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FAQ request
« on: July 20, 2012, 05:27:52 »
Hi all,

Thank you for this resource - it gives me a little hope that I might get my device fully working, one day...

However, can I ask for a little clarification? I suppose it really is a FAQ, but the answer probably warrants a complete dedicated page, or more...

I have a Dell 1815dn, which I understand is a rebranded Samsung. Once upon a long time ago, I made the mistake of installing the "unified driver" package. Never again! It destroyed all my settings in both CUPS and SANE, so nothing that was previously configured would work.

My confusion is a general lack of understanding. I have always found the printer easy to work - find the .ppd, and add that to CUPS, and voila. So part of the confusion is why do so many other people appear to have problems, and what is this 'unified driver' business all about anyway?

If someone has time, could we have an explanation of what bits are necessary, how they fit together, and how I can *manually* install relevant files to make it all work? What are the chances of getting network scanning and network faxing to work properly?




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Re: FAQ request
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2012, 23:56:22 »
I'm not sure which Samsung printer the 1815dn corresponds to - something I've been meaning to do for a while is try to catalog which Dell/Xerox/other printers are really rebranded Samsungs.  So I can't directly answer why printing has always worked for you, but I'm assuming that means that your printer is probably related to the ML- line of Samsung printers, which are supported pretty well without any special driver.

The experience you had is exactly what led to the existence of this repository in the first place - many others had similar experiences.  My own was bad enough to motivate me to set all this up, mainly because of the trouble I had getting rid of it all.

The broader answer is largely in the information in the various SULDR web pages, but what you are looking for is probably spread out over several pages and not necessarily obvious.  When I have some more time, possibly in a couple of weeks, I'll pull a lot of it together into a coherent answer.

But to give you the brief answer: many of the printers don't work well with the basic CUPS drivers or ppds, or are missing features (for example, mine doesn't duplex properly and can't access the highest resolution print quality).  A few don't work at all, although exactly why isn't always clear.  The core of the Unified driver is a set of drivers for translating the print job into language the printer understands - these are the files in my various "driver" packages.  There is also a piece to provide a scanner driver.  And finally there is the Configurator, which is really just a printer/scanner management interface.  The installer from Samsung includes a bunch of other garbage that causes the problems you experienced; the packages here should be "safe" to experiment with, are certainly easy to get rid of if they aren't useful, and shouldn't mess with any settings (I don't package any of Samsung's scripts that mess with system files or configurations).  The "unified" part just means "universal" - the same driver for all printers.  That's actually not true, as there are several printer drivers, but they are all packaged together along with a ppd for every printer.  The scanner driver is actually a universal driver for all multifunction Samsung printers.

As far as a manual install, real details for that would need to wait for my long answer, but essentially that's what the packages do - they just also include the dependencies so that all the necessary parts are installed for whatever function you are shooting for.  Admittedly, you still get a few extra printer drivers and far more ppd files than strictly necessary, but otherwise it's pretty close to a miminal install at each level (driver only, driver + scanning, driver + scanning + configurator).


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