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Power To Ubuntu: My Kingdom for Yet Another Printer Driver

Posted to the Linux Foundation's Open Printing forums:

A driver for her Lexmark X83 printer is the only thing stopping me from converting my mother's computer to Ubuntu.

I will put $50 toward creating a driver, if anyone is willing to try. Even though that may be more than the value of the X83, I want to help start the practice and network for end users to fund open source free software development up front. (See link to long post about this below).


Here's the driver download page:

And the Lexmark contact page:

I e-mailed them: "We have the Ubuntu distribution of GNU-Linux (for your support services, it can be considered equivalent to Debian).

It needs a driver to work at all. If you cannot provide assistance to the open source community in developing a driver, we will have to be sure to take our business elsewhere in the future.

Thank you. We look forward to your response."

Now that I've written that, just what should Lexmark do to help us write a driver? Provide the source code of the drivers they've already written? I do web development, I'm completely ignorant about operating systems!

Power To GNU: What Free Software Needs to Give More Power to the People



Comments from a Linux driver developer

As far as an X83 Lexmark driver, Lexmark produces a nifty printer driver deveopment kit that should be easy to use. What I can't figure out is what a Lexmark X83 is supposed to be; no info on Lexmark's website. It might be "unsupported" in which case the DDK might not be useful. Also, check this out,

It's for Gentoo, a more hands-on Linux install than Ubunto, but you might be able to find the ubunto version of the lexmark drivers they are talking about and follow their instructions.

In general, printer drivers tend to be somewhat forward-compatible, so a lazy driver for a more modern printer can often be made to drive an older printer provided that the underlying connection technology (USB/LPT/Serial/whatever) is consistent.

Response from Lexmark

Here is your Service Request # 1-760005341

Thanks for using our electronic support to assist you with this issue.

Please accept my heartfelt apologies for the problems you are experiencing with your Lexmark product. To the best of my knowledge, there are currently no plans to develop Linux drivers to support this model. Thank you for notifying us of this request. I will forward your comments on to our development department, as it is only through input from you, our customers, that we can make these important business decisions.

If you have any more questions or concerns, please contact me at your convenience and I will be happy to assist you. (If I am not available, another representative will reply to you as soon as possible.) To respond, please select "Reply" in your e-mail software, and be sure that the past e-mail is included in this reply.

[AOL Users: In order to include the previous e-mail, you must highlight it with your mouse when you are replying.]

If you need to reply, please be sure to include in your message all information from prior e-mail messages & replies. If your e-mail client automatically deletes prior e-mail thread information, it will cause a delay while we look up your support history. If this is the case you may want to save the old e-mails as attachments and attach them to the current e-mail.

Lexmark eSupport Team

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