Linux: Printing at James Cook University (or, Fuji Xerox Printers on 64 bit Linux)

Printing at JCU is difficult on Linux, given JCU exists as a Windows environment. The fact that Xerox Postscript drivers for Linux aren’t exactly straight forward to install doesn’t help either - they require custom filter applications to be compiled.

Update 2016: this still works on Ubuntu 16.04. Also, I happened across another blog which makes a very valliant effort to get the i386 RPM working on 64-bit Linux but then the author resorts to using a VM with 32-bit Ubuntu. The following works perfectly on 64-bit natively because you’re actually building the binaries from source. Sure, the drivers are from 2006 but they’re fine. I guess if it ain’t broke…

Also, this works on Linux and Ubuntu to support all the FX models like ApeosPort-II C7500 / C6500 / C5400, DocuCentre-II C7500 / C6500 / C5400, ApeosPort-II C4300 / C3300 / C2200DocuCentre-II C4300 / C3300 / C2200, ApeosPort-II 7000 / 6000 / 5000, DocuCentre-II 7000 / 6000 / 5000, ApeosPort-II 4000 / 3000, DocuCentre-II 4000 / 3000 and anything I’ve tried in between. In particular, my printer is currently a ApeosPort-V C2275 and even follow-me printing works via our print share.

Alternatively, if you can live without using the FX drivers, the generic PostScript PPDs on Ubuntu are fine too.

Setting up the drivers

  1. To make sure you have the right drivers, get this file: fxlinuxprint-src-1.0.1.tar.gz, which is the drive source kindly obtained from the Japanese Xerox site.

  2. Extract the archive somewhere on your hard drive:

    tar -xf fxlinuxprint-src-1.0.1.tar.gz
    
  3. Make sure you’ve got build-essential and libcups2-dev packages installed (if on Debian/Ubuntu). Other systems (Red Hat, CentOS) will require equivalent packages; post if you’ve done it.

    sudo apt-get install build-essential libcups2-dev
    
  4. CMMI:

    ./configure && make && sudo make install
    
  5. Select this as your PPD when adding your printer as this file:

    /usr/share/cups/model/FujiXerox/en/fxlinuxprint.ppd
    

Setting up the printer

  1. Add a new Windows printer via SAMBA
  2. Specify the printer address as smb://AD/print-tsv.jcu.edu.au/DB017-51-Colour, where DB017-51-Colour is your printer name (you’ll probably need to ask someone or browse the machine at that hostname to find out; on Linux you can use smbclient -L print-tsv.jcu.edu.au -U [your user ID] -W AD)
  3. Enter your authentication details (password)
  4. Press Verify to make sure it works, and then click Forward
  5. Under Choose Driver (or when selecting a Make and Model), make sure you choose to Provide PPD file, and use the one that you’ve just installed using the instructions above. (/usr/share/cups/model/FujiXerox/en/fxlinuxprint.ppd).
  6. Click Forward when done.
  7. Add the rest of your printer’s details and click Apply.

Try and print something and it should be good now. If your machine is like mine, you may find that your pages get Held for authentication and you don’t get prompted to enter a user name and password — if this is the case, then just open the Printers application, view your printer’s print queue, right-click on your job and Authenticate it.

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