Linux Printing Steps Toward Simplicity

Linux takes a major step forward in making printers easy to use and making Linux distributions easy for printer vendors to support.

The Linux Foundation last week announced the free availability of the Linux Standard Base Driver Development Kit for print drivers.

The DDK provides the tools and resources for printing manufacturers to easily support all Linux distributions with one driver package, greatly reducing the time and effort needed to support Linux, a foundation spokesperson said.

This release also aims to streamline printer support and functionality for users through the addition of a web API (application programming interface) connection to the online OpenPrinting database. The goal is for this API to be supported by all major Linux distributions, and thereby enable Linux printer setup tools to automatically find and download printer driver packages, even when there is no local driver available in the distribution.

"We all know we have to make it extremely easy for printing manufacturers to target Linux. This kit will reduce the effort it takes for them to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity Linux represents, and will help users just print while using the Linux desktop and printer of their choice," explained Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation.

As a consequence of this new printer support standardization, printer manufacturers will only need to build one driver package, and that package will work with all Linux distributions that are compliant with the LSB (Linux Standards Base). This will give them greater reach for their printers throughout the world, without having to support multiple distributions, the Linux Foundation suggests.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...