I have a Xerox DocuColor 242 printer, and I'm trying to make it work properly from Linux (Debian and CUPS). When I point my browser to the printer's built-in webserver, it says "EFI Fiery". I think this means that the printer has an EFI Fiery Bustled Color Server (PDF) built into it. Unfortunately, Xerox provides only Windows and Mac OS drivers. How do I get the printer to work from Linux, including duplex printing and stapling?


You can grab the PPD file from the Mac OS printer drivers. (This requires that you have a Mac, so you can open the .dmg disk images that Xerox provides. Otherwise, there is a loose PPD file for the same printer with a Creo Spire RIP, but that won't give you duplex printing or stapling.)

Both the available drivers (61830 and 61096) for the EFI Fiery RIP contain PPD files that refer to Mac OS-specific binaries for filters and plugins, such as the following:

*cupsFilter: "application/vnd.cups-postscript 0 /Library/Printers/Xerox/Filters/fierycupsfilter"
*APDialogExtension: "/Library/Printers/Xerox/PDEs/EF5P1012 (FJN).plugin"
*APDialogExtension: "/Library/Printers/Xerox/PDEs/EF5P1012 (CW).plugin"
*APDialogExtension: "/Library/Printers/Xerox/PDEs/EF5P1012 (PINFO).plugin"
*APDialogExtension: "/Library/Printers/Xerox/PDEs/EF5P1012 (IS).plugin"
*APDialogExtension: "/Library/Printers/Xerox/PDEs/EF5P1012 (MM).plugin"

Remove these lines from the PPD file before installing it makes it work on Linux. There are two problems, however:

  1. You can normally print in duplex from the command line by giving -o sides=two-sided to lp (or lpoptions), but that doesn't work here. Instead, you have to use -o EFDuplex=TopTop. It may be possible to fix this by editing the PPD file, but I don't know how.

  2. When printing from Gnome applications such as evince, the "Two-sided" options under the "Page Setup" tab is grayed out, saying "Not available". (This may really be the same problem as point 1.) It works to set Duplex to "Top-Top" under the "Advanced" tab, but that requires scrolling down and finding the option about the dosens of other options.

You could set up two printers (one simplex, one duplex) to get around these inconveniences.

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