Monthly Archives: January 2013

Howto : (Clean) Install of a Samsung SPL laser printer under GNU/Linux (without the whole “unified linux driver”)

Printing under GNU/Linux has turned very easy I the last years, by combining an improved compatibility with the even most recent hardware and polished user interfaces to let any user get in with it’s printing server configuration. Well, most of the time there is an opensource driver for your printer, and making it work is then as easy as plugin the USB chord and waiting a tenth of seconds for a green popup to tell you that everything is clean and working… Most of the time.

Towards Samsung, at least for the laser printer I own (a SCX-3200), there is no such an easy install process, because of no tested opensource driver. Configuring your printer will likely drives you to your product’s support page (fr), and maybe will you finish installing the so called “Samsung Unified Linux printing drivers”, what is bad, very bad. This bundle comes with a brunch of middleware you’re likely not to want on your computer (because you may only want to use an USB/network printer). This script also installs it’s own Qt libraries for nothing more than a GUI that is totally redundant with your distrib’ system tools. As of system services and OS’ integration, I doubt those 2011 scripts are aware of the last changes in systemd, selinux, … anyway.

This post will describe how you can make your Samsung printer work as good as on any other platform (using Samsung’s proprietary driver), but without requiring you to install all the burden of the “Unified Linux Driver”.

Step 1: Download and unpack the needed files

http://downloadcenter.samsung.com/content/DR/201110/20111006104050600/UnifiedLinuxDriver_0.93.tar.gz

This link is working at the date of writing and will download the 0.93 drivers. You can get a link by your own by visiting your printer’s support page at samsung.com .

Step 2: Install the ppd file for your printer

Once unpacked, you can plug your printer and turn it on. Whatever your distrib, the wizard will fail finding a working driver but will allow you to specify a ppd file. The path to them is :

<extract_path>/cdroot/Linux/noarch/at_opt/share/ppd/

You just have to pick the good one (scx3200.ppd in my case).

Step 3: Install rastertosamsungspl

PPD files aren’t enough, the Samsung driver mostly consists on a tool that rasters the content you want to print to the Samsung Printing Language (SPL). This binary file is to be found under:

<extract_path>/cdroot/Linux/<your_arch>/at_root/usr/lib<arch>/cups/filter/

You need to copy this file to your cups filters folder :

/usr/lib/cups/filter/rastertosamsungspl

Step 4: Configure SELinux to allow rastertosamsungspl to be run

If you try printing something, this kind of message will appear in dmesg :

Jan 20 13:09:53 NetAce setroubleshoot: SELinux is preventing /usr/sbin/cupsd from execute access on the file rastertosamsungspl. For complete SELinux messages. run sealert -l 81360021-b4dd-4f5d-9f78-760346329e48
sealert -l 81360021-b4dd-4f5d-9f78-760346329e48
 *SELinux is preventing /usr/sbin/cupsd from execute access on the file rastertosamsungspl.
*****  Plugin catchall (100. confidence) suggests  ***************************
If vous pensez que cupsd devrait être autorisé à accéder execute sur rastertosamsungspl file par défaut.
 Then vous devriez rapporter ceci en tant qu'anomalie.
 Vous pouvez générer un module de stratégie local pour autoriser cet accès.
 Do
 autoriser cet accès pour le moment en exécutant :
 # grep cupsd /var/log/audit/audit.log | audit2allow -M mypol
 # semodule -i mypol.pp
Additional Information:
 Source Context                system_u:system_r:cupsd_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023
 Target Context                unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0
 Target Objects                rastertosamsungspl [ file ]
 Source                        cupsd
 Source Path                   /usr/sbin/cupsd
 Port                          <Unknown>
 Host                          localhost.localdomain
 Source RPM Packages           cups-1.5.4-20.fc18.x86_64
 Target RPM Packages
 Policy RPM                    selinux-policy-3.11.1-71.fc18.noarch
 Selinux Enabled               True
 Policy Type                   targeted
 Enforcing Mode                Enforcing
 Host Name                     localhost.localdomain
 Platform                      Linux localhost.localdomain 3.7.2-204.fc18.x86_64
 #1 SMP Wed Jan 16 16:22:52 UTC 2013 x86_64 x86_64
 Alert Count                   3
 First Seen                    2013-01-20 04:52:54 CET
 Last Seen                     2013-01-20 13:09:52 CET
 Local ID                      81360021-b4dd-4f5d-9f78-760346329e48
Raw Audit Messages
 type=AVC msg=audit(1358683792.720:1284): avc:  denied  { execute } for  pid=873 comm="cupsd" name="rastertosamsungspl" dev="sda5" ino=1444799 scontext=system_u:system_r:cupsd_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023 tcontext=unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 tclass=file
type=SYSCALL msg=audit(1358683792.720:1284): arch=x86_64 syscall=execve success=no exit=EACCES a0=7fffcaff5d00 a1=7f7acb65ec90 a2=7fffcaff4930 a3=7fffcaff3b30 items=0 ppid=31168 pid=873 auid=4294967295 uid=4 gid=7 euid=4 suid=4 fsuid=4 egid=7 sgid=7 fsgid=7 ses=4294967295 tty=(none) comm=cupsd exe=/usr/sbin/cupsd subj=system_u:system_r:cupsd_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023 key=(null)
Hash: cupsd,cupsd_t,user_home_t,file,execute
audit2allow
#============= cupsd_t ==============
 allow cupsd_t user_home_t:file execute;
audit2allow -R
#============= cupsd_t ==============
 allow cupsd_t user_home_t:file execute;

As explained (in french, sorry…) you can fix it by simply running:

$ grep cupsd /var/log/audit/audit.log | audit2allow -M mypol
semodule -i mypol.pp

And then :

$ /sbin/restorecon -v /usr/lib/cups/filter/rastertosamsungspl

Now your printer should work as expected, without the definitely annoying and useless “Unified Linux Driver” stuff.

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Fedora 18 install cheatsheet

As a fedora user, you might be very happy, bored or sometimes scared to see that every 6 months (or so… f18 should have turned gold two months ago 😀 ) your favorite GNU/Linux distrib is having a new major upgrade. Most people prefer upgrading through the package manager (using preupgrade, or since this release, fedup), but this is not my case. I personally prefer sticking with a fresh system instead of counting on the developers not forgetting any use case/upgrade scenario (what, in the case of fedora, a cutting-edge distrib, is likely impossible).

Well, as you might have guessed, this blogpost wont be a tutorial on how to upgrade from f17 to f18, neither will it explain to the newfag how to setup a working fedora, step by step through the redesigned anaconda installer. This post is all about feeling at home as a confirmed user, even after such an important upgrade.

> Steps I do before install

There is no much I do before a major upgrade:

Backup everything in your ~

(useless until you’re happy you did it)

Export my package list

$ rpm -qa|sort &gt; ~/upgrade/pkglist.txt

does the trick quite well

Save my yum repo files

$ cp /etc/yum.repos.d/* ~/upgrade/yum.repos.d/

> Steps you might want to do once Fedora is installed

Install rpmfusion

go to http://rpmfusion.org/ , don’t forget to import gpg keys too

Update your system

Don’t wait to do a

$ yum update

Make your yum wiser

Yum plugins I use :

  • yum-plugin-fastestmirror
  • yum-plugin-rpm-warm-cache
  • yum-plugin-remove-with-leaves
  • yum-plugin-show-leaves

Those helps to keep your system free of useless (orphaned) packages and accelerates downloading of packages.

Yum settings

from /etc/yum.conf

  • keepcache=0 ; info here, saves some space
  •  installonly_limit=0 ; info here, allows keeping an infinite number of installed kernels (good for regression tests)
  • clean_requirements_on_remove=1 ; automatically suggest orphaned packages to remove when uninstalling something

Setting proper hostname

just edit /etc/hostname as your convenience, modifying /etc/sysconfig/network probably won’t survive a reboot anymore

Remove PackageKit

If you’re reading this, you probably don’t need that. And if you don’t need it, removing it will prevent your yum to be randomly locked.

Remove ABRT

This automatic bug reporting tool usually makes no sense if you already report your bugs by yourself.

Specific to f18

Fedora 18 also comes with new stuff to try… or fix:

DNF, yum’s successor is here

and you can try it very easily

$ yum install dnf

After that you car run dnf just as you run yum. The dependency solver is said to be faster. It works well here, and I thought about aliasing it to yum before dnf install vim failed.

New path for your fonts settings

~/.fonts.conf moved to a standard xdg path under ~/.config/fontconfig . To avoid useless warnings, you can do:

$ mkdir ~/.config/fontconfig &amp;&amp; cp ~/.fonts.conf ~/.config/fontconfig/fonts.conf

Disable /tmp on tmpfs

If you run a low memory system, you might want to keep your /tmp folder where it belongs, to your hard drive. As explained here, running this command and rebooting will do the job:

$ systemctl mask tmp.mount

Prefdm doesn’t exist anymore

and as such, depending on your driver’s stability, you might or not want to read the corresponding release notes.

What about giving SNA a try ?

SNA stands for “Sandybridge New Acceleration” and describes  a new rendering algorithm used within the Intel GPU drivers. Despite its name, it doesn’t only targets Sandybridge chips and might well accelerate your old intel chip as well. To enable it, you first need to create a xorg.conf config file.

This is easy, you need to run as root, when your X server is shut down:

$ Xorg -configure

and then in the “Device” section of the generated file, add:
Option “AccelMethod” “sna”

that’s all ! This feature isn’t activated by default, even if their developers consider it as stable. The result is likely not to be horrible, but you might encounter some random glitches.

Update: SNA is better used with a recent mesa/intel stack available at https://01.org/linuxgraphics/downloads . There is an official installer making this process easy for you, just grab the “Graphics Installer” corresponding to your fedora version and install the rpm. Then you just have to run (as root) the intel-linux-graphics-installer command that will configure a new repository and install the required packages.

> My advises for your everyday workspace

I recommend using:

  • Zsh, which will save your precious time
  • Yakuake under kde or gwake under gnome, two drop down terminals, saves space, helps getting organized

 

That’s all !

I’m still discovering this new fedora and will update this post as soon as I encounter new things to write about.

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