, but the cups web interface remains useful (e.g to purge the print queue).

Installing the printer (KDE)

Epson Stylus SX105:

Type the following command

system-config-printer &

In the "Printer Setup" window that appears click Add > Printer.
Enter your password when required.
Once your printer is configured, try to print the test page to see if the latter is working properly.
A test page the way you can print to check that all is well.
To display an applet for the Print Manager next to the clock:
system-config-printer-applet &

Configuring the scanner

Simply launch your favorite scanning tool (skanlite, xsane, etc ...) and select your device.

Useful links

Related :

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