Forum: Printers
Topic: printing
started by: moeb

Posted by moeb on Oct. 23 2003,12:35
How do I setup any printer under dsl?
My printer is Samsung ml4600

Posted by DrWatt on Dec. 03 2003,02:37
I'm in basically the same boat.  i have succeeded in getting my printer to print, but only either plain text, or postscript gobbly-gook. Here is what I have done so far:

I have installed printtool, which will write to the /etc/printcap file.  The /etc/printcap file tells lpd what printer you have. Printtool sets up the filters for you by answering a few questions. You can also use magicfilter.

I also had to install ghostscript (gs).  Most linux apps output postscript so you need ghostscript to convert from postscript to something a non-postscript printer understands.

I know I am almost there, but something is still missing. Anyone know what it is? :O

Posted by cbagger01 on Dec. 03 2003,03:10
apt-get install cups???
Posted by libretto on Dec. 03 2003,03:36
Hi there,

Im also trying to get my Samsung ML-1210 to work.

There have been a few posts here before, theres a pretty good page at This give full instructions on how to install various printers for different print methods, eg CUPS (too big for DSL?) and LPR/D (might be better size), of course, both methods still need drivers.

I would try the LPR version, but the site is a bit technical for a noob like me. But if anyone has any ideas....

Posted by John on Dec. 03 2003,03:50
As of 0.5 all that is supported are postscript printers.  Expect this to change in 0.5.1.  

DrWatt, you may want to look at apsfilter.

Posted by DrWatt on Dec. 03 2003,04:40
Thanks John, but Hallelujah I am printing away on my non-postscript printer as we speak. Its an old Okidata OL400 (non postscript dos printer). I'm a newbie, so I may have run around more than I needed to but here is what I did:

- used apt-get to install ghostscipt (gs)
- used apt-get to install magicfilter
- ran magicfilterconfig and told it I had a laserjet (the OL400 is compatible with the old laserjet)

It works like a charm now. I can print graphics, nice fonts, even 4 pages per page.

To other noobs who want to do the same, you do have to find a printer in the filters that is compatible with your printer.


Posted by DrWatt on Dec. 03 2003,04:44
For anyone who can use it, here is a copy of the pertinant parts of /etc/printcap that magicfilterconfig generated:

# @(#)etc.printcap 5.2 (Berkeley) 5/5/88
# This file was generated by /usr/sbin/magicfilterconfig.

Posted by libretto on Dec. 03 2003,17:30

I aptgetted gs and magicfilter as you suggested with no probs.

But after tying some settings of printers with the magicfilterconfig (even tried the 'gdi' printer to emulate my Samsung), I got some error messages:

Use of uninitialized value in pattern match (m//) at /usr/sbin/magicfilterconfig line 204, <STDIN> line6.
Use of uninitialized value in concatenation (. ) or string at /usr/sbin/magicfilterconfig line 205, <STDIN> line 6
Paper size is , page length is 66 lines.
Can't write /var/tmp/printcap: No such file or directory at /usr/sbin/magicfilterconfig line 207, <STDIN> line6

Im not sure what is going on as the above file does exist and I dont think there were any errors created apt-getting the magicfilter.

Any ideas????

P.S.: The printer doesn't work under Mandrake 9.2, despite it working under Redhat 7.3!

Posted by DrWatt on Dec. 03 2003,18:10
I'm not exactly sure what is going on. I got the same type errors a few times, while switching between printtool and magicfilter. They both do the same thing, so if one doesn't work, you might try the other. I think John suggested another filter program that writes /etc/printcap earlier in this thread, as well.

The errors you are getting refer to errors magicfilter is seeing in the printcap it is trying to write. According to the error messages, it never wrote a new printcap.

One other emergency type solution is to google for your printer and printcap. I found several people who posted their /etc/printcaps for a printer similar to mine. It was instructive reading them.

Keep at it, and hopefully you will get it working very soon. Let us know how it works out.

Posted by DrWatt on Dec. 03 2003,18:12
You might also try reading the /etc/printcap that RedHat 7.3 wrote for your printer, if you still have that somewhere. You may be able to just copy it.
Posted by libretto on Dec. 03 2003,20:29
Thanks for the tips I will have another go at these printers when I've finished my university exams :S

BTW John was it me or did I see the new DSL logo on the main site a while ago?

Posted by DrWatt on Dec. 03 2003,20:48
One other thought iibretto. You may need to either reboot (I know that is a linux no-no) or better yet stop and restart both lpd and lpr to force the system to read the config files again. That could be why it thinks the variables are undefined.
Posted by libretto on Dec. 04 2003,18:11
Well I did try that as I was working through some of the guides at, so dont think that helped. But I will work on the problem after the exams and of course try DSL v5.0 / 5.1 (as I now know how to change it too my liking :D ).

Cheers for the help so far.

Keep up the good work John

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