Replace gnome-cups-manager by printerdrake

Registered by Till Kamppeter

The default printer management tool of Ubuntu Linux is the gnome-cups-manager. This tool is not very feature-rich and especially it is not maintained upstream any more for a year or so. So there is no one to fix bugs and to add new features (like support for the new features of CUPS 1.2). So a sophisticated replacement is needed. Before I have started at Ubuntu, I have worked for Mandriva (former Mandrake) and developed printerdrake, Mandriva's printer setup tool. Printerdrake solves many bugs, problems and feature requests which people reported for Ubuntu's printing system: Plug'n'Print (automatic setup of print queue when plugging USB printer), duplicate display of the same PPD file/printer-driver combo in the printer list, easy configuration of CUPS' printer sharing, automatic setup of HP's printers/MFPs with HPLIP, automatic download of printer firmware if needed (HP LaserJet 1xxx series), treatment of several other special cases, beginner's mode which requires no knowledge of drivers, connection types, etc. with everything set up automatically based on recommended driver, support for many CUPS 1.2 extra features, support for renaming printers.

Printerdrake and all needed libraries are GPL, so no problem with adoption into Ubuntu.

(Try a live CD of the recently released Mandriva 2007, boot with plugged parallel/USB printer, or plug USB printer after boot).

Blueprint information

Martin Pitt
Till Kamppeter
Needs approval
Till Kamppeter
Series goal:
Milestone target:
Completed by
Till Kamppeter

Related branches


review: looks OK -- smurf
2006-11-07: pitti: approved
2007-01-31: till: Provided files, scrennshots, docs, ... to Pitti for him to investigate user interface replacement (Mandriva's original GUI does not work with Feisty and is ugly, too).
2007-01-31: till: Set to "Deferred" as the introduction of printerdrake is stalled on UI redesign now, to be done by mpt, but not on high priority
2007-06-04: till: Posted call for volunteers for the GUI replacement on the <email address hidden> mailing list
What does that mean? How do I help? --brettalton (2007-06-13)
2007-06-21: till: <email address hidden> serves for searching for volunteers for GNOME-related programming projects. brettalton, if you want to volunteer on the GUI replacement, feel free to do so.
2007-07-20: till: Removed dependencies on this blueprint from the other blueprints as the other blueprints can also be implemented based on system-config-printer.
2007-08-15: till: gnome-cups-manager is now replaced by system-config-printer. where I have an excellent cooperation with upstream (Tim Waugh). For printerdrake I did not find anyone to replace the GUI. So this Blueprint is superseded by system-config-printer.
2008-07-25: ms: I descripbe my disappointing experience with the system-config-printer in Bug 238635. For me gnome-cups-manager does not seem superseded by system-config-printer. At least the Gutsy version is terrible. Please reconsider another solution. Thanks


Work Items