Preparing Vendor Drivers

The first step to building a Samba printing package is to obtain the vendor's distribution of drivers for that printer. This vendor distribution is usually made available as an archive in ZIP format or as a self-extracting executable. Typically, the self-extracting executables are just self-extracting ZIPs and so can be processed by the package construction tool just as normal ZIP files are. If the vendor driver does not meet any of these conditions, then you will need to unpack the distribution manually according to these instructions:

  1. Create a temporary work directory where the unpacked distribution will be placed.

  2. Extract all of the files in the vendor distribution into the temporary directory made in the previous step. There should be no subdirectories present regardless of how the vendor distribution was made. You should place all files into the single temporary directory.

    Under Linux and other UNIX-style operating systems, the unzip utility can be used to unpack and manipulate ZIP-format archives. It is basically the equivalent of the tar command.

  3. Remember the temporary work directory since it will need to be passed to the package construction tool later in the process.

If your vendor distribution was a normal or self-extracting ZIP archive, then you just need to remember the name of the archive so it can be passed to the package construction tool. The author has never actually seen vendor drivers distributed in a form other than some form of ZIP. ZIP seems to be the de facto standard in the parts of the computer world not touched by .tar.gz (Some drivers may be distributed on floppy disks or as .exe files that write floppy disks. For this type of driver, just copy the contents of each floppy disk into a single directory.)

The Samba printing packages can store the files for more than one Windows architecture. In other words, a single package can store the files for the Windows 95/98 version of a printer driver and the Windows NT 4.0 version of a printer driver. You should repeat the above instructions for each vendor distribution that goes along with a Windows architecture.