The quickest way to get started is simply to use the setup tools provided by your vendor. Assuming that this includes support for your driver, and assuming that your vendor shipped the driver for your printer, then it should be easy to get a basic setup going this way. For information on vendor-provided setup tools, see Section 9.
If your vendor's tool doesn't work out, you should figure out if your printer is supposed to work at all. Consult the printer compatibility listings in Section 5.3.1 as well as the online version described there.
If your printer is known to work with a driver, check that you have that driver, and install if it not. Typically you will be able to find a contributed Ghostscript package including newer Ghostscript code and assorted third-party drivers. If not, you can compile it yourself; the process is not trivial, but it is well documented. See Section 10 for more information on Ghostscript.
After installing the proper driver, attempt again to configure your printer with your vendor's tools. If that fails, select a suitable third party tool from those described in Section 8. If that also fails, you'll need to construct your own setup; again see Section 8.
If you're still stuck, you've got a little troubleshooting to do. It's probably best to read most of this document first to get a feel for how things are supposed to work; then you'll be in a better position to debug.
The Usenet newsgroups comp.os.linux.hardware, comp.os.linux.setup, and comp.periphs.printers all have a share of general printing questions. These are well-trafficked newsgroups where an answer is sure to be found; check in the Google Groups archives, too. There are also the linuxprinting.foo newsgroups; these are available both as web-based forums and via NNTP; see the website.
Please also poke around the web looking for your answers. LinuxPrinting.org is an excellent place to start; other websites and projects are linked to from there.
If you need more help, please try newsgroups, mailing lists, your distribution's support line, and so forth. If do want to contact me, please do so via the discussion forums on LinuxPrinting.org; this will give others a chance to respond, and will archive your problem and any solution publicly for the next hapless user.
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Generated: 2007-01-26 17:58:04