Epson L210: a great multifunction printer for Linux

My friend Robbi put his Epson L210 printer in our office for use by other lecturers. For those who don’t know, Epson L210 and other L series printers is a line of economical inkjet printers. They are popular here in Indonesia due to their low operational cost and durability.

I remember a few years back when Epson launched the L series printer. I thought that was a wise move from Epson. Instead of fighting cheap compatible ink producers out there, they designed ink tank system printers and provides cheap original ink bottles to refill them. This strategy proved to bring many benefits. Epson are now able to compete with compatible ink producers. On the other hand, consumers are happier since they don’t need to modify their inkjet printers and they can afford the original ink too.

Using Epson L210 from Linux

Thankfully, these printers are well supported in Linux. Epson provides drivers for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and they work great. I have tried its printing and scanning function from my Ubuntu laptop without any trouble. If you want to use it from Linux too, just download its drivers from Epson website, and install them. As with my experience, I downloaded these debs and installed them in the following order:

  1. epson-inkjet-printer-201207w_1.0.0-1lsb3.2_amd64.deb
  2. iscan-data_1.35.0-1_all.deb
  3. iscan_2.30.1-1~usb0.1.ltdl7_amd64.deb

There are deb and rpm versions for use in Debian and Red Hat families, respectively. I chose the amd64 debs since I am using the 64bit version of Ubuntu.

After you install the first deb, you can print right away. However, an additional step is required to use the scanner. Why? That’s because by default only root can access the usb scanner. So, we need a rule in order to allow non-root users to access it.

Create a file inside /etc/udev/rules.d directory. Add these lines into the file:

# Epson scanners
ATTRS{idVendor}=="04b8", ENV{libsane_matched}="yes"

After replugging the usb cable of the printer, the scanner should be available to all users. You can use Image Scan (iscan) or xsane. Both applications can be used standalone or as a plugin inside GIMP.

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