Questions to Ask When Selecting a Printer to Connect to Your Embedded Linux Based Device

Recently, one team of developers reached out to Timesys because they needed help getting their existing printer solution to work with their newest hand-held device. Their existing device was RTOS-based, however they chose embedded Linux as the platform for their new product. Since the team was new to Linux, they had a lot of questions, and they needed help adding their legacy printer driver to the build.

Whether new to Linux or an experienced developer, ensuring that a printer will work with your custom embedded Linux application can be challenging. Does your new device need to support your legacy printer or do you need help choosing new printer support? Read on for recommendations from our engineering team on key questions you should ask up front that can help minimize headaches and ease the development process.

1. To what extent is the specific printer you wish to use supported in Linux?

Whether or not you have a specific printer in mind, you should start by verifying support for a printer in Linux. To get an idea of general usability of a printer with Linux, including multifunction printers, you can refer to the OpenPrinting workgroup web site at There you can search by printer manufacturer and/or model, and you can find information about whether or not a driver is available for a specific printer.

2. How will the printer connect to the device?

In general, USB / WiFi printers are more Linux friendly. Linux handles these interface standards very well and should handle any USB or WiFi printer that does not implement its own propriety protocol.

3. Are the binaries available for your chosen hardware architecture or sources provided by printer manufacturer?

Knowing if proprietary binaries or sources for your hardware architecture are available is important. Very little can be done to support your ARM, MIPS, Power (or other) hardware architecture if the printer manufacturer only provides the typical X86 binaries. Also, many vendors are now at least providing ARM binaries in addition to X86. These are often geared towards Android, however, and may not work with Linux without some effort first.

While these answers provide some guidance for selecting a compatible printer solution for your next embedded-Linux based application, we know each development project has its own unique challenges. When those challenges arise, we can help. We offer commercial support, enabling you to get help with troubleshooting development issues — at any stage in your development. If your development team is looking to expedite your custom product development, engage with Timesys Professional Services, and leverage our years of experience. Our extensive services menu ranges from project design review and building your custom Linux platform, to integrating your application and remote upgrades.

Request Timesys support pricing & information.
Schedule a complimentary 30-minute Professional Services consultation.

Timesys Joins The Qt Partner Program; Expands Support for Qt

Timesys recently joined The Qt Partner Program as a Technology Partner. As a new member of The Qt Company’s Partner Program, we can help developers globally accelerate the design, development and delivery of Qt based products.

Having supported open source Qt development for years, Timesys has expanded its offering to provide trial versions of Qt commercial in its award-winning LinuxLink product line. Whether choosing Timesys Factory or the Yocto Project build system, LinuxLink enables developers quickly and easily configure customized Qt-based applications and leverage Qt’s pre-configured software stack which allows immediate deployment of software on a variety of embedded hardware.

To complement the expanded software offering, Timesys has bolstered its support, services and training to assist developers in designing, implementing and maintaining Qt based applications and connected devices. Timesys’ support contracts enable developers to get help with Qt based development when they need it. Timesys also offers consultation and services that address the design and review, modifications and optimizations of Qt based applications for embedded Linux based designs, enabling developers to leverage underlying hardware capabilities such as graphics acceleration. And for development teams wanting to stay abreast of best practices and new developments, Timesys provides customized training.

Learn more about Timesys’ comprehensive offering for Qt.
View a sampling of Timesys demos showcasing our expertise in utilizing the Qt framework.

Timesys Expands Embedded Linux Offering for i.MX 6 Series Applications Processor to Include Support for Compulab SBC-FX6

Timesys has expanded its award-winning LinuxLink offering for the widely popular Freescale i.MX 6 Series applications processor to include support for the Compulab SBC-FX6.

The SBC-FX6 is based on the Freescale i.MX6 quad-core ARM® Cortex®-A9 CPU. The high-performance single board computer features advanced video and graphics, making it ideal for high-end multimedia applications. Having a CM-FX6 computer-on-module and an SB-FX6 carrier board, its rich feature set enables developers to customize a solution that meets their price / performance needs.

Developers can quickly and easily customize feature-rich applications for the SBC-FX by choosing from the hundreds of packages / middleware offered through the award-winning LinuxLink Factory cloud-based and desktop-hosted build tools which facilitate the process of building and integrating a custom Linux platform.

In addition, Timesys offers commercial support to assist developers with build and runtime issues taking the risk out of getting Linux projects to market utilizing both Timesys Factory and Yocto Project build systems. For developers that need additional engineering expertise or resources, Timesys offers a wide range of professional services or can alternatively train software teams on embedded Linux to decrease the learning curve. Click on the links for more information on Timesys professional services, training capabilities and options, and consultation for your project.

Build a custom BSP / SDK or download a pre-built starting point for your Compulab SBC-FX6.

NOTE: Existing users, please visit to add the Compulab SBC-FX6 to your account.
For comprehensive development resources, visit our
Embedded Linux Development Center for Freescale i.MX 6 Series Processor.

Commercial Support for Yocto Project Development Available from Timesys

While the Yocto Project community support is expansive, there is a big difference between dedicated, professional support and relying on the community alone to answer — or not answer — questions about Yocto Project software infrastructure or Linux-based runtime software for your project. Timesys offers support agreements for projects, enabling developers choosing the Yocto Project build system to get development issues resolved quicker and get products to market faster, more cost effectively and on-time. For more information, check out our Support page at

In addition to support, we also offer services and customized training. Want to know more? Visit

For more information on support options available from Timesys and to get clarification on how we can help you with your Yocto based project, please fill out our online form, contact or call us at 1.866.392.4897 (toll-free) or +1.412.232.3250.

Additions and Updates in the Factory

Recent Factory additions include:


Version: 4.0.1-1
Category: Runtimes
License: LGPLv2
Description: Mono is a software platform designed to allow developers to easily create cross platform applications. It is an open source implementation of the Microsoft Net Framework based on the ECMA standards for C-sharp and the Common Language Runtime. Mono is licensed under the GNU LGPLv2.


Version: 1.4.0-1
Category: Networking
License: GPLv2
Description: Poptop is an open source implementation of a PPTP server.


Version: 2.0-1
Category: Demo
License: GPLv2
Description: An example program that continuously sends/receives/increments a counter with the corresponding MQX pingpong app.


Version: 2.7-1
Category: Utilities
License: GPLv2
Description: Minicom is a menu driven communications program. It emulates ANSI and VT102 terminals. It has a dialing directory and auto zmodem download.


Version: 0.6.8-1
Category: Graphics
License: GPLv2
Description: paps is a text to PostScript converter that works through Pango. Its input is a UTF-8 encoded text file and it outputs vectorized PostScript. It may be used for printing any complex script supported by Pango.

Recent Factory updates include:


Version: 2.4.16-1
Category: Networking


Version: 2.0-1
Category: Utilities


Version: 3.5.2-1
Category: Desktop


Version: 1.5.3-1
Category: Utilities


Version: 2.6.4-3
Category: System

View all available packages in the Timesys Repository »

Training & Events


FEB 23-25 • Nürnberg, Germany

Embedded World 2016

We’ll be attending Embedded World 2016. Details about our demos and where you can find us at the event are to come on our web site and in our next LinuxLink Alert newsletter!


OCT 1 • Paris, France

Designing with Freescale Solutions Seminar

During this year’s event, Timesys delivered a hands-on workshop titled, “Building a Linux Based IoT System.” If you were unable to attend this seminar and would like a copy of our presentation, please email us at

OCT 12-15 • Orange County, CA

Renesas DevCon 2015

Timesys delivered both a lecture titled “How to Leverage XIP Technology for Your Embedded Linux Based Device” and a hands-on workshop titled, “Embedded Linux Application Development.” If you were unable to attend this event and would like to request a copy of the content from the Timesys sessions, please send an email to


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Timesys and the Timesys logo are registered trademarks of Timesys Corporation. ARM is a trademark of ARM Limited. Freescale is a trademark of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States and other countries. Qt is a trademark of Digia Corporation in Finland and/or other countries worldwide. Yocto Project is a registered trademark of The Linux Foundation. All other company and product names mentioned are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

customized embedded Linux training including Yocto