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Epson stylus photo R1800 and Linux

Alex Feldman , Sep 04, 2005; 10:17 p.m.

I am running Fedora Core 3 and just got an Epson stylus photo R1800. I don't really care if it prints with anything other than the Gimp. I installed Gutenprint 5.0.0.rc1 and used the --with-gimp2 option when I ran configure. Everything seemed to go fine when I did the Gutenprint installation, but it did not install a new print plug-in, and the old one won't handle this printer. I have gimp 2.2.6 It appeared that nothing in the plug-in directory was changed, although a lot of new script-fu interfaces were added. When I tried to install what I thought was the plugin by hand, it broke Gimp so it wouldn't print anything - that was true whether I installed it in the system directory or in my own local directory.

I've posted to the linuxprinting forum, but tried everything that was posted there. I've updated gimp and the things it depends on. The next step is to return the printer, which I don't want to do.

Please... any ideas? workarounds? Just something that will let me print my photos, in different sizes. It doesn't have to be gimp, although I would prefer that. I have another printer for text and low quality graphics.

Thanks very much for any help.


Frank Skomial , Sep 04, 2005; 11:04 p.m.

1. Ask Epson about Linux driver for R1800. Plans to make one if not available. Possibly they may have one for Sun version of Linux desktop ??, or other GUI ? - if so extend your Linux system with the software.

2. Make additional disk partition and install Windows XP. You can have dual boot system. (second best chance)

3. Investigate print packages for Linux, if any supports the new printer R1800. (perhaps less chance).

4. Obtain programmable Java API jar from Epson, and fuctional codes for the R1800. Start writing Lunix devide driver, then sell it back to to Epson, or market it. Make a million $$$ as a side effect.

5. ...

Ilkka Nissila , Sep 05, 2005; 12:22 a.m.

To use a photo inkjet effectively and get consistent results, you need color management, which basically means Photoshop (the real version) and either Windows or Mac. Also, you need a monitor calibration tool (Eye-One is good and economical). You will quickly save the money of these investments because you will save so many reprints by having a calibrated system. Otherwise you're just going to get prints which don't look at all like (or little like) what you see on the screen. Sorry if this wasn't what you wanted to hear but it's true.

Eugene Scherba , Sep 05, 2005; 12:54 a.m.

None of the above answers shed any light on the topic.

1. Download the latest version of Gutenprint, which is now at Release Candidate 1. From the beta-3 Changelog: "The package now compiles on all GIMP 2.x releases, such as 2.0 and 2.2." That might have well been your problem.

2. If Release Candidate 1 doesn't work, what is the name of the plug-in you copied over to GIMP plug-ins directory?

3. Gutenprint does support color management.

4. One can have a full color-managed workflow on Linux, though it is possible with Cinepaint rather than with GIMP.

Eugene Scherba , Sep 05, 2005; 12:56 a.m.

Since you already have RC1, go straight for No. 2...

Ilkka Nissila , Sep 05, 2005; 01:12 a.m.

Sorry about my ignorance. Are there profiling tools available to generate monitor and paper profiles? Or do the software take standard Epson profiles used under Windows? Are there Linux drivers for the Epson printers which apply the correct amount of ink to each paper?

I've used plenty of software which claim to be color-managed but which actually do a poor job at it.

HC Lim , Sep 05, 2005; 01:19 a.m.

Epson does not support Linux. You just have to accept that.

Frank Skomial , Sep 05, 2005; 12:25 p.m.

"None of the above answers shed any light on the topic." - I do not think so.

Since Epson, or anyone does not support R1800 on Linux yet, all the remedies proposed by someone who "can shed light on it" will limit the printer to print text, and possible some graphics, but will never be able to control all the avenues that R1800 robust Windows printer driver provides, e.g color management, picture correction, etc. taking advantage of the Windows graphical environment that the Linux does not have yet.

The best advice for you is: Make a hard disk partition, and install dual boot, with Windows XP on on the new partition. You could share files between Linux and Windows enviroments, I bet you know how.

Alex Feldman , Sep 05, 2005; 12:59 p.m.

Thanks very much for the replies;

Frank: 1. Epson hasn't been helpful, so far. 2. Ain't gonna happen. I'll have all my good stuff done at a shop first. 3. That's what I've been doing with Gutenprint 4. Maybe when I retire, but probably not.

Illka: Well, I haven't seen the results, but Gutenprint claims to do just that, and it certainly works for some older printers. Gutenprint is the new name for gimp-print, and the project looks pretty impressive to me. I have a feeling I'm just a little ahead of the curve on this one.

Eugene: The name of the plugin is "print" It appears to be the only genuine plugin that was built during the Gutenprint compile - everything else is just a script interface to existing plugins. I can try Cineprint, but I feel like gimp is the appropriate technology here, and would like to stick with it if I could. I will try Cineprint before I return the printer, however.

I guess what I would really like is just the source for the plugin so I could put it on my computer, and install it with install-gimp2. I don't see a way to do that with the whole Gutenprint distribution.

Again, thanks very much for all the replies.

Alex Feldman , Sep 23, 2005; 07:26 a.m.

Just a followup - I had acidentally installed/upgraded two different versions of the gimp libraries, and the Gutenprint configure script was finding the wrong one. When I cleaned the stable and reinstalled everything, it worked perfectly. But I want to clear up some misconceptions that came up in this thread.

1. Epson most certainly does support Linux. They have spun off their Linux support into a separate company called Avasys. While they do not have an R1800 driver yet, I expect you could modify their drivers to do it.

2. Gimp/Gutenprint is an extremely functional competitor to Photoshop. They're not the same, and if you were used to Photoshop you probably wouldn't want to learn the ins and outs of Gimp, but it is a very powerful tool and can certainly do all the things that Photoshop users need 99% o0f the time, if not more. The project is tremendouly impressive, and they introduce upgrades at least as quickly as Adobe does.

I am admittedly a Linux bigot (and proud of it), but I have had no problems using the gphoto2 libraries and Gimp to substitute for the software supplied by Canon and Epson. In fact, I have never even looked at said software, the CDs presently serve as very attractive coasters in my living room.

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