Archive for September, 2007

Printer gotcha on openSUSE

September 12th, 2007

I just spent a couple of hours yesterday trying to figure out why the printer on 2 new openSUSE 10.2 installs was only printing in greyscale. This is a very reliable network printer (Xerox DocuPrint C20), which I got for a song about 6 years ago (although the cartridges cost a packet!). I had just run through the standard YaST printer setup, and accepted the defaults.

Now, with a daughter wanting a printout of her homework poster 5 minutes before the bus went, the darned thing was only printing greyscale. But why??? Daughter was packed off with a “holding” greyscale version, and cue some headscratching.

It eventually transpired that the default setup in YaST installed the Gutenprint drivers (which for this printer and some others only seem to print in greyscale), instead of the Foomatic drivers. The odd thing is that the Foomatice ones have “(recommended)” next to them, so why does YaST go and install something other than the ones that are recommended? That may not be a bug per se, but in my view it comes pretty close to it.

The other strange thing is that changing the printer driver in YaST made no difference – it still printed greyscale. A reboot was required to make openSUSE start using the newly-selected driver!!! There is presumably some reason for this, but again, it seems to me that if something had to be restarted YaST should have done the needful by itself. It’s certainly one of the few times I have come across where a Linux box has to be rebooted just in order to have a configuration change take …..