Welcome to Gutenprint!
High quality drivers for Canon, Epson, Lexmark, Sony, Olympus, and PCL printers for use with CUPS, Ghostscript, Foomatic, and GIMP.
Gutenprint was formerly called Gimp-Print. Gimp-Print 4.2.7 (the last Gimp-Print 4.2 release) is still available for distribution, but is no longer supported. You may install both Gimp-Print 4.2.7 and Gutenprint 5.0, 5.1, and/or 5.2 concurrently and choose which to use. We recommend that all users use the latest 5.2 release; we are not going to do any further 5.0 releases.
Macintosh OS X Users!
There is now a Gutenprint web page for OS X that answers most questions on how to use Gutenprint and Gimp-Print with OS X 10.2 "Jaguar", 10.3 "Panther", 10.4 "Tiger", 10.5 "Leopard" and 10.6 "Snow Leopard", and provides direct download links.
Gutenprint is Sourceforge Project of the Month for November, 2010!
New as of November 16, 2010! The Gutenprint project is honored to have been selected Sourceforge Project of the Month for November, 2010. Please see the announcement at http://sourceforge.net/blog/potm-201011/.
Gutenprint 5.2.10 is released!
New as of May 20, 2014! After a very long hiatus, the Gutenprint project is pleased to announce Gutenprint 5.2.10, a stable release of 5.2. This release adds support for many new printers and other improvements over 5.2.9. The main impact is for developers that link against the Gutenprint library. An updated German translation and improvement for some Epson and Canon media handling are also included. This package is available in source form, and also in binary installer form for Macintosh OS X (10.5 and above; 10.4 and below are no longer supported). You can read the release notes and download it here.
Gutenprint 5.2.9 is released!
New as of July 7, 2012! The Gutenprint project is pleased to announce Gutenprint 5.2.9, a stable release of 5.2. This release fixes a several bugs from 5.2.8. The main impact is for developers that link against the Gutenprint library. An updated German translation and improvement for some Epson and Caonon media handling are also included. This package is available in source form, and also in binary installer form for Macintosh OS X (10.3 and above). You can read the release notes and download it here.
Gutenprint 5.2.8 is released!
New as of June 11, 2012! The Gutenprint project is pleased to announce Gutenprint 5.2.8, a stable release of 5.2. The Canon driver has been significantly overhauled for this release, and output (and in some cases functionality) may be significantly different from previous releases. We expect to perform further work in future releases. Also, an additional eighteen new Epson printers has been added. This package is available in source form, and also in binary installer form for Macintosh OS X (10.3 and above). You can read the release notes and download it here.
Gutenprint 5.2.7 is released!
New as of May 2, 2011! The Gutenprint project is pleased to announce Gutenprint 5.2.7, a stable release of 5.2. This release offers support for more than 80 additional printers from Canon, Epson, and Kodak. There are also some changes for other Epson printers. This package is available in source form, and also in binary installer form for Macintosh OS X (10.3 and above). You can read the release notes and download it here.
Gutenprint 5.2.6 is released!
New as of August 10, 2010! The Gutenprint project is pleased to announce Gutenprint 5.2.6, a stable release of 5.2. This release offers additional support for Epson Stylus Pro printers, along with some changes for other Epson printers and support for additional Canon inkjets and PCL laser printers over 5.2.5. This package is available in source form, and also in binary installer form for Macintosh OS X (10.3 and above). You can read the release notes and download it here.
Gutenprint 5.2.5 is released!
New as of February 11, 2010! The Gutenprint project is pleased to announce Gutenprint 5.2.5, a stable release of 5.2. This release offers several fixes, new features, and support for new printers over 5.2.4. This package is available in source form, and also in binary installer form for Macintosh OS X (10.3 and above). You can read the release notes and download it here.
Gutenprint 5.2.4 is released!
New as of July 29, 2009! The Gutenprint project is pleased to announce Gutenprint 5.2.4, a stable release of 5.2. This release offers several fixes, new features, and support for new printers for 5.2.3. This package is available in source form, and in binary installer form for Macintosh OS X (10.3 and above). You can read the release notes and download it here.
Gutenprint 5.2.3 is released!
New as of December 22, 2008! The Gutenprint project is pleased to announce Gutenprint 5.2.3, a stable bugfix release of 5.2. This release offers several important fixes for 5.2.2. This package is available in source form, and in binary installer form for Macintosh OS X (10.3 and above). You can read the release notes and download it here.
Gutenprint 5.2.2 is released!
New as of November 16, 2008! The Gutenprint project is pleased to announce Gutenprint 5.2.2, a stable bugfix release of 5.2. This release offers a few bug fixes for 5.2.1. This package is available in source form, and in binary installer form for Macintosh OS X (10.3 and above). You can read the release notes and download it here.
Gutenprint 5.2.1 is released!
New as of October 21, 2008! The Gutenprint project is pleased to announce Gutenprint 5.2.1, the first stable release of Gutenprint 5.2. This release offers many fixes and improvements over the 5.0 and 5.1 release series. This package is available in source form, and in binary installer form for Macintosh OS X (10.3 and above). Note that this release is no longer compatible with OS X 10.2! You can read the release notes and download it here.
Gutenprint 5.0.2 is released!
New as of January 3, 2008! The Gutenprint project is pleased to announce Gutenprint 5.0.2, a stable release in the Gutenprint 5.0 series. This release features full support for CUPS 1.2, full support for borderless printing on Epson inkjet printers, support for more Epson, Canon, and dye sublimation printers, and more. This package is available in source form, and as a binary installer for Macintosh OS X (10.2 and above). You can read the release notes and download it here.
Gutenprint 5.0.1 is released!
New as of June 17, 2007! The Gutenprint project is pleased to announce Gutenprint 5.0.1, a stable release in the Gutenprint 5.0 series. This release features full support for CUPS 1.2, full support for borderless printing on Epson inkjet printers, support for many more Epson, Canon, and dye sublimation printers, and more. This package is available in source form, and as a binary installer for Macintosh OS X (10.2 and above). You can read the release notes and download it here.
Gutenprint 5.0.0 is released!
New as of July 30, 2006! The Gutenprint project is pleased to announce the first public release of Gutenprint 5.0. This release, which has been under development for over four years, offers improved quality, greatly enhanced functionality, and support for many more printers than our previous version, Gimp-Print 4.2.
Currently only the source package is available. We expect to release a binary installer for Macintosh OS X in the very near future. You can read the release notes and download it here.
Gimp-Print 4.2.7 is released!
New as of July 15, 2004! Gimp-Print 4.2.7 is released. This offers a number of bug fixes over 4.2.6. You can read the release notes and download it here.
Gutenprint is supplied in source code form under the GPL (GNU General Public License). Please be sure to read the README and NEWS files in the distribution.
- The Gutenprint Project Team
Please visit our project page, which contains a lot more information about us!
What is Gutenprint?
Gutenprint, formerly named Gimp-Print, is a suite of printer drivers that may be used with most common UNIX and Linux print spooling systems, including CUPS, lpr, LPRng, or others. These drivers provide high quality printing for UNIX (including Macintosh OS X 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4) and Linux systems that in many cases equal or exceed proprietary vendor-supplied drivers in quality and functionality, and can be used for demanding printing tasks requiring flexibility and high quality. This software package includes an enhanced Print plugin for the GIMP that replaces the plugin packaged with the GIMP, and Ghostscript and CUPS drivers, as well as Foomatic data supporting the Ghostscript driver.
Gutenprint has been renamed in order to clearly distinguish it from the GIMP. While this package started out as the original Print plugin for the GIMP, it has expanded into a collection of general purpose printer drivers, and the new, enhanced Print plugin for the GIMP is now only a small part of the package. Furthermore, the name Gutenprint recognizes Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the movable type printing press. Finally, the word guten is the German word for good.
Gutenprint 5.2 incorporates extensive feedback from the beta and release candidate programs.
Gutenprint supports only the printer portion of multi-function devices (devices that typically include scanning, copying, and fax capabilities).
We recommend that all users who wish to use this package for general purpose printing use either CUPS or, if they use another printing system or no spooler at all, use Foomatic with the Ghostscript driver (both described below), rather than integrating the Ghostscript driver with self-made scripts or even manually typing in Ghostscript command lines. It is much simpler to manage with CUPS or Foomatic and its PPDs. CUPS provides an excellent web-based interface for easy printer administration, and all CUPS-enabled applications (OpenOffice.org, all KDE apps, etc.) and printing dialogs (kprinter, xpp, etc.) show all the options in easy to use GUIs. Please visit http://www.cups.org/ for information on downloading and installing CUPS.
Gutenprint currently supports over 700 printer models.
History of Gutenprint
The early years: Gimp-Print 3.x and 4.0
The predecessor to this software package (the original Print plugin for the GIMP) was first written by Michael Sweet of Easy Software Products and initially worked only as a print plugin to the GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). In the summer of 1999, I purchased an Epson Stylus Photo EX printer to feed my photography hobby. Finding no existing printer drivers, I adapted Mike's GIMP Print plugin to this six-color printer, and by the end of the year released version 3.0 of the Gimp-Print software, which was included in version 1.1 of the GIMP. The intention was for this to be the stable plugin in version 1.2 of the GIMP while development of the GIMP Print plugin continued for later release.
I put the Gimp-Print development tree on SourceForge starting with version 3.1, and quickly found a group of like-minded people who wanted to print high quality output on inexpensive inkjet printers. One of the main goals, which was not expected to be met until late in the version 3.1 cycle, was to write a Ghostscript driver so that printing would not be restricted to the GIMP. Much to my surprise, someone wrote one within days! That gave me my first clue that the project was destined for greater things.
In July 2000, barely a year after I bought my Epson Stylus Photo EX, I was invited to the Linux Printing Summit hosted by VA Linux Systems. In preparation for that, I spent long hours printing out test images. I went back to the Gimp-Print version 3.0.9 release, which seemed like such an advance at the time, and was floored at how far the project had come in four months! Output that had been considered impressive with using six colors was put to shame by four color output. That should give you an idea what modern printing technology can do. It also illustrates what a group of committed people can do.
I came away from the Printing Summit with a lot of new ideas. Other people were busy adding new features and support for more printers, and in November 2000, we released Gimp-Print version 4.0, the culmination of 9 months of work by the team. The quality was already tremendously improved over what the software could do at the Printing Summit.
I knew at the time that Gimp-Print 4.0 had some serious limitations that would restrict what could be done. In particular, its color model was very restricted (it could only handle RGB and CMYK printers, possibly with light magenta and light yellow inks) and the code was still closely tied in with the Print plugin for the GIMP. I wanted to devise a new architecture for the next release that would allow us to take advantage of more printer capabilities and support improved color generation and dithering, but progress was slow. It took us a few months to fully stabilize Gimp-Print 4.0, and it became clear that our more ambitious goals weren't going to be achieved quickly. We decided to do an interim stable release based on improvements to the 4.0 codebase that would give us some breathing space while we worked on a new architecture.
The interim stable release was to become Gimp-Print 4.2. We used the numbering scheme adopted by the Linux kernel team, whereby stable releases were denoted by even numbers in the minor release (the “2” in 4.2) while odd numbers denoted unstable development releases. We were fortunate that Roger Leigh joined the project shortly after the Gimp-Print 4.0 release. Roger is a superb architect, and he quickly whipped the somewhat disorganized code base into shape. We spent most of 2001 cleaning up the code base, adding support for CUPS (by now, Mike Sweet had joined the project) and the nascent Foomatic metadata management project, improving the color generation and dithering code, and adding support for more printers. A lot of our work went into automatically generating the CUPS PPD files and Foomatic data; the project already supported about 200 printers with a large number of options, and writing all of this by hand would be tedious, error-prone, and unmaintainable. We spent most of the fall working on documentation, cleaning up bugs, and the like, and released Gimp-Print 4.2.0 in late November.
Anticipating that the next major release of Gimp-Print would be a more extensive project, we decided to branch the 4.2 release, and work on the next release (which would be either 4.4 or 5.0, depending upon how extensive the changes would be) while also releasing updates to 4.2. This would allow us to fix bugs and add new printers and perhaps minor new capabilities for users wanting a stable Gimp-Print release while making much more radical changes in preparation for the next release. We started work on Gimp-Print 4.3 (the development series that would eventually mature into the next stable release series) around the beginning of 2002.
The Gimp-Print 4.2 release proved to be far more successful than we ever imagined. First of all, it was wonderfully stable from the outset; it was to be over 4 months before we needed to release an update. We added one major new feature shortly after release, support for the new Ghostscript driver architecture based on HP's HPIJS driver. This driver architecture allowed drivers to be compiled independently of Ghostscript (previously drivers had to be compiled into Ghostscript, a somewhat daunting project for end users). We continued to add more printers, dither algorithms, and so forth, all without breaking compatibility with the initial 4.2.0 release.
2002 was a very exciting year for Gimp-Print. Apple had released OS X for the Macintosh and was planning to rely on a lot of free/open source software for key functions of the OS. In particular from our standpoint, many vendors had not updated printer drivers for OS X, and many did not want to update their drivers for older printers. Since OS X had settled on CUPS as the core of its printing system from 10.2 on, and Gimp-Print had full support for CUPS, the fit was very obvious and Gimp-Print wound up becoming part of the OS X printing system. We were very busy that year preparing for release of Gimp-Print for OS X. This was done in 4.2.2, which we released almost 9 months after the initial 4.2.0 release (which says something about the stability of Gimp-Print 4.2). This release created a lot of excitement in the OS X world and for us, and we did three more releases in quick succession culminating with Gimp-Print 4.2.5 in early 2003.
I was expecting that there would be one more release of Gimp-Print 4.2 that would primarily contain bug fixes and incremental support for new printers. By 2003, many of the printers being released had capabilities beyond what Gimp-Print 4.2 could support. I also expected that we would be ready to release Gimp-Print 4.4 or 5.0 within a year, so there wouldn't be a need for anything more. We released Gimp-Print 4.2.6 in early 2004. However, there were still some problems with that release, and we did one more release (4.2.7) in July 2004. This wound up being the final Gimp-Print 4.2 release.
Gimp-Print Becomes Gutenprint
In the meantime, work on Gimp-Print 4.3 was progressing, albeit rather slowly. We wanted to support the newest generation printers with tiny droplets, very high resolutions, and extra colors, in addition to adding color management and the possibility of supporting many more printer capabilities beyond the fixed set offered in Gimp-Print 4.2. In part due to all of the maintenance work on 4.2, and in part due to the natural tendency of people to move on to other projects, we made only slow progress on Gimp-Print 4.3. It was clear that we weren't going to release a next generation of Gimp-Print in 2002 or early 2003 as we hoped. However, the success of Gimp-Print 4.2 took some of the pressure off, because 4.2 was proving to be highly maintainable. We wanted the next generation of Gimp-Print to be more than just another incremental advance.
The core of the new parameter-based API, and hence of Gimp-Print 4.3, was in place by early 2003. By this time, 4.2 was slowing down, and work on our development tree was starting to pick up. We decided that the architectural and user experience changes were sufficient to name the next release 5.0, and I put together a plan for going to alpha in July and releasing 5.0 in November 2003. That was not to be.
We were doing new releases of 4.3 for intrepid adventurers every few weeks, with extensive changes continuing, and it was only in December that we finally felt ready to move to 5.0 alpha, which we released in January 2004. Progress was slow; there were still quite a few API changes we felt we needed to make, and there were still serious quality problems with many printers. In addition, new printers were being shipped with additional inks that we couldn't handle very well. We also had to adapt to other changes, such as GIMP 2.0 based on GTK+ 2.0, which was not backward compatible with GTK+/GIMP 1.2. We released Gimp-Print 5.0 beta in June with many improvements, but there were still quite a few things on our release checklist that weren't done.
Based on the popularity of Gimp-Print 4.2, we decided that it was very important that Gimp-Print 5.0 not interfere with the use of Gimp-Print 4.2. It was clear that the changes in 5.0 were too extensive to maintain compatibility in any useful way with 4.2, and a lot of people had incorporated 4.2 into their daily work, so we thought long and hard about how to make the CUPS and Foomatic interfaces not interfere with Gimp-Print 4.2.
It also became apparent that our ties to the GIMP had all but vanished by this point. We had actually squeezed all of the GIMP-related code out into a very small stub that was actually smaller than the original GIMP plugin! Furthermore, the Gimp-Print name was causing a lot of confusion among users; OS X users in parrticular were referring to Gimp-Print as "Gimp". We settled on the name Gutenprint, and renamed the project in the fall of 2004.
We were still in beta; progress was slow at this point, but we weren't satisfied with the results. We finally did our first release candidate in September 2005, over a year after we entered beta. We continued to move toward 5.0 release, but there was still a lot of cleanup work that needed to be done: printers needed to be retuned, PPD files needed to be validated, we needed to incorporate feedback from users that we only really started to get from the release candidates. There were a number of serious but subtle bugs with the CUPS and Foomatic interfaces that needed to be fixed in order to have a useful 5.0 public release.
In April 2006 I attended my second printing summit, this one hosted by Lanier, and spent three days working with many key players in the Linux/UNIX printing world. This was very productive; I got a lot of useful feedback on various issues and was able to raise issues important to Gutenprint. We released the third release candidate in May 2006, with a tremendous number of bug fixes and improvements, and this finally felt like a real release candidate. We received extensive feedback from this release, and fixed other problems and made some other changes to improve quality.
In Gutenprint 5.2, we accomplished many of our outstanding goals left over from Gutenprint 5.0, but not all. We've rewritten the Postscript output driver, converted the data in the Epson driver to be data-driven, and much more. Unfortunately, Gutenprint 5.2 still does not offer true color management, but many of the hooks required are there.
Resources very kindly
Canon is a trademark of Canon USA. Epson and (probably) ESCP are trademarks of Epson Seiko Ltd. HP and (probably) PCL are trademarks of Hewlett-Packard, Inc. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.