How to Research Availability of Print Drivers

robert perry rperry1742 at
Thu Jan 26 03:01:42 UTC 2012

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "robert perry" <rperry1742 at>
To: <freebsd-questions at>
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 2:39 PM
Subject: How to Research Availability of Print Drivers

>I intend to purchase a multifunction printer (including fax, scanner, & 
>copier) and return to utilizing the BSD operating systems.  Early research 
>indicates that few printer manufacturers formally support the FreeBSD or 
>Unix operating systems but imply that drivers may still be available 
>elsewhere.  In the past, I remember visiting certain websites that provided 
>links to drivers but have forgotten the address.  Could someone refresh my 
>memory or provide an address that could help?

>From Robert Bonomi:
For the 'printer' side, look for something that supports a 'standard'
printer _language_ -- preferably PostScript -- over a serial or parallel
port, or the 'lpr/lpd' protocol over a network connection.

*OR* look at the (limited!) list of 'winrinters' directly supported by

For faxing, look for something tht is 'Class2.0' (aka EIA/TIA 592) 
any standard fax software -- like 'hylafax' - will talk to it.

For scanning, see the manpage for SANE(7).  also <>

The higher-end Brother MFP units pretty much work 'out of the box', for
everything except scanning.

Brother provides scanner driver binaries for SANE on Linux, and source-code
for the adventurous.  A quick persual indicates that a number of *nix
varients are supported, including several *BSD varients (FreeBSD is not
explicitly mentioned, unfortunately)  It does not look like it would
require 'linuxemulator' compilation.

A quick attempt at './configure' indicated a need for some tweaking of
pathnames or file location.


>From Polytropon:
Maybe you're thinking about which provides
PPD device descriptions that can be incorporated in CUPS which
has become the "de-facto standard" for printing?

>From Da Rock:
Maybe try

Thank you all for your suggestions.  I was able to review each and I think 
they'll be helpful.  I almost forgot how much fun this could be.

Bob Perry 

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