Installing Samsung Printer Drivers on Linux

I don't recommend installing the unified Linux driver and utilities from Samsung's web site. They'll dump files all over your file system, replace system binaries, and their uninstaller won't work, so you'll have to clean up manually if you want to get rid of it.


Our first Samsung printer was a CLP-550N. To install the driver, I simply grabbed a copy of CLP-550ps.ppd and put it in /usr/share/ppd/custom/. That was enough for CUPS to find the driver when I added a printer via its web interface. I vaguely recall copying the PPD file off the CD that came with the printer, but there's a more recent version in the unified driver tarball on Samsung's web site.

The full Samsung drivers & software packages (see next section for details of how to install these packages) may give you access to additional features such as being able to remotely query the toner cartridge states, but as I no longer have this printer, I can't confirm this.


Having just acquired one of these multi-function printers, I thought I'd download the drivers from Samsung's website and install them. Bad move. Printing worked but nothing I could do would make it recognise that the scanner even existed (and no, it was nothing to do with the firewall, everything to and from the printer was allowed). Then I found The Samsung Unified Linux Driver Repository via a post on the Ubuntu forums and decided to remove the driver and tools I'just installed. That's when I discovered exactly how horrible Samsung's installation software is.

The installer had created Desktop and .gnome-desktop directories in every home directory listed in /etc/passwd. Yes, all of them, including system accounts.

It had also replaced /usr/bin/lpr with its own version, dumped a few lib files in /usr/lib, created /etc/modules.conf and more. To make things worse,the uninstaller refused to run, so I had to clean everything up manually. It was so bad I ended up restoring some files from the previous night's backup.

After sorting out the mess and getting my system back to where it was before I started, I followed the instructions on the SULDR page and it pretty much just worked. There was only one minor problem: installation of one of the packages (I don't know which one, but it happened on two different machines) changed the permissions on /dev/shm from 1777 to 0755, causing Google Chrome to exit instantly and refuse to restart. Fortunately Chrome prints a nice helpful error message when you attempt to start it with bad permissions on /dev/shm, telling you exactly how to fix it :-)

The packages I installed are samsungmfp-scanner, samsungmfp-driver, samsungmfp-data and samsungmfp-configurator-qt4, and they pulled in samsungmfp-configurator-data and samsungmfp-netdiscovery. I'm not sure that samsungmfp-configurator-qt4 was actually necessary though. After installing them I used the CUPS web interface to add the new printer, and scanimage -L found the scanner on the first try.

Note: if you have a firewall running on your machine, you'll need to open a hole for the printer. It's easiest to allow everything inbound from the printer, but a few minutes with tcpdump should allow you to narrow the range down. One of the first indicators of a too aggressive firewall is that scanimage -L doesn't find the scanner.