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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