Zorin OS is great for Windows users - 8th Gen Core PCs and below - Except for Printers

Hello Zorin OS Team,

1st: I love Zorin OS. Your Team is on to something, and the Win10 EOL is coming and Win11/12 seems to be leaving all of our older PCs & Laptops - 8th Gen and below - behind. I refuse to accept this - and Zorin OS is the answer.

2nd: Printers - Your Team has to address the ease of Printer install - for Windows & MAC people. They expect Printer install and setup to be straightforward. Zorin OS 16 seems to be hit or miss on this front.

  • Epson printers are found and installed - no problem
  • HP printers are fairly straightforward - and seem to be OK.
  • Brother printers are not - I had to go to Brother to get the drivers and then had to use the terminal to execute a series of steps to get the printer added/installed/working.
  • Canon printers - not sure.

I can't speak for Ireland, the UK, the EU countries, or rest of the world - however, in the US - the main printers brands are HP, Epson, Brother, with a smaller number of Canon.

Please spend some time to address this last remaining task to increase ease of use of Zorin OS for Windows & MAC users... and Nubes. If Zorin OS 17 has addresses these issues, then accept my apologies - as I haven't received the Upgrade image offer yet.

Cheers and keep up the great work.


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I changed this to Feedback as this appears to be a request for consideration rather than hardware support.

Oh, OK. Thanks Aravisian!

The Team has done great work on the ease of use with the GUIs, the App Store, the Graphics and Gaming, the Networking and Connectivity, the Cloud services, the stability and reliability, the flexibility, and the speed. Really the only hole that remains is the Printer choices and ease and reliability of install and setup for printers and multi-function print, scan, fax - although faxing is an old technology that many people don't use anymore.

Cheers to the Team. And keep up the great work. I will be telling my old colleagues at Intel about Zorin OS.


@Aravisian - So what is the answer on Printer functionality, improved Printer support, choice, and install? Is this improved in Zorin OS 17? Brother printers, especially?


Do You use Zorin 16 or Zorin 17? For me I can say that my HP Printer didn't worked with Zorin 16. But now with Zorin 17 the Printer works without Problems.

Just adding my 2 cents to this topic:
I installed HP, Brother, Epson and Cannon printers on Zorin OS without any issue. They were all printers added over the network.
Might be a different experience adding USB attached printers?

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I think it is too early to tell.
Zorin OS 17 is a new release. Many users are waiting on 17.1 point release to change over for stability. :wink:

Printer manufacturers like to kind of do their own thing and can cause aggravation with M.S. Windows as much as GnuLinux.
Printer woes with computers go back almost as far as the invention of the wheel. Some of this is due to Printer companies trying to compete with each other, which reduces simplicity of the printer drivers as they try to add features to lure in buyers, but that lack of simplicity can lead to conflicts with any Operating System that uses them.
Remember that drivers are a bit like a Translator. The hardware itself (In this case, a printer) has its own operating system. That O.S. runs on its own and merely communicates with the U.I. O.S. that you are using, be it Windows or Zorin OS.
Your U.I. O.S. does not run the printer, it runs itself. Your O.S. only communicates with the printer and makes requests.

Maybe it's just me but I've had issues with printers of all brands in every operating system I've ever used. Suffice to say, it's been a long time since I don't have printers at home :printer: :hammer:

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@ToasterMSJ I only can say that i installed my printer driver under Windows with the download from the manufacturer (as .exe) okay you don't have to use terminal but i can't use the automatic driver download from WIndows. I had a old brother printer dcp-6690CW from aprox. 2009 via Network connected and i'm happy that you have at least a .deb and .rpm version (via terminal and closed source). Tried to search for a driver under Garuda (Arch-like), where i can't use .deb or .rpm, as well with a bleeding edge version of cups still no success (for automatic installation). So printer driver are not that easy especially with older printer at least it's way harder with my old brother compared to a "newer" Canon from aprox. 2012 - it's hit or miss. :sweat_smile:

This is one of those problems where I look at it, and then think the real issue is "finding things".

So, from my perspective, this is a more generic problem than it first appears. It applies to all distros, but could be addressed with a single place [central driver store] where a system could ask "I have this, I am this, what do you have for me?"

In this case it is printers, and if there were a central store, and a scraper bot that checked supplier driver websites, you could query the store and fetch the newest known driver. It's definitely not as easy as it first looks, but it's a solution in the long-term.

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A user can intelligently look up the drivers with greater accuracy than a bot can.

I actually think that this issue is more nuanced; where the Printer Manufacturers are not fully supplying their drivers to GnuLinux. Even if a scraper bot found drivers, it will not resolve issue unless those drivers are fully built in the first place.

I do appreciate that the company of users you keep are quite capable :slight_smile: I'm more worried about the ones who are not :wink: [~20 years of dealing with teachers and students.]

All repliers, thanks for the comments. I need to state that I did locate the linux/ubuntu driver for my Brother MFC printer from the Brother manufacturer site - which I am glad they did one. I was able to do the install and was happy to get it working. My post was to state that the printer issue took many many years for Microsoft to get it "right" -- It is so much better now - as a 68 year old guy in the tech industry remembers how bad it was.

I realize the real problem is with some of the printer manufacturers not
doing a great job with their driver development for Linux - not being as robust or complete enough. The fact was in the past with so many distros, it was difficult.

My point is that I really think Zorin is on to something big. With a little work, maybe the Ubuntu and Zorin teams, etc can reach out and work with Brother & Canon? I know this is a horrible task. Device drivers are a never ending challenge and pain to stay current with. But, it is worth it.

To replace MS Windows for those people getting left behind with Win10 EOL coming, this needs to happen. I know we all think that this is worth it. Zorin is great. Keep up the great work guys!


@Ponce-De-Leon - Sorry I didn't respond earlier ... I have been using Zorin OS 15, then OS 16 - the HP & Epson printers install clean and easy, like MS Windows. It was the Brother MFC printers in Zorin 16, .1, .2, .3 (which I have two Brother models - MFC-J410W Wireless and MFC-7860DW Wireless) that weren't "Windows-like clean installs".


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@Radosk - I do get your point. I guess the real challenge for MS Windows converts is that the Driver installers need to be graphical/GUI based, whether included in the OS Distro or from a Shared Zorin download repository with known printer partner GUI Driver installers. The Zorin Team could possible team up and get a Wizard Tool to help point users to problem driver solutions? I don't know. The Team has their hands full for sure. But, working across Distro teams and working together - the Linux Dev community is something to behold - and if they focused on this Printer issue, they maybe could come up with a Linux Distro-wide solution, once and for all. CUPS was created ??? what 30 years ago??? I don't know.


I think we need to remember Zorin has its own help guide on Printers and Scanners:

On a general note you need to be aware that the Linux kernel present in all GNU/Linux distributions can readily identify your printer, but if you look more closely it states the printer found is 'driverless'. Also remember that Printer manufacturers write the drivers, not the maintainers of the Linux kernel. Also to be clear HP don't support Linux directly, the HP-Lip devs do a great job to get things working, and not forgetting the people behind CUPS development.
You mentioned that you don't know about Canon. Canon is one of the easiest printers to set up as there country locale websites support section for Software and Drivers usually have the option to choose which OS you need the drivers for. For printers it is an IJxxxxx package and for Scanners it is a Scangear package. The scanner software interface for Linux is very basic, and on my various researches I understand that Scangear version 1 had exactly the same interface that Windows users have, which departed with the release of Scangear 2! There are some Canon scanners that just will not work with Linux such as my LiDE 500F (I should have waited for the LiDE 600F which does work with Linux.) If you want a decent scanner interface then there is only one solution and that is VueScan.

Something I picked up on from the PearOS forum a long time ago, and still applies today, is if you want to successfully install a printer, DON'T use the graphical interface in Settings/System settings. Always add and configure by starting in the terminal with:

sudo system-config-printer

Additionally, when it comes to the Linux kernel maintaining autodiscovery of printers which ends up with multiple entries you need to issue a systemctl command to stop this from occuring.

On a side note, when I was working for an Inclusion Service inside a school I was able to connect Zorin 9 and 10 to the school network on non-networked Notebooks and was able to install a UFR driver for a Canon mono laser printer in the dedicated classroom and Linux driver for the Service's Kyocera MFD! I needed to use the notebook for diagram work, but primarily for editing videos from the Service's i-Pads before Apple locked them down with i-OS updates. The only bugbear being staff forgetting to video capture in Landscape instead of Portrait mode!

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