10 Dec 2006

Having googled around this subject, I was surprised to see how little information was out there that could help me. This post is intended to increase the Google Juice.

I bought a Canon Selphy CP510 printer earlier in the year to replace my Canon Stylus Photo 950. The ‘950 was proving too expensive to run given how little photo printing I was doing and the large amount of text printing Jo was doing. (The Selphy only replaces the photo printing side of the 950; I also bought a HP Scanjet F320 which acts as a better general printer).

The Selphy is a great little portable photo printer that does almost all I want. Being able to directly attach either of our cameras is really handy. However I came across an annoying issue with it; it refuses to print an image that has been edited on the computer and put back on the camera. It simply says ‘cannot print’ with no further explanation. Google doesn’t help much here, aside from a few reports that agree with my experience. Unfortunately I couldn’t get to the bottom of the issue so I had to get the Selphy directly attached to my laptop.

The LinuxPrinting.org page for this printer details the state of support; currently described as ‘mostly’. The laptop is running Ubuntu Dapper which makes a lot of this easier.

The last time I tried printing to the Selphy, I added a printer to the system, selecting the Canon CP100 driver; there wasn’t a CP510 driver listed as was suggested there should be. When I tried printing from EOG it failed, wasting a shot of the Selphy cartridge. Not wanting to waste more, I left it at that.

This time, I read around a bit more, and got the impression that gimp-print/gutenprint was the way to go. That meant installing some extra packages that I didn’t have – an apt-cache search on gutenprint reveals a number of them.

I then fired up the GIMP and loaded one of my recent photos. Under the print dialog I added a new printer called ‘Selphy’ and under the ‘Setup Printer’ dialog I selected the Print Queue of the original CP100 printer I added previously.

For the driver, I expected there to be a CP510 driver in the list having installed the new packages, but there simply wasn’t. I selected the Canon CP220 driver this time, and was happy to discover that I was able to successfully print directly to the Selphy.

One last note; before printing, make sure you click ‘Save Settings’ – otherwise it will print and then forget all the settings you’ve made.

  1. Chris NealJanuary 29, 2007


    I too use Linux (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, because my company makes it!), and own a Canon Selphy CP510.

    Having wasted countless hours in the past trying to get peripherals like this working properly under Linux I have now given up, and instead use a virtual copy of Windows XP Professional running under VMware. You need to purchase a copy of Windows, but VMware Player or VMware Server are free downloads.

    I know you probably don’t want to run Windows, which is why you run Linux in the first place, but in cases like these there really is no substitute for the software that ships with the printer. Canon Easy PhotoPrint for Windows is simplicity itself to use and gives me exactly the results I want from this printer, every time.

    What Linux users like us should do is spend the time normally wasted on hunting around Google for a workaround, on lobbying vendors like Canon to produce Linux drivers and Linux versions of their software.

    Good luck, and happy printing.

  2. nolJanuary 29, 2007


    I have used the Canon utilities on Windows, so I do know what I’m missing. But you are right, I don’t want to run Windows. The biggest stumbling block I used to have was needing to use Lotus Notes at work (because my company makes it!). But that problem has largely gone away thanks to Workplace.

    I mentioned in the original post that I also bought an HP printer for general printing. The reason there isn’t a blog post describing the hoops I had to jump to get that working is that there weren’t any; HP offer very good linux support. They even have a SourceForge project that contains lots of useful drivers and tools for a wide range of their products. In particular, the HPLIP project was the one that worked first time.

    I agree that generally manufacturers need to do more. But the harsh reality is that linux has too small a market share at the moment for it to be worth their investment. The most effective lobbying is going to come at the coporation level. If, for example (although be sure to read the disclaimer in the sidebar…), IBM were to put more emphasis on moving to a linux based desktop, there would be a far more compelling reason for companies to make sure their peripherals worked.

    Thanks for the comments,


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