Lexmark C510 Laser printer + Linux

I recently purchased a Lexmark C510 color laser printer. This printer speaks Postscript III and PCL5c. I first verified at the store that it worked with Linux, using the “generic postscript printer” setup. I confidently assumed that I could later download or fetch a PPD file for this printer from the install CD, NOPE¡ So, I googled the web, NOPE – not there either! The PPD file would be specific to this model of printer & would allow one to access printer-specific features via software. Anyway, I took the path of last resort – I booted up my Windows-2000 partition – argh¡ – & installed it via the CD, and sure enough, as I suspected, there WAS a PPD file bundled up in their install binary! I then saved the generic PPD file in /etc/cups/ppd/, copied this file from Windows to my Linux partition at /etc/cups/ppd/, and tested it out, Booyah! Works great! The key is setting up the printer first as a “generic postscript” printer, then adding the PPD file, since it does NOT appear in the list of makes and models you can select from the list. BTW, since I could NOT find this PPD file on the CD, the web, Lexmark’s website or ftp drivers site, AND tech support never heard of PPD files; and since it is freely distributable unmodified, I have posted this file on my website (http://home.mesh.net/turnerjw/jim) for anyone else with Linux and this printer and who may not have paid the Micro$oft tax ;).

I also got the PCL driver working by selecting hpijs (PCL5c), again under generic settings. The printer said it speaks PCL6, but choosing “pcxcolor” produced no output. Both PCL5c & generic postscript drivers produced excellent 600×600 quality prints properly centered on the page. I would still recommend the Postscript driver & the PPD file available on my website.

I also got my X fonts to work (download) to printer via a2x and ghostscript (using a2x by itself set the font, but does NOT download it to the printer, so if the font is not resident on the printer, you get Courier – blah!): In short, for future reference:

ppost -Pfile=/tmp/x.ps -fCoolXFont mytextfile.txt
gs -sDEVICE=pswrite -sOutputFile=mytextfile.ps -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE /tmp/x.ps
cat mytextfile.ps >/dev/usb/lp0

I need to figure out how to set this up as a CUPS filter. It would also be good to try with pipes, but don’t have time now. This is the basic working setup.

Well, now I have to return the printer, seems my wife’s definition of printing photos is different from mine. She wants photos on photo paper exactly like what you get when you have them developed, in short, she wants an ink-jet – argh¡ – so I’m returning the printer 😦
The problem is that laser printers will NOT print on that banannapeel-slick $1 per sheet “photo” paper that she want’s to use and won’t make the image shiny. The C510, seems to work well for it’s price, but you’d BETTER set the paper-type to “glossy”, if using smooth paper, or it starts to streak! This appears to cause the toner to be heated up more or something. “glossy” setting seems to work for plain paper too, so I’d probably just leave it set.

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