This is a puzzle to stimulate you:

I am installing an Epson XP-830 printer in Debian (wheezy). Openprinting doesn't list it (it's new), but the -820 seems like a close match. (Epson's own website also gives similar if not identical instructions for both.) See below:


Open's instructions are to use the driver epson-escpr. I already have it installed. It is the transitional dummy package to transition to uniformly named printer-driver-escpr, which I also have installed.

Oddly, Epson's website asks to install the SOURCE package of printer-driver-escpr, epson-inkjet-printer-escpr, and use the latter's ppd's.


  1. Since I have the "approved" binary, printer-driver-escpr, I don't see the need to download the source. Is this reasonable here? I want to proceed in a clean form.

  2. The binary says it contains .ppd's in compressed form. How do I find them? I intend to use CUPS, but need to find that ppd.

Success so far would be to add the printer in CUPS, and find the ppd from the binary package.

Some extra links:

For the SOURCE: https://packages.debian.org/source/sid/epson-inkjet-printer-escpr

For the BINARY: https://packages.debian.org/wheezy/printer-driver-escpr


1 Answer 1


Just fetch the source of the binary package with

apt-get source epson-inkjet-printer-escpr

This will create the directory epson-inkjet-printer-escpr-1.6.4/ in the current directory. There are lots of PPDs in epson-inkjet-printer-escpr-1.6.4/ppd.

As regards question #1:

Since I have the "approved" binary, printer-driver-escpr, I don't see the need to download the source. Is this reasonable here? I want to proceed in a clean form.

No, the binary doesn't necessarily contain everything in the source. The packager decides what to include in the binary. If the source has something you require, you can use it. And possibly file a bug report, if you think there is something in the source that should be in the binary.

  • Thanks. Although how does that answer question #1? I want to know more about the relationship between binaries and sources.
    – user296844
    Apr 27, 2016 at 0:51
  • @user296844 I edited the question, though I'm not sure what your point is. If you want something that is in the source, download the source. And I don't understand your reference to "a clean form". Apr 27, 2016 at 7:47
  • Faheem, thanks for the effort. As to the question, it is important to understand the conceptual relationship between the source and binary. Based on your answer, I now see a binary as not just a flat or simple derivative. It seems fairer to call it a curated derivative - and so it overlaps, but not perfectly, with the source. The compiler's (person) approach will influence that. I wasn't sure about that.
    – user296844
    May 1, 2016 at 0:23
  • As to a "clean form", I mean an approach to tackling problems that is not messy. It turns out I could try the kitchen-sink approach, but I would 1) learn less and 2) maybe mess up my system. A clean approach here is to look for native downloads - binaries first, then sources. If that fails, then outside Synaptic (like Epson's own downloads). But I typically prefer a streamline and clean approach. Once I get the printer working (God willing), I will post a how-to somewhere.
    – user296844
    May 1, 2016 at 0:23
  • Follow-up questions to your suggestion. Someone recommended this: # dpkg -i printer-driver-escpr_1.6.4-1_i386.deb. And Epson's own website suggests this: # dpkg -i epson-inkjet-printer-escpr_1.1.0-1lsb3.2_i386.deb I lean towards the first solution because 1.6.4 seems newer than 1.1.0; I am correct here? But you suggest something that ignores all of the above? Does it matter? Also, what is up with Epson's entry mentioning lsb3.2? (I already installed lsb). Will your command simply pick and choose the latest version and match it to either 64- or 32-bits?
    – user296844
    May 1, 2016 at 0:28

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