Photo Printing from Linux

Does anyone here print photos to a wide format ink jet form Linux? One of the few things I have a Mac around the house for is my Canon Pro-100. There are TurboPrint drivers for Linux for it I’ve not tried those yet. Has any one gone that route? How does TurboPrint handle profiles for different papers? Integration with Darktable’s print module?

On a related note do the Epson wide format printers have better support under Linux? I’ve got an Epson V600 scanner that has at least basic functionality out of the box on Linux and works with VueScan for film. If their printers are better supported than Canon I may go that route when it’s time to upgrade.

I’m working on migrating the printing part of my workflow to Linux. I have an Epson SureColor P600. The latest cups + gutenprint found a driver for this printer, but some of the features are missing, like the super hi DPI print. It seems to work OK though.

I don’t know about canon driver support, so it’s hard to compare, it is usually down to a one by one basis, so do your research!

Hi @lhutton,

What is your definition of a “wide format”?
I tested TurboPrint a short while about a year ago, but after that
I prefer CUPS and Gutenprint (we are talking Linux, right?).
Darktable is very much connected to CUPS, and The Gimp
very much to Gutenprint. They work just fine with my
6-color Epson XP-960.

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

@paperdigits I’ve had the printer for years and just kept a MacBook Pro around to print to it, the rest of my workflow has been Linux centric since 2014 or so. Didn’t really research it before I bought it because at the time I figured I’d always have the stray Mac laying around. But my goals have changed, thanks for the info! How do you handle profiles for your paper types? I’ve got a lot of Red River cotton art paper, metallic and semi gloss that they provide ICC profiles for the Canon driver with (at least on OS X).

@Claes I guess 13 inches/33 cm and up is technically wide format. That’s probably the largest printer I want to and keep in my place for now. Unfortuntely CUPS doesn’t find the printer and from what searching I’ve done TurboPrint keeps showing up as the Linux solution for it. Does Gutenprint handle ICC profiles for the papers?

At least for Epson, the paper profiles can be had as a separate download and comes as ICC files. I actually made my own profiles for the few papers I use regularly (this was also on the Mac as well :[).

I have an HP ink jet printer and have noticed also that printing under Windows 10 has more features e.g. HiDPI print. Linux prints faster and the result is lower quality (I can see little ‘bubbles’). It is not a big issue for me since I always have a Windows machine around but there is some room for improvement in linux drivers for sure. Who is going to do that though. I think HP is the most Linux friendly manufacturer and even their drivers lack of features…

I have just checked on my machine, and your printer model can be selected using CUPS/Gutenprint.

Hi @Andrius,
Which HP model?
Do you use CUPS and/or Gutenprint under Linux?

That is good question. I have no idea honestly. On openSUSE TW I had to install hplip, on kubuntu it just works out of the box.

I think SUSE has a better print menu though

Forgot to mention that the printer is HP OfficeJet 8600 Plus.

If/When you have the time, please send me a screen dump of those features you find under WIn 10. I cannot seem to identify them…

Hmmm … I’ll check again tonight. The last time CUPS couldn’t find a driver for it and Canon didn’t supply PPDs (at least that I could find). It’s also not listed on the Gutenprint supported printers list but I never tried it myself. It’s predecessors the Pro 9000 and 9000MkII are though.

Er… I beg your pardon! It seems as if I goofed when checking
your Pro-100 against the database.

I have not been able to find a CUPS driver for it.

Please excuse me :disappointed:

Claes in Lund, Sweden

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Love Turboprint. I tried GutenPrint, but could never get the image quality up to match the manufacturer’s driver. I use Turboprint on Canon Pro-100 and Epson P-800. It’s really good, and the developer, Florian Zeiler, has been responsive. One thing to note, is that it can’t use any manufacturer’s paper profiles, those profiles are designed for Canon’s print driver. Turboprint gives you the option of (1) paying for a profile or (2) upgrading to a version where you can create your own. I’ve done it both ways.

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@Claes it’s alright! No worries.

@KumsaJack I’m guessing with the create your own option they support the ColorMunki or something similar? That might be better for me as I think they’re located in Europe (I’m in America) so mailing test charts may not be expedient.

Well, I use ColorMunki, but Turboprint uses a better device. The problem with ColorMunki is that it’s not that great with really bright OBA paper. That’s a discussion that you can pick up on the ArgyllCMS forum.

I’m in the US and I didn’t find the delivery and response time significant (I think it was well within a week).

I print on luster, canvas and fine art papers–and I have to add that I have not been disappointed with the generic profiles provided by Turboprint. Getting my monitor calibrated was of the first order in importance. I’m hoping to use some exotic papers, which will require custom profiles.

I also have finally started to use my Canon PRO-100 with Linux (it was the last thing that I had to do after the BIG RELOCATION from mac os to linux started around 7-8 months ago…). Yesterday I installed Turboprint and (1) I was surprised that the printer was in perfectly good shape after months that was left unused (no clogging etc), (2) it was recognized instantly by Turboprint via its wifi connection.

I will start doing some tests today, but I have a question about which version of Turboprint to buy – the “basic” Pro 2 version or the Studio (see here)? Any suggestion on what you guys have?

I usually print up to A4 / 8x10, nothing big (I don’t even have A3 paper at home, but might try it in the future); the only thing that is peculiar to my printing is that I use Red River Paper, which comes with their .icc profiles – so can I use them in the basic version of Turboprint or not?

Related to this I have a question that surelly shows my ignorance but I’ll ask anyway: are these .icc profiles specific to a software, so only usable in Adobe products or are they supposed to be “universal”?

About printing using .icc paper profiles, when I was using Lightroom I started following Ctein’s advice about using printer-managed colors – here’s the relevant part:

most recent generations of printers can do a better job of rendering color all by themselves than handing the problem off to an external software profile. […]
We really are talking about “printer-managed color,” as Photoshop refers to it. Profiling is turned off entirely. No custom profiles, not even the canned profiles that get installed with your printer software. You’re letting the printer engine do it all. It works fabulously well.

Now, this above would make the entire discussion above on icc profiles totally redundant. And I tried it already on my prints, I could see some tiny differences but I also remember struggling to decide what was “best”. So in the end I ditched the profiles and went with printer-managed colors.

However! This is maybe true for the official Canon’s driver that are only available on mac and windows, so the question I have is this – is Turboprint good enough that I can offload the entire color-management process to it? Anyone with experience on this?

Related to this I have a question that surelly shows my ignorance but I’ll ask anyway: are these .icc profiles specific to a software, so only usable in Adobe products or are they supposed to be “universal”?

Well, I’ll answer right away because I just had an email from Florian (Turboprint developer, what an excellent support to have even before starting to actually use the driver!) – he writes:

ICC profiles that are available from paper manufacturers will not
produce good results as they are designed for use with the original
manufacturer printer drivers.[…]
The reason is that color reproduction is dependent not only on paper and
ink but also on the driver / RIP software: different printer drivers have
different color output, depending on halftoning algorithm, linearisation,
use of light (photo) inks vs. regular inks, black generation etc


So, as mentioned in an earlier post, and confirmed by Florian, “… it can’t use any manufacturer’s paper profiles, those profiles are designed for Canon’s print driver. Turboprint gives you the option of (1) paying for a profile or (2) upgrading to a version where you can create your own. I’ve done it both ways.”

Studio versus basic: I print on a wide printer (17") and that requires the Studio version. The only thing you would lose on the basic version is an inability to create custom paper profiles (I can’t think of anything else).

You are using RR paper, which I really like, too. The supplied Turboprint paper types match up quite well, and I have never had to make much of an adjustment. Two comments: (a) canvas lacks the dmax of gloss, and tends to block up shadows. I always do a test print. (b) you can create custom sizes, and RR makes a pano paper that fits the Pro-100 output dimensions. It’s really attractive.

You’ll need to calibrate your monitor. I assumed that was part of your color management, but I’m not seeing any mention of it. IMHO, for a colorimeter you have ColorHug (when it’s in stock) and XRite ColorMunki. Both work with DisplayCal. I’m not a fan of the Spyder hardware. Basically, your OS and all your software is going to lock into the .icc profile for the monitor, on your system. The vendor profiles (RR, Epson, Canon) are specific to papers, and Turboprint already has a range that work well. Some people like to soft-profile a paper-profile, and your editing software might support it. Soft-profiling allows you a visual preview, and it’s important in certain commercial circumstances. I messed around with it, and my experience was that a small test print was more than sufficient. Other people have very expensive monitors, very large prints, etc., where the utmost in color fidelity is a necessity.

@KumsaJack thanks for the reply; first of all, I should’ve RTFM a bit better since it is also clearly stated by DT developers in the online manual that:

It is important to note that ICC profiles provided by the paper and/or printer manufacturers cannot be used on GNU/Linux as they depend on the printer drivers. The darktable print module is using CUPS and there is no ready-to-use ICC profiles for this driver.

My Canon PRO-100 only prints up to 13" (and as I said, I doubt I’ll ever go that wide) so the decision is made, the base Turboprint license will be enough for me.

Yesterday I tried my first prints following your suggestion (as I understand you said that Canon paper types supplied in Turboprint match quite well RedRiver paper; so I had a stack of 5x7" UltraProSatin and I choose the corresponding semigloss Canon paper as recommended on the box.

Unfortunately another technical issue stopped the printing so I don’t yet have anything material to comment! I hope that I won’t need to go and investigate the other route, i.e. to actually commission icc profiles for the Redriver paper types that I have (although if the cost was shared among us, members of, to support the “careful, calibrated printing” In Linux and Turboprint, that could be interesting to me). I just hope that color rendition would be pleasant enough that I could maybe play a little with the basic adjustments in the Turboprint driver, I am not a professional looking for utmost fidelity; I just want nice prints.

About the last part of your reply, I do have a colorimeters, it’s actually the colormunki display you mentioned and I did a quick calibration of my two screens with DisplayCal.