Although I will probably eventually replace my corrupted Windows XP install with a fresh install to run a small handful of apps, I had been planning to get my printer and scanner working under Red Hat Linux for quite some time. It turned out to be easier than I expected.
Epson Stylus Color 860 Printer
The simple solution is to use CUPS, at least if you are running Red Hat 9 (or Fedora) and are attaching directly to the printer via USB.
Update May 27, 2004: Updated instructions for Fedora Core 1.
- If using Red Hat 9, use the Printer System Switcher (in the System Settings menu) to switch from LPRng to CUPS.
- Connect the printer via USB and make sure it is turned on
- Access the CUPS admin interface in a browser
- If prompted, log in as root
- Click Manage Printers, then Add Printer
- Enter a name (no spaces) and description, and enter “localhost” for the location
- On the next page, select your printer connection, e.g., USB Printer #1 or USB Printer #1 (EPSON Stylus COLOR 860)
- On the next page, select Epson
- On the next page, select either the entry titled “EPSON Stylus Color 860, CUPS+GIMP-print v4.2.4 (en)” or the entry titled “EPSON Stylus Color Series CUPS v1.1 (en)”
- Then, click on Printers in the top menu bar of the CUPS admin interface and click the Print Test Page button next to the printer configuration you just created.
You will obviously need to have CUPS and gimp-print installed for this to work. I’m pretty sure they were both part of the standard workstation install for Red Hat 9. If you can’t access the CUPS admin interface, try restarting the CUPS daemon.
Epson Perfection 1200S Scanner
The 1200S has a SCSI connection, since I bought it long ago for my Power Mac G3 desktop. Although Epson doesn’t seem to be too keen on providing Linux support for their printers, they do at least point you to a program developed by the Epson Kowa corporation that supports Epson scanners on Linux. I’m not sure exactly how this company is related to Epson, but I already like them a whole lot.
Epson Kowa provides Image Scan! for Linux as a free download. It works with a lot of Linux distros and a lot of Epson scanners. I downloaded the gcc 3.2 experimental version rpm, installed it, restarted Red Hat (only because I didn’t have the scanner turned on when I last booted up, which is a SCSI bus issue on Windows, too), followed the install instructions to add a symbolic link to the iscan executable to my GIMP plugins directory, fired up the GIMP, and started scanning photos. So far, Image Scan! has worked perfectly.