How to create CUPS Postscript Drivers

  • 7001441
  • 26-Sep-2008
  • 27-Apr-2012


Novell openSUSE
Novell Open Enterprise Server
SuSe Linux Enterprise Desktop
SuSe Linux Enterprise Server


Many manufacturers do not offer separate downloads for Linux printer drivers.  Usually, the standard post script drivers that come made for Windows can be used if extracted properly.  Most manufacturers proved both the PPD (PostScript Printer Description; a file created to describe the entire set of features and capabilities for a PostScript printer.) as well as any other platform-specific files required for installation.  This TID will explain how to extract out the required PPD that can be used by CUPS.


1.  Find the appropriate driver* and extract it to its core files:

There are normally two ways driver files are published; either as a self-extracting executable file (.exe) or a cabinet file (.cab)  This cab file can be packed by itself, or embedded within an .exe.

A. Self-extracting executable
Simply run the .exe from a Windows workstation, and then manually copy the newly-extracted files over to your CUPS server.

B. Cab file
i.  Download and install the utility cabextract.
ii. At a shell, type cabextract <cabfile>  This will automatically search the file for embedded cabinets, and extract all of them to the current working directory

2.  Convert the appropriate driver file to a CUPS usable PPD:

With the files extracted, the appropriate driver file must be located.  These files do not always have the same extension, so it will take some work to locate.  It will have some extension similar to .pd_ .pp_ or .ps_ with a commonality of a trailing underscore.

A.  Download and install the msexpand tool.
i.  Click on the download link
ii. In the package list, locate mscompress and click the download link
B.  At a shell prompt, type msexpand<driver.pd<x>> The trailing underscore will now be dropped.
C.  Rename this newly created file to .ppd

3.  Install the PPD

A.  Open the Control Center and browse to printers
B.  Select New Printer
C.  Choose Network Printer (Having HP Jet Direct selected in the drop down menu.)
D.  Key in the IP address of the printer in the "host" box.
E.  Click "install Driver" and browse out to the new ppd file that was created earlier.
F.  Click "open"  *If there is an error about rights, reattempt the process as root

Additional Information


* Note: The driver file for your particular printer should be downloaded from the original manufacturer. Take care to ensure your driver is authentic and works in your environment prior to beginning.

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