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I'm running RH 7.1 - and have downloaded CUPS to facilitate my shred printer setup. Only thing is that there is not drivers for Canon printers - only HP? Its says I have to pay 7.95$ to get the entire list of drivers - is there a place where I can get the necessary drivers for free?
Canon makes a broad line of inkjet and other printers. Some of the inkjets speak a derivative of the traditional Canon language (supported by the bjc600 gs driver), but many newer models depart from this and are relatively unsupported. AFAIK, Canon provides essentially no documentation without annoying NDAs; free software developers have done everything by reverse engineering. The latest models use newer protocols that are simply not understood.
Canon has recently arranged for an unencumbered information release in the form of source code from the IBM OMNI driver project. OMNI's Canon support is based on NDA information IBM has access to. IBM got Canon's blessing to release the resulting code under the LGPL, so now that sample implementation is visible to free software developers. This is still a long way from proper free software developer support, but it's something...
On a down note, contact with various US-based technicians suggest that Canon is very unlikely to offer any sort of free Unix support anytime soon. There are a few Canon-authored GNU/Linux drivers for a few Japanese-market inkjets, though, so it's not wildly outside the realm of possibility in the future.
sorry to be no help. i'd post something at sourceforge(if it hasn't already been posted there, if it has, follow the progress). if this issue has been addressed, trust me there are programmers working on it. if not, shortly after your post programmers will be working on it. the linux community, imho, is strong and committed to complete support for all hardware. if there is a way, linux (as a communnity) will find it. i'll keep looking for the drivers, and post if anything is found. good luck.
Since there is no light at the end of the tunnel for Canon and Linux drivers, could I overcome that problem by creating a dual boot - installing the printer under Windows and then rebooting the machine and enabling the share through Samba - or do that not make any sense at all?
The idea is to have a printer server and file server under linux for my 4 other window PCs. Unfortunately I don't have a switch that has the parrallel port embeded into it?
Thus, is Samba my solution? or Should I ask CUPS if they have the drivers?
You can *sort of* print to the i560 using the BJC-7100 driver, but the output is crappy--don't expect photo quality. I don't know that there is any way to tweak it, or if there's a better choice. That's too bad about the lack of support, but HP does seem to rule the roost.