Set up your printer

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Revision as of 23:48, 17 Nov 2010; view current revision
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>=Plugging in=

Most printers available today will connect to your Linux PC with a USB cable. If you're moving over to Linux from Windows or Mac you might expect an alert to pop up on your desktop the moment you plug in and switch on the printer. And if you're using one of the more mainstream distributions, that is exactly what should happen. Should this alert not appear, you'll need to go into your distro's hardware configuration utility.

In SUSE the setup utility will be in YaST under the Hardware tab. Mandriva/Mandrake users will need to launch Drakconf, while Fedora calls its utility system-config-printer. All of these options should be available under the System menu of whichever desktop you're using. To confuse things, Gnome and KDE have their own integrated printer setup utilities as well.

So which program should you choose? Initially, the best tool to use is the one recommended by your distro vendor; so while SUSE users are better off sticking with YaST, Ubuntu users should fire up the Gnome tool. If in doubt, use what you're given ­just the same as you would in Windows!

The procedure for adding a printer is pretty standard across distros. The operating system will first attempt to recognise your printer. If this fails, it will ask you to provide details such as the manufacturer, model and connection type. Once this is established the system will offer to print some test pages and save the setup. If it does manage to autodetect the printer, setup will be a quick case of confirming the options and running the test pages.

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