Ubuntu 17.04 and "driverless" printing

How does the new “driverless” printing in Ubuntu 17.04 affect us? Will it make it easier or harder for us to get accurate colors? We’ll probably still need to profile our printers and papers?

Has anyone used TurboPrint (http://www.turboprint.info/)? It comes with drivers and profiles for the Pixma Pro-10 I just got great deal on.

I usually only use darktable and I haven’t tried printing from it yet so I was also wondering if anyone has had success with it?


IPP Everywhere might be good, but apparently not a lot of printers support it. I’ve dealt with AirPrint on OS X, and if the Linux implementation is anything like the Apple one, it’ll be of little use for people like us. The AirPrint drivers “just work” but expelled all advanced options and shoe horns everything into just a few options. Great for the office when you want to print a document, bad for the rest of us.

I’d love to be wrong on this :slight_smile:

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Sounds like I should give the Turbo Print software a try then. At least they give me 30 days free to try it out and make sure it all works.

Turboprint works, and it is the only Linux option for my printer. However, I always have the feeling that it could not be adapted to newer OS versions in the future. At least, you have to pay the fee every couple of years if you update your OS regularly, since you get only limited times updates for TP and old TP packages do not work with new OS versions.

What programs do you print from? I use darktable and I’m not sure how to get it to see the TurboPrint drivers/profiles. I have Canon ProLustre paper and downloaded a profile to soft spoof with but it’s also the only profile that shows up in the print module. I’m trying to get some solid info before I start using up expensive ink!

I print from Preview on OS X. Unfortunately, my Epson SureColor P600 does not have a Linux driver, nor does turbo print support it.

I’d imagine that you still need to set the printer up in cups, though that is really a guess, I’ve never used turbo print.

What I really wonder is if there are cups drivers hidden somewhere in the Mac driver, as OS X uses cups in the background (as does AirPrint). @clanmills or @HIRAM , do you know if a cups driver can be extracted from an apple installer package?

As “driverless” technologies emerged, one by one my printers went out of commission. Some didn’t work; others progressively printed more gibberish. Thus, compatibility became more of a problem rather than less of one. I know macOS uses CUPS but I think Apple extends it with its own code, so you might not be able to find something that Linux could use. Then again, I haven’t used Apple products in more than a decade, so I don’t have any answers.

You could generate a PDF on Linux and print it from Preview on the Mac. I don’t know how practical that would be in your setup. Perhaps you can access the PDF over the network, or use a thumb-drive.

I have a monochrome laser printer and haven’t printed in color for years. I think the Mac’s Print Dialog enables you to select color profiles. It may require some effort to ‘calibrate’ your work-flow, however I think you’ll be able to achieve a good result when you print the PDF from Preview.

ppd in cups 1.3 is definitely extractable from epson’s installation package. The pkg is a xar archive, and the ppd is in Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources in a gz archive.

BTW I learned that cups 1.6 onward is by default a pdf printer as opposed to ps. openprinting:start [Wiki]

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That’s awesome @HIRAM thank you so much. I’ve got something to test tonight

For those playing along or finding this at a later time, the software from Turbo Print works just fine out of the box. I’m not thrilled to have to pay for drivers Canon should provide but it’s $35 I can use out of the savings on the printer.
As for printing from darktable it also works out of the box. I set up defaults in Turbo Print and any changes I make in darktable are passed along instead of the defaults. From darktable I decide on paper size but not the kind of paper, that is set in Turbo Print. They also provide an ICC profile for all of the papers they support to use in softproofing. In darktable’s print module I leave the profile as “none” which blacks out the “Intent” options but forces “black point compensation.” With those settings I have gotten very accurate color results but a loss in shadow detail similar to that in prints I got from Bay Photo. I think that’s a matter of editing for print.
In the “print settings” section at the bottom I leave “profile” and “intent” set to “image settings” since I’m still a bit unclear on the difference between these settings and the ones I just in the top part of the module. The darktable user manual hasn’t helped me.
Overall, my printing experience has been great. In my limited testing the quality of my prints are nicer on “Medium Quality (1200 dpi)” than Bay Photo’s but you need to get close to see the difference. A little bit sharper and contrasty… Could be the paper… who knows?!

You have to let the manufacturer know that you want Linux drivers. It’ll probably be a futile request. However, there will be zero chance of drivers if you say nothing. If you really, really care, send a physical letter and address it to the CEO. This, for whatever reason, always worked at Epson.

Glad you got something working!

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