Automatic download of printer drivers through the internet

Registered by Till Kamppeter

The printer setup tool of Ubuntu 8.10 and later should automatically download LSB-packaged printer drivers from the OpenPrinting database. This way we do not need to ship all drivers on the CDs, we are prepared for printers being launched after our release or being supported only by closed-source drivers which we are not allowed to distribute, driver updates, ...

Blueprint information

Scott James Remnant (Canonical)
Till Kamppeter
Till Kamppeter
Series goal:
Accepted for intrepid
Milestone target:
milestone icon intrepid-alpha-4
Started by
Till Kamppeter
Completed by
Till Kamppeter


pitti: reviewed, comments added inline; please resolve and set back to p-a
pitti: cleaned up ubuntu handling; set mdz as approver to avoid approving my own spec
review: makes sense -- smurf
old-pink: this will work, providing the user has an Internet connection... for those without internet access, printer support will be limited. -- pitti: that's not different to what we have now; we will still put common drivers onto the CD.
2007-01-31: Still needs work from upstream, especially providing driver packages on OpenPrinting web site, on the Ubuntu side all requirements to install ditribution-independent driver packages are given, including the standardized directories for PPDs.
2007-02-08: First driver packages are available on OpenPrinting site now. What is missing from upstream is adding more driver properties like origin (manufacturer?), license, support contact, ..., also discussion about whether and how to implement in Feisty needed.
2007-03-05: The OpenPrinting database does now provide all information to make decisions about downloading and installing driver packages. There is also functionality now which allows programs (printer setup tools, package auto builders, ...) to query the database for available driver packages in driver information.
2007-07-03: Concept of distribution-independent printer driver packages is officially launched on the Linux Foundation Summit. Documentation on building the packages is available.
2008-05-15: On the Linux Foundation Summit 2008 the automatic printer download was discussed with the Driver Backports work group of the Linux Foundation.
2008-05-21: Update of the spec after further discussion with pitti on the UDS Intrepid in Prague.
heno 2008-05-28: Targeting for Intrepid at Medium priority
pitti 2008-06-05: Jockey bits are tracked in new dependency jockey-printer-driver-support now, which I'll draft and implement; assigning the bit drafting to Till
till 2008-09-24: s-c-p in Ubuntu Intrepid is now patched to use Jockey for automatic printer driver download. The patches will go upstream as soon as upstream Jockey has all the needed fixes inside.
till 2008-09-25: Jockey 0.5beta1 is released, s-c-p patch is committed upstream.


Work Items

Dependency tree

* Blueprints in grey have been implemented.