[clug] CD Printer

Paul Wayper paulway at mabula.net
Tue May 13 00:28:06 GMT 2008

Hash: SHA1

Chris Smart wrote:
| Have a requirement to print directly to CDs under Linux.
| Anyone know of the following?
| a) Good printer for the task (ink-based I presume)
| b) Software to let that work

I'm fairly sure I detailed this on my blog some time before SFD 2007, but I've
found the Epson Stylus Photo R210 good for this.  The current model is the
R290 or R390 and it too should come with a plastic tray with a CD hub.  This
prints on CDs with a white, absorbent surface - most places sell them these days.

I used a rather odd but not obscure technique to get this working:

1) Insert the bitmap of the cover art into Open Office Writer, and expand it
until it takes the entire A4 page (i.e. wall to wall, not inside the page

2) Go to the print dialog:
2.1) In Page Setup tab, choose 'Print to CD' from the Paper Source drop-down.
2.2) In the Properties tab, choose 'CD - 5 inch' from the Paper Size drop-down.
2.3) In the Advanced tab, choose 'Print To Hub' from the CD Hub Size drop-down
in the Gutenprint Printer Features Common section.

3) Make sure there is no paper in the printer.
3.1) Open the front door that takes the CD print tray.  The printer will do
some whirring to recalibrate.
3.2) Wave dead chicken over the printer and say the ceremonial incantations.
3.3) Insert the tray so that the marks on the front door line up with the
marks on the tray.
3.4) Press "Print" in the print dialog.  The printer will draw the tray into
itself, calibrate, print the label, and eject the tray.

It seems to be a bit temperamental about whether the tray is loaded before or
after you start printing and whether you've selected the appropriate options
in the print dialog.  When I was doing this last year, ISTR Inkscape and The
GIMP didn't offer the full Gutenprint options and/or weren't able to control
their margins, so I was unable to use them - and I think Inkscape was
rendering the SVG logo supplied by The OpenCD with all the text filled in
rather than hollow, which made it somewhat difficult to read when the black
text was on the black part of the logo.  I've just checked with Fedora 8 and
both Inkscape and The GIMP now offer the full print dialog, so you may have
better luck now.

Hope this helps,


P.S. Yes I know I've copied this to the list.  Hopefully it'll be archived and
searchable now, and it may help other people making the same decision.  Sorry
if you're inconvenienced by this huge lump of text.
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