I have been bragging to everyone how user-friendly Fedora has become with it's most recent release for a while now. Some people are prone to believe me and some are not. No matter where you stand, if you have any experience with Linux, you know there are certain aspects that can be a bit of a challenge. Printing has been one of those issues for many people for a while now. That has all changed with recent releases. Fedora 13 is no exception. The installation and configuration of printers has become a no-brainer for both local and networked printers.
Because many are still sceptical, I thought I should illustrate how easy it is to set up a networked printer in Fedora 13. Hopefully this process (as outlined here) will serve to change your mind on the difficulty of Linux and the state of Fedora. So, without further adieu, let's set up a network printer in Fedora 13.
The printer in question
I am going to set up a Samsung ML-1710 laser printer attached to a print server (an Excito Bubba 2 device serves up the printers with the help of Samba) on a network and is used by multiple machines (both Linux and Mac OSes - sorry, no Windows here).
Prior to the latest releases, in order to get this printer working, the Splix drivers had to first be manually installed. This is no more - at least not manually).
Starting the process
To start the process of setting up a printer, click System > Administration > Printing to bring up the Printer administration tool (see Figure 1). From this window you need to click the Add button and select "Printer". You will have to enter your root password to continue. Depending upon the state of your firewall, this might open up a window informing you that changes must be made to your firewall to allow the detection of a network printer. Allow this to happen by clicking Adjust Firewall. You will then be asked for your root password once again.
The next window to appear is the New Printer window. Here you will expand the Network Printer selection (see Figure 2) and then select Find Network Printer. When you click that button you will need to enter the IP address of your printer server and then click the Find button. Once you have done that the tool will automatically add the necessary information for the printer location (see
Figure 3). Click the Verify button to make sure the printer information is correct. In my case I had to replace the host name with the IP address. I could have gotten around this by mapping the hostname to an IP address in the /etc/hosts file.
Once you have done this, click the Forward button and the drivers will automatically be detected and installed (if necessary). If your drivers must be installed, click the Install button (when prompted). The drivers will then be attached to the printer and you will be moved to another screen - printer description. The information in this window is all user-friendly, user-readable information. After you fill this out, click Apply, enter your root password, and click Print Test Page when prompted.
That's it. You have successfully set up a networked printer in Linux. This process has come a long way from where it was just a few short years ago. And if you're wondering why I chose setting up a network printer to show how user-friendly Fedora 13 has come, I did so because we all know how frustrating setting up a network printer can be. And since setting up a local printer is far easier, you can see that the addition of a printer to your Fedora 13 machine is now a process anyone can do.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.