Samsung ML-2015 printer in FreeBSD: use CUPS, not LPD

Short: see this post.


Was installing the printer yesterday. Read the FreeBSD handbook to get the basic hang of it, then proceeded according to instructions. Guess what? Exactly.

The printer was recognized straight after sticking the USB plug in, powered up, but didn’t print anything when sent

lptest > /dev/ulpt0

It didn’t put anything in the printing spool either. Only if I took the USB wire out of the port it would. But then after sticking it back in, the job would magically disappear.

The printer itself was working fine, that I checked by printing the default test page by pushing down the Cancel button for 2 seconds (as said in the manual). By the way, the manual had more technical information on setting up in UNIX than you would typically expect to get from a gnarly corporate consumer manufacturer.

Anyway, after some research I found out that Samsung ML-2015 doesn’t really support PostScript. I don’t have the links to back it up, though, since I was sleep-deprived and didn’t take any notes.

I installed a ton of ports, like foomatic-filters, foomatic-db, I don’t remember, – trying to find a PPD (PostScript Printer Description) for my printer. My actions were beginning to get more and more chaotic (or should I say: stochastic?).

Long story short, I dropped FreeBSD’s LPD and switched to CUPS. The link I put at the top of this post was most helpful. It solved my worries.

I had to check the CUPS log file a few times. For example, /dev/ulpt0 was inaccessible to CUPS. Or pstoraster didn’t work for some reason, so I had to compile it from ports manually.

(Yes, you got it. That last sentence was a joke.)

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