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Canon MF8050Cn multifunction color laser printer. -- SOLVED
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1clue
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:05 pm    Post subject: Canon MF8050Cn multifunction color laser printer. -- SOLVED Reply with quote

Hi all,

This may seem to be a bizarre place for this post, but I've already struck out a bit on another forum. I use Gentoo at work, and Ubuntu at home. I bought a Canon MF8050Cn printer for home, so my initial requests for support went to that forum, and to date there are absolutely zero responses. Pardon for posting this to a different distro's forum, but I really need a place to start here and I think that I'm going to have to try to write a driver. The Gentoo forum has people who seem much more used to building and contributing back.

The printer works fine from Windows and from Mac OS, so it's nothing wrong with the printer. It shows up on the network just fine. I just can't figure out a way that my Linux box can print to it, which is a shame because that's the only box that's actually mine. I send test pages, and the job shows up in the queue briefly before vanishing, and the printer doesn't so much as flash a light.

I've done some research, and found that there may be a driver but not quite for my setup, which is a 64-bit Intel i7 installation. Here's a link to the thread which mentions the driver: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1140724

The driver has the same name as my Mac driver, so I'm hoping it will work. It fails to compile on my system. The only debian-based binaries are for 32-bit, but there is an RPM with intel 64-bit binaries in there. I'm assuming that these RPMs won't work for me, but I don't know.

So what I have in mind is to update this driver so it can compile and work on my system, and also on a similar Gentoo box, and then submit packages for both Gentoo and Debian if I can get it working.

The problem is, while I do write software I have never done so in the Open Source arena. I have no idea if there's another project already working on this printer, or how to contribute. The Canon web site leads me to believe that they are not Linux-friendly, which I should have checked before buying the printer I think.

So, first I guess I should ask if somebody else found a solution so obvious that they never bothered to post it to this forum, and then ask how to go about finding the proper Open Source community to get started.

Thank you kindly in advance.


Last edited by 1clue on Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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avendesora
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm assuming that these RPMs won't work for me, but I don't know.

Why don't you start by trying to see if they work?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue,

Use app-arch/rpm2targz to get inside the RPM and see if you can use the parts.

If you want to write an ebuild to do this look at other ebuilds that install things from RPMs.
That will show you how to unpack and install from a RPM.

Also moving to Unsupported Software.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved from Portage & Programming to Unsupported Software.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just FYI:

you could also install rpm & then install those rpm's that way you could remove them afterwards by using rpm

I believe this approach is discouraged by Gentoo people :P


on another note:

that way I got my printer & scanner working in no time without the need to manually converting, extracting the rpm and copying over the files manually - so it's pretty efficient if you don't have much time to install it manually or create a ebuild from scratch but need a working printer, scanner, etc. ASAP :idea:
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it too late to get your money back ?

One of the things I always look for when I am shopping for a printer is Postscript language support.
My reason is that Unix-like operating systems use Postscript internally for printing, so no proprietary drivers are needed.

This is the printer I use at home, and it works beautifully with Gentoo.
http://www.brother-usa.com/printer/modeldetail.aspx?PRODUCTID=HL4070CDW

ps. My intention was not to advertise for any particular printer company, but I do believe in boycotting companies that are Linux-unfriendly.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses guys!

I'll look into installing files from the RPMs, but I was under the impression that wouldn't work for some reason. Although I guess as long as the dependencies are all there I don't really understand why it wouldn't work, just a brain freeze on my part.

I would rather do this without installing RPM, I stuck with RedHat long enough to get a bad taste that still lingers.

Re: PostScript support. I have never heard of a laser printer that didn't work with the standard LPD generic postscript support. Didn't even think to look. Also, the last couple of printers I bought were HP and both of them were junk. I got maybe 20 pages each on average before the printer self destructed or an ink cartridge dried out. That's why suddenly buying a laser, I did the math over the last few years and realized I had spent over half the cost of the laser fighting with junk.

I also looked around a lot, and I don't really think I like many of the other options. And it's a good hour to get to where I bought the printer, not including boxing everything back up. I'd rather try to get it to work and have what I wanted, and I think it's time I started contributing back to the OS community in some substantial way. If it takes fixing a print driver to get me started, then that's fine.

Thanks again for the help.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my search didn't find an occurence of "alien"

so why don't you try to convert the rpm via alien to a deb-package and try to install that ?
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue,

All inkjets and low end laser printers do not support postscript directly.
They depend on the host converting the postscrpt to a raster image for the printer.

Removing the postscript engine reduces the cost.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I opened the archive and copied the files into the appropriate places. I don't think I got it right, maybe a permissions issue or something. I get a "Printer 'Canon-MF8050': 'cups-insecure-filter'" message. However, the options seem to make sense for this printer. So I'm partway there.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This issue is solved. It just needed slightly more descriptive documentation for people like me.

"alien" is a Debian app that allows you to install binary packages from other distributions and still have the package database be updated appropriately. It's a wrapper around RPM in this case, only it evidently fixes the problems associated with using more than one package manager on the same system.

I removed all the files I hand-hacked in, installed RPM (which said 'install alien') and then ran the commands as mentioned in that part of the docs.

Thanks.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

glad it worked out for you, 1clue

sorry for the rather cryptic advice :P
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The help that was given was great.

I guess at this point it's obvious to me that no additional software development is really necessary, probably not for Gentoo either. About all I would need is to document which driver works, and how to get it working.

Thanks again everyone.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue,

An ebuild would be useful, so its native Gentoo
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon,

I'll gladly do it, but I'll have to install Gentoo on a partition first. Actually I may have one, but I trashed the boot partition when I installed Ubuntu on that box, and now I'm contemplating resurrecting it. I like both distros, but the box in question makes the best of the problems with Gentoo (it has an Intel i7 in it) so I've been thinking of switching back.

I think I'll try to make a debian package too.

I'll get there, I just need to get some other things done first.

Thanks.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue,

Chroot into your Gentoo from some other distro or a random liveCD and repair the /boot

With a multi distro install, a separate /boot, shared with all distros, can save your sanity
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1clue
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, what I'm currently considering isn't really a dual boot.

I was thinking of making the real OS be Gentoo, because that's what I use that requires most CPU. Then maybe try a VMware for Ubuntu, for when I'm feeling lazy. And maybe a Mac OS one too.

My problem with dual boot was that Ubuntu uses a different version of Grub than Gentoo does, and I don't really understand Grub. I have used LILO since I started running Linux, and this install is the first time I ever even tried Grub.

So I guess my biggest problem is getting the correct Grub setup on the boot partition. I have read a few HOWTOs but mostly it seems they expect you to understand more than I understand, or maybe that part is written somewhere else.

Actually what would be really neat is to migrate my current Ubuntu over to a VMware image, then scribble over the boot partition so I don't really lose anything.

Thanks.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just signed up on http://www.openprinting.org/printers to spread the news, but it seems that nothing has changed once I logged in. Has anyone had experience with that site? I found it extremely confusing and frustrating to navigate, and it seems that Firefox doesn't render the page well either. It also lost my credentials several times just going between sections, so I had to keep logging in.
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