Guide to installing Samsung printers & the Unified Linux Driver:
4 May 2013: This thread is now completely out of date. I no longer plan to update or maintain any aspect of it, or to reply to future posts. Go to http://www.bchemnet.com/suldr/ to get current repository information and support, including forums which I do monitor.
NEW 9 June 2012! I have configured forums directly on the SULDR website that are intended to replace this thread. I will continue to monitor this thread, but future updates and time will be focused on the website and associated forums.
8 March 2011: Simplified the guide posted here to provide only the repository option, all other details pushed off onto the repository website (which has been extensively revised and updated).
28 May 2012: Various minor revisions and updated for newest package versions; extensive website updates.
9 June 2012: More revisions, another new set of packages, new forums, and more website updates.
The packages released on 28 May 2012 (4.00.35-1) include several "fix" packages that should only be used in specific circumstances, but do explicitly address many problems encountered over the last six months or so (and that are not addressed in other packages). You can read about these in your package manager or on the website, under the printing and scanning troubleshooting sections. I have also updated the troubleshooting and questions on the website to be easier to navigate and more current, hopefully simplifying the process of getting everything running for those who aren't fortunate enough to have it all work immediately.
This guide presents my recommended approach to installing a working driver for your Samsung printer (for all Debian-based distributions). If you are looking for alternatives, look here. Much more information and technical details are available on the my dedicated website for the driver, such as removal of the manually installed drivers and why I do not recommend that you ever install the drivers directly from Samsung.
When posting to ask for assistance, you must provide (at a minimum) your printer model, how it is connected, the specific problem, any error messages you see, which driver you are using (and version if the Unified Driver), and how you installed the driver. (And if you aren't using the repository, you are welcome to post but my default response will be to at least try using the repository, and then to help only if that doesn't solve the problem.) Without this information, it is unlikely anyone will be able to help you, and your question may well be entirely ignored. I monitor this thread and will respond to public posts (although it may take a few days or occasionally weeks); do not attempt to send me a private message or email. On the other hand, I don't always know how to solve the problem, which is why I insist on public posts, and other readers are welcome to jump in and help out.
Using the Samsung Unified Linux Driver repository
This method installs the proprietary Samsung drives while avoiding all the problems associated with the manual installation and allowing you to retain control over exactly what gets installed. For full information, go the repository: http://www.bchemnet.com/suldr/. The short version (meaning that if you run into problems, check the website before posting for assistance) to getting it up and running is:
1. Add the following line to your /etc/apt/sources.list, by editing the file as root (or using sudo, for example "sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list"), or by using Synaptic or other GUI to add a repository. (Be aware that this is a binary-only repository, although an empty source repository is provided to avoid occasional errors from configurations expecting it to exist.)
2. Install the GPG key for the repository. You can either (i) execute (as root or using sudo in a terminal):
deb http://www.bchemnet.com/suldr/ debian extra
or (ii) download it (http://www.bchemnet.com/suldr/suldr.gpg) and add it to your keys via Synaptic, other GUI, or by (as root or using sudo, in a terminal):
wget -O - http://www.bchemnet.com/suldr/suldr.gpg | sudo apt-key add -
(If you skip this step, you will get warnings about installing unauthenticated packages.)
apt-key add suldr.gpg
3. Refresh your repository listings (apt-get update or in a GUI), and then you should see the samsungmfp-* packages corresponding to the Samsung Unified Linux Driver.
Very important: you must have completely removed all prior installations of the Unified Linux Driver before using the .debs (i.e., installations from downloading and using the installer directly from Samsung); see the appropriate uninstallation instructions for your driver version for more details.
Just installing the samsungmfp-driver package should enable full printing support; for USB scanning, install the samsungmfp-scanner package; for network scanning, install the samsungmfp-configurator-qt4 package. (The driver package contains all the binary bits, the data package has all the ppd files so CUPS can figure out how to talk to the printers.) The Configurator and other packages are really only necessary in a subset of cases (such as if you need network scanning), or if you happen to like the Configurator interface.
Problems printing? See the repository website printing troubleshooting page before posting for help; many common questions are addressed there.
Using a scanner: if you are trying to use your printer as a scanner, you will usually need to add yourself to the "lp" group after installing the appropriate packages. You will then to log out and back in for the change to take effect. (You should be reminded of this when installing the package by the package manager, but it doesn't always work.) If you still have trouble scanning, see the repository website scanning troubleshooting page before posting for help; many common questions are addressed there. Also make sure that you can print before worrying about scanning.
The Samsung Smart Panel and Printer Utilities
Samsung also provides additional utilities for certain printers. Since they are printer specific (unlike the Unified Driver, downloading the Smart Panel for a different printer model than your own will often not work), and not available for the CLP-550N, I have never tested these. These utilities pose a security risk to your system. See the repository main page for details on these, and why you should consider the implications of installing them. The page also explains why I will not be producing .debs for these programs, so please do not ask me to.
Reading this thread
This thread is huge and has been running a long time, which is why I've moved as much as I can off this forum and into my website. As new details get posted, problems fixed, etc., I track them and update packages, this post, and the website accordingly. Therefore, if you have a particular problem, start reading from the most recent posts backward. I've also restructed this guide twice and the driver has undergone major changes since the original post, which could lead to confusion if you start at the beginning. As of May 2012, essentially everything through approximately post 960 that seems generally useful to multiple users has been incorporated into the packages and/or the website, so chances are you can skip everything prior to about that region when looking for assistance.
A request: contact Samsung. Please look at the first question here and then contact Samsung about the issues raised. I've spent hundreds of hours (as of have other users) trying to create workarounds for issues that Samsung should be able to address. However, no change in the drivers or installation process is likely unless many of the thousands of users of this repository and forum make their voices heard.
First, thanks to many posters who have provided feedback and helped with testing over the years. I don't even know how many are still using this driver, but thanks to all of you. Particular users who have contributed solutions that I've incorporated into the repository packages or alternative solutions include hokiejp (eglibc 64-bit solution, for network scanning); gaboro (eglibc 32-bit solution testing for the same problem); Rodolfo Medina on the Debian forums (ppd-only solution guide); tapanit (work-around for scanning across complex networks); n3ck and ezekiel_quacks (USB scanning work-around solutions); rlar (network scanning broadcast solution); vyvee (usblp fix); b1b1 (pdf to ps printing problems fix). All these individuals are linked to for specific solutions if you investigate the website for solutions to problems, although fortunately most of the problems solved by these individuals are either no longer an issue or automatically resolved by repository packages.