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Here is an example of the instructions for installing a Brother printer:


and this just a part of the procedure... there are separate "pre-install" procedures and separate procedures for scanning and fax drivers.

Couldn't the vendor produce a single package for each model of hardware that would "do everything"? If so, why don't they? And could the "community" do it for them?

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This makes me remember the process of installing the proprietary driver for my ATI graphics card. The package from ATI is really the "single package" that you are talking about. It does everything needed for the driver to work.

So, from the experience above the answer is yes, the vendor can provide convenient Linux packages. However, doing so would require extra effort (read: money). Some company do, some don't, and some provide a "best effort" support.

What the community really want, is for the companies to release hardware specifications needed to implement opensource versions of the drivers, so as not to depend on the company to release updates/bugfixes for the drivers. However, some companies want to keep a secret over their specifications, which makes opensource drivers not universally available.

In your case I think the process is still pretty simple, just a config file and service restarting. Of course the "community" (that includes you) could have wrapped it in a package, the same way that flash is included in many distros. Maybe the piece of hardware is just not popular enough to gain attention among packagers...

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Brother printers can hardly be called non popular. – Tshepang Feb 13 '11 at 18:10

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