Linux Foundation Improves Printing Functionality in Linux with LSB Driver Development Kit

The Linux Foundation (LF), the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced the availability of the Linux Standard Base Driver Development Kit (LSB DDK) for print drivers.

The DDK provides the tools and resources for printing manufacturers to easily support all Linux distributions with one driver package, greatly reducing the time and effort needed to support Linux. This release also streamlines printer support and functionality for end users through the addition of a web API from the OpenPrinting database. This API will be supported by all major Linux distributions and will allow Linux printer setup tools to automatically find and download printer driver packages, even when there is no local driver available in the distribution.

“The LSB print driver development kit is exactly the kind of work we can expedite as a united community of developers, vendors and users,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director, The Linux Foundation. “We all know we have to make it extremely easy for printing manufacturers to target Linux. This kit will reduce the effort it takes for them to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity Linux represents, and will help users “just print” while using the Linux desktop and printer of their choice.”

The LSB DDK is an example of cross-distribution, cross-industry collaboration to solve the significant challenge of producing distribution-independent printer support. Printer manufacturers will now only need to make one package, which will work with all LSB-compliant distributions. This gives them greater reach for their printers throughout the world without having to support multiple distributions.

“The LSB DDK is a direct result of our workgroup efforts and will make it easier to create distribution-independent printer driver packages,” said Till Kamppeter, manager, The Linux Foundation. “One of the most important new functionalities is the addition of the web API for the OpenPrinting database. Setting up printers that are not supported by the local distributions will no longer be a problem.”

The DDK is available on the Linux Foundation’s website at The OpenPrinting and LSB workgroups are working with printing and distribution vendors to support the broadest variety of printer models. All major Linux distributions are planning to equip their printer setup tools with the LSB DDK in future releases.

More details about the new LSB DDK and demonstrations of its capabilities will be provided at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit this week. The Summit is taking place June 13 – 15, 2007, at the Google Mountain View Campus. The event is the only one of its kind where key technical and business leaders from the Linux and open source communities can meet face-to-face to tackle today’s most pressing issues facing Linux, including kernel development, legal issues, ISV porting and end user requirements. The LSB DDK is an example of the concrete results possible when all major constituents of the Linux ecosystem come together to solve challenges facing the Linux platform. Only by building consensus and unifying the efforts of distribution and printing vendors would this advance in Linux printing functionality be possible.