Features/AutomaticPrintDriverInstallation

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Contents

Automatic printer driver installation

Summary

Packages like gutenprint-cups, hpijs, and pbm2l2030 should be installed on-demand when hardware requiring those drivers is detected.

Owner

  • email: twaugh@redhat.com

Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 13
  • Last Updated: 2009-11-06
  • Percentage of completion: 20%

Detailed Description

When a USB printer is connected, it should be possible to use PackageKit to install the driver required for that particular printer. Similarly for network printers when adding a queue for them.

This can be done in a similar way to fonts and multimedia codecs. Printer driver packages can be tagged with the printer's "MFG" and "MDL" fields from its IEEE 1284 Device ID (all printers have these).

Benefit to Fedora

Very often the wrong driver is used and bugs are reported about "the" driver not working, when the answer was to install another package. Of course it is also easy to be misled into thinking that there is no driver for a particular model simply because that model does not show in the CUPS model list (that list is built from the information provided by the installed drivers).

Scope

  • All the printer drivers need to report IEEE 1284 Device IDs, including at least the MFG and MDL fields, for the majority of the printers they support.
    • HPLIP and gutenprint (DONE)
    • Still needed for others such as pbm2l2030 and other small drivers like that
  • PackageKit needs support for the new tag type (DONE)
  • RPM needs to be able to add the tags. Patch ready.
  • system-config-printer needs to be able to install packages for automatically-detected USB printers
  • system-config-printer needs to be able to install packages for printers when manually adding a queue

How To Test

Connecting a USB printer

Start with the relevant driver package for your printer *not* installed and the printer disconnected.

Connect the printer and power it on.

You may be asked for authentication to install packages.

You should be asked to print a test page.

You must be able to print to the printer.

Adding a queue manually

Start with the relevant driver package for your printer *not* installed.

Select System->Administration->Printing.

Select a network printer (can be 'Internet Printing Protocol' for another CUPS server).

You may be asked for authentication to install packages.

If a list of drivers is shown, the correct driver should already be selected in the list.

You should be asked to print a test page.

You must be able to print to the printer.

User Experience

Plugging in a printer just works, whenever this is possible. The LiveCD does not have to ship with printer drivers on it.

Dependencies

  • rpm

Contingency Plan

None necessary, revert to previous behaviour.

Documentation

This is it.

Release Notes

Printer drivers are now installed automatically when a printer is connected.


Comments and Discussion