Getting a Dell V305 (and others) printer to work with Linux (Fedora)

Here are a few brief notes, in case you have one of these devices… I eventually worked it out from Google, but the advice was rather technical, so you may find this easier.

My Linux distribution is/was Fedora 16, 64-bit. But these instructions should work on various distributions. Or it may not – these things can be complex. But it’s worth a try.

This guide just covers printing. That was all I needed to do. The same general routine will cover many Dell/Lexmark printers

If you find this guide useful, then feel free to send a small donation. Also feel free to add comments to the bottom of this page to help others.

The first thing to know is that the Dell don’t make printers. The Dell V305 is simply a rebranded Lexmark x4650.

Stage one: download the drivers

  • Don’t plug in the printer yet.
  • Go to Lexmark’s support website,
  • Type in “X4650” in the search box, and do the search.
  • Down the bottom of the page is a “Downloads” tab, with an “Operating System” menu. Choose “Linux”, and select what is closest to your distribution. (For me, they had Fedora versions 12 to 15 – I am running 16, so chose 15).
  • Download the Linux driver it offers. My computer is 64-bit; the website only offered me a 32-bit version; but in fact that worked.

Stage two: install the drivers

  • I ended up downloading a file called “”. This is a “tar” archive – it needs unpacking. You can do this by clicking on it; or from the command line, do “tar -xf”
  • After doing that, I had a file called “”. That is a shell script. It needs running; when you run it, it will install a software package on your computer. (If you are not on Fedora it will possibly have .deb instead of .rpm in the filename – but the principles are the same). To run it, you can either click on it; or from the command line, do “sh”
  • I then had to wait a few moments for it to install.
  • Nothing fancy happened after it finished installing the driver; there was still work to do…

Stage three: make the system know that your Dell is really a Lexmark

This next bit is more technical. You need to become the administrator on your system, in order to edit some system files. On Fedora this means running the “su -” command and entering the root password; on other systems (and possibly later Fedoras), use “sudo -sH” instead, and enter your own password.

  • Plug your printer in, and get its USB identifier. You do this with the command “lsusb”. For me, part of the output is:
    Bus 002 Device 026: ID 413c:5305 Dell Computer Corp.From that, I can read the USB identifier of 413c:5305. If you have a Dell V305 then, very likely, you will have exactly the same (unless they produce a new model without changing the model number). For other models, you will see something difference (though the 413c, which identifies Dell, should be the same). In this case, 5305 = V305 (Roman numerals, geddit?), but that’s does not have to be true.

    Then unplug the printer.

  • Now, open the file /etc/udev/rules.d/99-lexmark-08z.rules
    For me, I typed the command “vi /etc/udev/rules.d/99-lexmark-08z.rules”; but if you don’t know the vi editor, you’ll want to try “gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/99-lexmark-08z.rules” or “kate /etc/udev/rules.d/99-lexmark-08z.rules”.
  • Add a new line in the middle section to match the existing lines, but containing the USB identifier. For me, that meant adding a line:
    ATTRS{idVendor}==”413c”, ATTRS{idProduct}==”5305″, MODE=”666″
  • Now, open the file /usr/local/lexmark/08zero/etc/lxdx.conf. For other printer models, Google seems to say that this might not be the right file; there are others in that same folder with the pattern “lxd?.conf”; you may need to experiment. (But only edit one at a time – if it’s the wrong one, change it back before trying another).
  • Find the two lines beginning DEVICE_, and change them to match your USB identifier. DEVICE_VID is the vendor, so that should be 413c. DEVICE_PID is the product, so that was 5305 for me. My edited lines became:

Stage four: Add the printer driver

Open up your system’s tool for adding printers. For me, this was the command “system-config-printer”. It could also be found on the desktop menu too.

  • Plug the printer in. It may try to automatically add a driver. If it works, great; it will probably fail. If it fails, then carry on with these instructions…
  • Press the buttons to add a new printer.
  • Press the buttons to select the USB Dell V305 which you just connected.
  • When asked to choose a driver, there won’t be one in the list (whether under Lexmark or Dell). (Or if there is, then you did better than me). Instead, you need to choose the option to choose a file manually.
  • Choose this file: /usr/local/lexmark/08zero/etc/lx36-46.ppd

That was it. You may need to unplug and replug the printer; but after that, printing worked fine for me.

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