Samsung printers in Ubuntu and Linux Mint

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Nowadays, it's easy to install a Samsung printer or multifunctional in Linux Mint and Ubuntu. You can do it like this:

1. Connect your printer to your computer by means of a USB cable (even when you intend to use it as a network printer later on: for initial installation a USB cable is often needed). Then turn on your printer.

2. Sometimes it's necessary to add your printer or scanner to the system yourself, by means of the application Printers. In that case Printers already contains the driver for your printer, but you have to "indicate" the printer first.

So launch the application Printers. You can use the search box in your menu to find it; it's present by default in all editions of Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

In the application Printers, click the button Add (with the + sign) and follow the steps it offers you.

If this fails, for example because your printer is too new for the database in your version of Linux Mint or Ubuntu, then proceed with step 3:

3. First remove any current instance of your printer in the application Printers. Another driver will probably be the solution. Samsung has produced a fine Linux driver for all its printers (including multifunctionals with a scanner feature): the Unified Linux Driver.

Usually it isn't necessary to install it, because Ubuntu and Linux Mint already contain a version of it. But if that version doesn't suffice, for example because your printer is too new, then you can install the driver as follows:

Download the compressed Linux driver from the website of.... competitor Hewlett Packard! Very weird, but it's a fact. Apparently Samsung and HP have struck some kind of a deal about this.

4. Usually the downloaded compressed file has landed in the folder Downloads. So unzip it like this:

Launch a terminal window.
(You can launch a terminal window like this: *Click*)

Use copy/paste to transfer the following command to the terminal:
cd Downloads && tar -xvzf ~/Downloads/uld*.tar.gz

Press Enter.

5. Now go to the uncompressed folder with this terminal command (use copy/paste):
cd ~/Downloads/uld

Press Enter.

Note: this might produce an error message, stating: No such file or directory. This typically happens when you've downloaded the old driver for older printers, because the new driver is only for newer printers. If so, copy/paste the following magical incantation into the terminal:

cd ~/Downloads/cdroot/Linux

Press Enter.

6. Then make the terminal window fullscreen, because of an annoying license agreement (more about that later). Then in the terminal (copy/paste):
sudo sh

Press Enter.

When asked, type your password. Your password remains entirely invisible: you don't even see dots, that's normal. Press Enter again.

Now you see an aggravating license agreement, which you have to walk through line by line, by repeatedly pressing Enter. Note that you have to do it slowly and carefully, because if you press Enter one time too many, you shoot past the line where you have to press "y" in order to agree to the license agreement. If that happens, you have to run "sudo sh" all over again....

Now the installation starts. Answer the questions (if asked: choose to disable printing from the LTP port: that's outdated).

7. You're done! Enjoy your printer.

Note: does the installation fail, for example because the unzipping produces an error, or because you get the error message "Can't open" ?

Then you probably have a corrupt driver file: that happens fairly often with this file. Apparently Samsung's servers are in a bad shape. Solution: remove everything, download a new copy and try again.

Want more tips?

Do you want more tips and tweaks for Ubuntu or Linux Mint? There's a lot more of them on this website!

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