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The Free Standards Group Unites Linux Printing Initiatives

Posted by egovindia on July 20, 2006

The Free Standards Group Unites Linux Printing Initiatives

Tuesday, July 18 2006 @ 06:19 PM CDT
Contributed by: Tommy

Application NewsSan Francisco, CA – Free Standards Group (FSG) has announced, the de facto standard repository for printer drivers on Linux, is merging with the FSG’s OpenPrinting workgroup and will be integrated and supported in the Linux Standard Base (LSB). The result will be easier and standardized printing functionality on Linux and an ease of support for Linux and printing vendors and makes the Free Standards Group the central organization for printing on Linux and open source Unix. With this announcement, the Free Standards Group unifies all standardization activities for the Linux meta-platform, including desktop, server, application interoperability, developer support and printing.

Major printing vendors including Ricoh, HP, Epson, Kyocera, Brother and many others currently use as their standard support vehicle for their Linux printer drivers. The system is used by the printer setup tools of most Linux distributions including Red Hat, Novell, Ubuntu, Debian, Mandriva and others. The database currently lists 250 free software printer drivers and 2000 printers, with 10,000 people visiting the site for printing support everyday. The FSG is also announcing is has hired Till Kamppeter, the current manager of, to oversee this project and other Linux printing initiatives.

“The FSG is the only organization that can solve these types of issues for Linux,” said Till Kamppeter, manager of “Their support will make the site more reliable and will allow us to add printing API support to the LSB that will make printing easier for Linux users. The reach, visibility and stability of the FSG also will attract more printer manufacturers to the database which will make the supported list of printers even longer.”

Free Standards Group Logo “We are extremely excited to have and Till join the FSG fold,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Free Standards Group. “Integrating important projects like this database with the existing work of OpenPrinting and the LSB brings us even closer to our goal of a fully competitive and functional Linux platform for everyone: developers writing applications, end users using Linux for all their desktop and server operating needs, and the hardware, and software and printing manufacturers who want their products to work on multiple distributions of Linux. Unifying Linux printing services is an important step in that process.”

Overwhelming Vendor Support for Merger
“Merging with the Free Standards Group is a great development for making printing ‘just work’ on Linux,” said Hiroyuki Funahashi, general manager of Brother Industries, Ltd. “We always appreciate the work of to help users work with our products comfortably.”

“Our Linux Team is delighted to see merge with the Free Standards Group,” said Olaf Meeuwissen of EPSON AVASYS Corporation. “We have been working with and contributing to both for quite some time now. Since its start has grown to become the de facto standard site for end users to get their printers to just work. The FSG’s OpenPrinting work group has been a mostly vendor driven effort to standardize printing. We expect the merge to get both sides to understand one another better, ultimately leading to a better printing experience for both.”

“Konica Minolta is appreciative of the merging of and Open Printing within the FSG and believe it will improve the printing functionality of Linux and UNIX,” said Atsuhi Sekiguchi of Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc.

Linux Standard Base “Ricoh is pleased to see merged with the Free Standards Group,” said Yoshikazu Sugimoto, Vice President, Advanced Imaging & Network Technologies, Ricoh Corporation. “ serves as the primary information source for the user community printing with free software and has been a great success for our customers. The expanded scope of the Free Standards Group will increase printing from the Linux platform.”

“We at Sharp are happy to hear that and the FSG are joining forces,” said Jens Stark, product manager at Sharp Electronics. “An incredibly useful site combined with a strong organization is a hard-to-beat combination, not only when it comes to printing with free software. We are looking forward to continuing our support for printing with free software. Also, congratulations on hiring Till, one of the top printing experts on the planet!”

Integrating with OpenPrinting

For the past several years, has been a central location for printing resources for Linux and Unix and the de facto standard for printer driver integration. In parallel, FSG’s OpenPrinting workgroup has designed standard APIs for Linux/Unix printing workflow. Since both organizations have common goals and interests, the merging of the two projects under the FSG umbrella will create a central source of record for Linux and Unix printing. The result – and the bi-directional integration with the LSB – will be one central place for all printing-related topics which include:

  • Standard printing APIs and libraries
  • Hardware manufacturer and ISV support and consulting
  • Legacy driver integration
  • End user support

The database is implemented in XML and is accompanied by a universal Postscript Printer Description (PPD) file based print filter and software which automatically creates Adobe-compliant PPD files and complete print queues for all known free spoolers: CUPS, LPRng, LPD, GNUlpr, PPR, CPS, PDQ and spooler-less printing. With these queues, the user has access to the full functionality of the printer driver and can use all printer options out of applications (such as OpenOffice) or from Windows/Mac clients.

The OpenPrinting workgroup has recently released two specifications that enhance the interaction of applications and printers and help to achieve the goal of a standardized print environment in *nix environments. The two specifications – Print Application Programming Interface (PAPI) Version 1.0 and Job Ticket Application Programming Interface (JTAPI) Version 1.0 – are available today at


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