Our 5 year old inkjet printer has been making loud annoying noises and refusing to print midway through a page. So this last weekend I decided to replace it with a laser printer (we only really used color for printing photos, and since 1hour kiosks are common and cheap at many places and I prefer those to inkjet). (Before you ask, no this isn't a rehash of Eric Raymond's CUPS horror story.)

So I followed standard protocol and proceeded to Fry's to see what was on sale. The cheapest (on sale) laser printer they had also claimed to support "Various Linux OSes" on the box. (Samsung appeared to be the only vendor to even mention linux) Perfect.

A Samsung ML-2010 for $89. And the box wasn't even previously opened (a common occurrence at Fry's). (Though red lights went somewhat off when I noticed one of the distro's supported by Samsung is the now defunct Caldera (don't want to call them SCO cause Caldera was a nice distro in its prime)).

Once at home, I opened the box and tried to use the included software on the cd. It seemed to run ok (as root), but appeared to configure the USB only printer as a parallel port printer. Printing test pages did nothing. Scouring google and linuxprinting.org I found another recent reference for using the printer on Suse, but it didn't appear to help my situation. (I'm running gentoo).

I tried running the web based CUPS, and kde CUPS config tools but none of them listed the 2010 model. I was afraid that my "Linux supported" hardware was not so. (Updates from the Samsung website, flat out refused to run, glibc issue). So, I slept on it.

Later, after reading about other samsung xx10 printers on linuxprinting.org I caught wind of this sentence: "As nearly all of Samsung's low-cost lasers use the same proprietary printer language (during the time it eas called SmartGDI, PrinThru, and SPL) on can also use a free GhostScript driver which Samsung published some time ago for the ML-4500."

I created a new cups printer instance using the ML-4500 (gdi) driver (from the KDE CUPS interface) and lo and behold, it worked! Beautiful prints, and speedy too. (I'm still not sure how others have used the Samsung provided ppd file for the 2010, it appears that it has sytax errors (using cupstestppd)...) Hopefully this winds up being useful to someone.