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How to Install Canon LBP Printers in Ubuntu

UPDATE 4: Version 2.4 added support for printer models LBP6000 and LBP6018 and provides a better dependency handling. Please test it on older Ubuntu versions as it works perfectly on Ubuntu 11.04.

UPDATE 3: Version 2.3 added support for Ubuntu 11.04.

UPDATE 2: Due to popular demand version 2.2 now supports Ubuntu 10.10. Use the exact same instructions to install and please leave a comment if anything fails.

UPDATE 1: The currently used CAPT driver since version 2.0 is 2.00 which adds support for Canon LBP6300dn and Canon LBP9100Cdn. Also a new script has been added to the archive to handle the driver uninstall process.

After I bought Riker , when it came to installing Ubuntu I had two options: either install the i386 version but with a PAE aware kernel, either go for the amd64 release. Considering the advantages and disadvantages of both of my options, I decided to go for the 64bit version (although the last time I did this I wasn’t quite happy – back in the 7.10 days). Anyway, Riker is extremely happy about it and I haven’t experienced any problems so far (I’m even running the 64-bit beta flash plugin which works great).

But let’s get back to the main point: Canon printers on 64bit Linux. While Canon does provide a Linux driver (both *.deb and *.rpm files), they are compiled to work only on a 32bit OS (which is like ½ Linux support). Therefore the only solution for the geeky misfortunate fellows like me is to compile their own drivers using Canon’s sources, but not following Canon’s instructions (which seem to be written by an unlucky lad who works at Microsoft but on UNIX services [this is a good joke if you are a geek]). While the process of compiling your own stuff is not very hard to accomplish (when you do have the proper instructions), trying to do this without knowing the exact dependencies is a major pain in the ass.

Fortunately, one guy on Ubuntu forums managed to create a proper set of steps to follow in order to do the job right. If you followed my blog, there’s a slight chance you might have noticed that I like to build BASH scripts to automate tedious Linux things. Since that post helped me to create the two *.deb files needed for the job, I decided to build a script just for the install part, using the packages I compiled and created on my 64bit machine. Also, because I really like geeking around, I made the script to install the correct drivers both on 32bit and 64bit (this is automatically handled by the script).

The current supported printer models for the 1.90 release of the driver are: LBP-1120, LBP-1210, LBP2900, LBP3000, LBP3010, LBP3018, LBP3050, LBP3100, LBP3108, LBP3150, LBP3200, LBP3210, LBP3250, LBP3300, LBP3310, LBP3500, LBP5000, LBP5050, LBP5100, LBP5300, LBP7200C.

You can download the script from here (right click, save as, extract archive). Running the script is pretty easy:

sudo ./canonLBP_install.sh PRINTER_MODEL

where PRINTER_MODEL is one from the above. Any other printer model you would try to use will give you an error message and the script will exit.

Please tell me how it worked. Have fun! :)

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