EDIT: Support has now been added to Ubuntu Gutsy and every release after that. Thanks guys 😀
The new line of Epson printers currently don’t have support within the Ubuntu operating system. This is all about to change though, as the Gutenprint project (formally Gimp-print) has just released an updated version (5.1.1) of their software on the 20th of May, that adds support for most of the new models of Epson Printers.
New printers supported in this release: Epson Picturemate Flash Epson Picturemate Pal Epson Picturemate Snap Epson Picturemate PM-200 Epson Picturemate PM-210 Epson Picturemate PM-240 Epson Picturemate PM-250 Epson Picturemate PM-280 Epson Stylus C79+ Epson Stylus C87+ Epson Stylus Photo 1400 Epson Stylus Photo 1410 Epson Stylus Photo R230 Epson Stylus Photo R350 Epson Stylus Photo R260 Epson Stylus Photo R265 Epson Stylus Photo R270 Epson Stylus Photo R360 Epson Stylus Photo R380 Epson Stylus Photo R390 Epson Stylus Photo RX560 Epson Stylus Photo RX580 Epson Stylus Photo RX640 Epson PM A820 Epson PM D870 Epson PM G850 Epson PM G4500 Preliminary support for the following printers: Epson Stylus Photo R240 Epson Stylus Photo R245
You can read the full release notes here!
I can’t find any Ubuntu packages (official or otherwise) to install for this software yet, but you can always build it from source if you feel the need. Personally I don’t mind waiting for the official package to turn up in the Ubuntu repo’s, as the RX560 is capable of doing almost everything I need even without the full support of my computer.
The driver for the scanner works great in Ubuntu & the memory card readers also work perfectly. I had no trouble mounting/ejecting memory cards & .jpg files were written to the cards from within Ubuntu with no hassles at all. This of course means that you can print off any photo’s or graphic files you have, by just saving them onto your memory card & then printing them off directly through the printer.
You should also be able to use that same idea to print onto CD/DVD’s, if you follow the tutorial here, then save your finished image as a .jpg file instead of printing straight away (not tested yet).
It can’t print from web pages, text files, PDF’s or anything else that you can’t save as a graphics file; although you could take a screen shot of your work & print that if you really feel the need.
As the drivers have been released under the GPL license, these newer models of Epson printers should have full compatibility with Ubuntu before Gutsy is released.
One thing that I always hated about my Epson R300 printer was the amount of ink that it went through. It seemed to waste ink every time you turned it on or off & you could say goodbye to the rest of your ink by just printing off a couple of photo’s. This was made better for me by the fact that I had a computer shop close to home & could buy a full set of unofficial inks for around about the £11.00 mark. Still it became expensive though & at least two of the inks always seemed to run out at the same time.
The RX560 printer seems to have been improved quite a lot in this regard. I’ve already printed off about 20-30 photo’s (A4 & 10x15cm) & most of my inks are still at the half way mark. You have to keep in mind that the inks you get free with the printer are never completely full up too. I also didn’t notice any drop in the ink levels when I turned the printer off & back on again either. I suppose that the improvement is down to advancements in Epsons variable ink drop technology; or it could be down to some of the new laws that companies have to start following if they want to keep selling their inks & printers 😉
The RX560 is definitely worth the low price that it’s being sold for. I haven’t mentioned any of the advanced features that this printer has, or the fact that the scanner/printer work so beautifully together (it even allows you to scan an original CD/DVD & have it print out the label directly onto a blank CD/DVD automatically.. Woot!).
It will be nice to print directly from within Ubuntu, but the ability to do that won’t be a long time coming & it would just be the icing on the cake for me.