I recently picked up a cheap Samsung laser printer and decided to give the Samsung Unified Linux Driver Repository a shot while installing it. Basically the SULDR is a repository you add to your /etc/apt/sources.list file which allows you to install one of their driver management applications. Once that is installed anytime you go to hookup a new printer the management application automatically searches the repository, full of the official Samsung printer drivers, finds the correct one for you and installs it. Needless to say I didn’t have any problems getting this printer to work on linux!
Yesterday, I picked up the newly launched (in Canada) Samsung Captivate. So far, I’m extremely impressed with the device. The super amoled display is gorgeous, the touch screen is responsive, and the UI is stunning to look at and use. Coming from a Blackberry Curve 8310, this phone is like a digital orgasm.
Once I finished gushing over how awesome this phone is, I decided to try and get it to interact with my Linux Mint 9 Isadora install. For now, I just want to be able to transfer images and music to and from the device, although later on, I’d like to get a development environment set up and try my hand at writing some apps.
My first try at getting the phone to play nicely with Linux was not successful. It took me a little bit of fooling around before I could figure it out, but here goes:
- On the phone, navigate to Settings > Applications > USB Settings and make sure that ‘Ask on Connection’ is selected
- Plug your phone into the a USB port, and when prompted, select ‘Mass Storage’ from the dialog that appears on the phone
- At this point, if you open up your Computer in Nautilus, you should see an icon that says something like SAMSUNG SGH-I896, but you won’t be able to interact with it in any way
- On the phone, grab the notification bar at the top of the home screen and drag it down
- In the notifications area, tap USB Connected, and when prompted, select Mount from the dialog
- Back in Nautilus, the icon under Computer should now say something like SAMSUNG SGH-I896: 14GB Filesystem, and you should be able to read and write to the card
With these steps complete, I was able to interact with the phone through the file system and from within Banshee and FSpot. I’m not sure why the phone won’t allow Linux to mount its storage devices by default when in Mass Storage mode, but this little work around seems to make it behave correctly.
Drop me a line in the comments if you have any Linux/Android compatibility questions, and I’ll do my best to help you out.
I might be a little frustrated at this point, but please – let me explain myself before you start with the ‘Haha, Linux noobie.’ comments.
After 45 minutes of tinkering, I finally got network printing working on my laptop. To elaborate, I have a Samsung ML-2510 monochrome laser printer hooked up to my Windows Home Server machine (which I am now able to access no problem), shared across the workgroup. ‘No problem!’ I thought to myself. ‘Samba loves me.’ Right?
WRONG. My trials and tribulations first started when adding the printer driver itself. ‘Input a model here’ taunted me with its ease of use, and sure enough typing in ‘ML-2510’ brought up my printer. After clicking ‘Forward’ and waiting a moment, there was… nothing. No driver available for download.
My next roadblock came in the form of the beautiful SELinux feature built into Fedora 11. For those of you not in the know, SELinux stands for ‘Security-Enhanced Linux’ and basically provides a crap ton of enhanced security policies not otherwise available. While not a Linux distribution unto itself, many new distributions are starting to include it for added security. At any rate, SELinux did not at all like my Samsung Unified Printer Driver, available for download from the Samsung site.
30 minutes of frustration later, after test pages failed to print and SELinux reports were being generated en masse, I just turned it onto ‘Permissive’ mode. Voila! I could now print.
The only question I can think of from this is ‘Why did they make this so hard?’ It should have, realistically, worked after I installed the Samsung driver and chose my printer.