Printers. The bane of IT. How could such a primitive technology coexist with modern civilization? One might ask while he or she deals with a printer that have just eaten a document or spewed toner on the floor. And yet, we depend on these unreliable bastards each day to print out a Word document, or maybe a hard copy of an email, or to scan and send that drawing you sketched on a notebook.

You don’t land a job in the IT support industry without having installed a couple of printers. You don’t deserve a title of Linux master without having done one on the platform. So let’s see how easy it is to add printers on Linux.

Starting out

For starters, printing on Linux is quite easy, thanks to CUPS, which is an open-sourced, Apple-branded (!) printer software. However, you still need drivers, and for the most part CUPS comes with a standard set.

My printer, on the other hand, needed special drivers. As a Canon MF624Cw laser printer, the beast required me to talk in Canon’s proprietary UFRII protocol, instead of the standard IPP or something else.

But this was really, really easy to acquire…

AUR

Did I say I run Arch Manjaro?

Dead Internet memes aside, Manjaro has a really easy way of acquiring the required drivers. First, if you’re on KDE, open up octopi. Then once inside, click on the green alien to search the AUR, which is Arch’s User-contributed repository of software, and then search for cndrvcups-lb-bin OR cndrvcups-lb if you like to compile your drivers. Green alien isn’t there? Then you might need to install pacaur before trying the above steps.

Once you’re done, the driver install is complete, and you can happily add your printer in KDE settings. That is, unless, you are greeted with this message, which I encountered:

kde-printer-error

(thanks to a random forum post when I couldn’t replicate the issue because I had already applied the solution for the image)

The solution on Manjaro KDE anyway is to add yourself to the sys group using this command:

sudo gpasswd -a <username> sys

Replace username with your username. Next, you could reboot and install the printer from your KDE settings. However, if you’re too lazy to reboot, there’s another way. CUPS actually has a WebUI! Go to http://localhost:631/ and you will be greeted with CUPS’s WebUI. From there, it should be pretty straigtforward to add a printer. Just follow the prompts. Once you’re done adding the printer it should show up under KDE’s printer setting. And you’re done! Print from any application you like and smell those awesome toner fumes.