EPSON Printers and Linux



In general it works ... :-)

Application Level Support


The Gimp does support to print directly to certain printers without going through PostScript and the GhostScript filter. Among the supported printers are most of the EPSON inkjets - at least in the development version of the Gimp Print Plugin. The software that comes with the 1.0.4 or 1.1.xx versions of Gimp is limited in both the image quality and the number of supported printers. If you are interested in the best possible image quality check out the project home page at SourceForge.

There are several EPSON printers which need testing, so if you own one of these please consider joining the project and donating some ink for test prints on your own printer. The software is fairly easy to install, almost everything is done via an automated process.

For at least the Stylus Color 740 the image quality is not yet at par with the Windows driver, but we are getting there. If you have a background in color science or any related subject, you should consider joining the project and contributing some of your know-how.


As usual, GhostScript has some pretty good support for all sorts of EPSON printers. The image quality produced by either one of the "native" GhostScript drivers however is not up to what the Gimp Print Plugin can produce.

There are several ways of creating output on an EPSON printer using GhostScript:

  • The stcolor driver is a native driver for some Stylus Color printers, but does not support any of the newer devices. It comes with the standard Ghostscript distribution.
  • The UPP driver supports (in theory) any bitmap ink jet, and has been used to sucessfully print to both EPSON Stylus Color and Stylus Photo printers. It's output quality is far from what e.g. the Windows driver can produce.
  • The stp driver is the Ghostscript version of the Gimp print plugin. It creates the best output that's possible on Linux, depending on the printer and the print mode it's output quality is either at par with the Windows driver or pretty close. The project's home page is at SourceForge:


EPSON printers can be connected to either a parallel port, an USB port or a MacIntosh (with what ever interface Macs come these days). I dont'a have access to a Mac, I've never connected a printer to a Mac, so I am in no position to talk about Macs.


Just connect the printer to the parallel port and print.


Even though USB is a very easy way to connect a printer there are some EPSON printers that need some special treatment. My Stylus Color 740 just works when connected via USB. Instead of /dev/lp0 I am using /dev/usblp0 (the device needs to be created of course) but other than that no modification of the system is necessary.

The Stylus Photo 750 and probably also the Stylus Color 800 need some special treatment: It seems that EPSON uses a non published command to switch the printer's raster processor between the two or three possible input sources: The printer does accept commands in the so called "Remote Mode" via the USB interface, but does not process any print data on this port before a command is sent that connects the RIP with the USB port. By default it is connected with the parallel port.

I have asked EPSON to provide some information, but so far have not yet received any. On the USB mailing list somebody posted information about how to set up a system so that these commands are sent before every print job. It is not really necessary to send these commands with every job, once per session would be sufficient (right after the printer is powered up), these settings are in effect either until the printer is powered down again, or until a different input source is selected via a "Remote Mode" command.

Here are two messages from the USB list that describe what needs to be done in order to get these printers working:

And here is the page describing the procedudure for the UPP driver:

Misc. Other Software

... just give me some time ...

Last changed on Wed Oct 17 19:06:43 2001 Validated HTML 4.0
Karl Heinz Kremer