'Non-free' software required by 'manjaro-printer'

In a not-so-recent-update I noticed the addition of a new packages that are non-free, such as foomatic-db-nonfree.

This is dissapointing because when I installed Manjaro I specifically chose an option like, “Only install free drivers”. At update time, does the automatic installation of non-free drivers mean that this wish is ignored?

I tried to uninstall foomatic-db-nonfree with:

pacman -Rs foomatic-db-nonfree

This gave “breaks dependency 'foomatic-db-nonfree' required by manjaro-printer”. When I try to remove manjaro-printer I get.

Packages (9) cups-1:2.4.2-3  cups-pdf-3.0.1-7  foomatic-db-3:20221004-1
       foomatic-db-gutenprint-ppds-5.3.4-2  foomatic-db-nonfree-3:20221004-1
       foomatic-db-nonfree-ppds-3:20221004-1  foomatic-db-ppds-3:20221004-1
       gutenprint-5.3.4-2  manjaro-printer-20220924-1

Why does manjaro-printer require non-free software? Confused. Maybe I’m not understanding something so don’t hold it against me.

That option only talks about free or proprietary gpu drivers, not anything else.

maybe it installs it to provide a wider range of options. From CUPS - ArchWiki - a collection of XML files from printer manufacturers under non-free licenses used by foomatic-db-engine to generate PPD files.


Okay thanks for the clarifications.

Does ‘manjaro-printer’ really require the non-free software though? I was using printers prior to the insstallation of the non-free drivers. Who knows though, as you said that option to install free software drivers may have only been for the GPU. Is there an easy way to browse software based on unFOSSness?


printers simply will not work without proper drivers -
which are/will be: closed source - sometimes
who would have thought, right? :sunglasses:

There are distributions commited to only use “free” software and drivers …

… have fun using those … I guess :sunglasses:

those printers will definitely not work there …

there is a trade off - and essentially nothing you can do about it :wink:


Did you buy an Open Source Printer?

I think you have your answer… sometimes Open Source alternatives work great, but other times it’s not worth the hassle - just install the driver for your printer.

Too much emphasis on Open Source just takes all the fun out of it.

Like many above already mentioned, that option at install time only allows you to select the Graphics drivers to use initially.
You are able to change this driver selection in due time while using your system…

But don’t worry about “Non-Free” stuff because that is not an indication for the end-user in terms of “You need to pay to use this”, it only means the software is not OpenSource in most cases…
In other words you are still able to “use” those without a need to pay cash.
Otherwise they would require you to pay before you install :wink:

You misunderstood. The user didn’t buy any printer.

The user wants to use only open source components and wonders why installing the package for printing pulls a package with nonfree contents.

Manjaro chooses convenience in this regard.

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manjaro-printer is just a metapackage for complete printing support

some printers require proprietary driver; others have open source drivers; printers with IPP Everywhere do not need any drivers

If your printer does not require non-free driver support, the metapackage can be removed

 pamac remove manjaro-printer

and install only the packages needed for specific printer(s)

openprinting.org has a searchable database of drivers available for specific printers


Yes, sorry - a little sharp humour there. Whilst I understand that it’s a choice, I think that applying it to things like Printers is often not the best choice - my HP printer is happier when it has the HP Device Manager installed anyway.

I actually find it refreshing that I can play media without first needing to install the ‘good’, the ‘bad’ and the ‘ugly’ packages first as I did with Debian based distros - I prefer a little more realism, allowing some ‘bad’ and ‘ugly’ stuff to be included by default…

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Yes. Removal of all non-free software is what is on my agenda.

Thanks, for recommending the removal of that meta-package, @nikgnomic .

On this topis. Is there a way to see all the non-free packages installed in Manjaro? I’d like to remove them all, including codecs and things that people might find difficult to be without.

This is to test a FOSS lifestyle, really. :slight_smile:


While the Arch (not manjaro) wiki I would say the ‘pragmatism’ outlined there is at least as applicable here. That is to say while arch doesnt strive for any particular level of FLOSS-over-usability, manjaro should largely be considered alike, even more so.

While you can achieve this, or close to it (think kernel compilation) … it wont be easy to ‘clean’ your system as packages simply arent dellineated by anything like a ‘proprietary’ tag. So you’d effectively have to do it package-by-package.

If you want FLOSS-only Arch linux maybe you want Parabola?


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OIC :frowning:

It’s really that bad. Thanks. I chose manjaro thinking it was linux (EDIT and visually sexy) and gave an option to only have free drivers (EDIT which I mistakingly thought would extend to free everything). Maybe I wasted a couple years of my life, but I think the time spent beating Manjaro into (EDIT what I wanted) was not wasted. I learned to code in bash, which is sort of timeless. :slight_smile:


Option to choose free or non-free drivers in GRUB is only for nVidia GPUs

Manjaro would never be considered a ‘proper’ GNU/Linux by the FSF because Manjaro ethos is more focused on freedom of choice to use anything free or non-free

“It’s Linux Jim, but not as we know it”

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Well, it seems I didn’t have a choice. Anyway, I’m thinking of keeping Manjaro for family members for the time being, until I can work out some stuff.

You have a choice what packages you have installed no matter what the defaults are. You can even create your own customized ISO if you prefer.

There is an option to not have proprietary printer drivers installed: Manjaro minimal ISOs do not include manjaro-printers metapackage

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