sending TSPL to a TSC printer on linux

TSPL, or Thermal Printer Control Language, is the scripting protocol behind TSC thermal printers. It’s indispensable for generating labels, barcodes, and more. While Windows users have a variety of tools at their disposal, those on Linux often face hurdles when trying to communicate directly with TSC printers. This article aims to bridge that gap with a Rust-based solution.


  1. A foundational understanding of Rust.
  2. Rust and Cargo properly set up on your machine.
  3. A TSC printer connected to your Linux setup.

During my initial research phase, I discovered a conspicuous absence of Linux-native solutions for sending TSPL to a printer. There is ‘diagtool’ for Windows, but it’s incompatible with Wine.

After delving deeper into the workings of rusb, Rust’s libusb library, I realized the process was as straightforward as transmitting the TSPL data directly to the printer.

First, add the necessary dependencies:

cargo add color_eyre rusb

Then, implement the communication:

static HANDLE: OnceCell<DeviceHandle<GlobalContext>> = OnceCell::new();

pub fn write_binary(data: &[u8]) -> color_eyre::Result<()> {
     // Check if we already have a handle for the device
    if let Some(handle) = HANDLE.get() {
        handle.write_bulk(0x01, data, Duration::from_secs(1))?;
        return Ok(());

    // Iterate over devices to find a TSC printer
    for device in rusb::devices()?.iter() {
        let device_desc = device.device_descriptor()?;
        if device_desc.vendor_id() == 0x1203 {
            let mut handle =;
            #[cfg(target_os = "linux")]
            if handle.kernel_driver_active(0)? {
            handle.write_bulk(0x01, data, Duration::from_secs(1))?;

This is all the code needed to send tspl to a TSC printer on linux, this code detects all devices made by TSC (0x1203) and send the data you want to send to it for example

Executing the code above will enable you to send TSPL instructions, like:

write_binary("SOUND 5, 500\n".as_bytes())

For added convenience, I’ve also crafted a helper function to ensure every TSPL command is newline-terminated:

pub fn write_text(tspl_commands: String) -> color_eyre::Result<()> {
    let mut tspl_commands = tspl_commands.clone();
    if !tspl_commands.ends_with('\n') {



But thats it all you need to send tspl to a printer using linux

Wrapping Up

Working with TSC printers on Linux might seem daunting due to the lack of native tools. However, with some Rust and the rusb library, you can easily communicate with these printers using TSPL. Whether you’re printing labels, barcodes, or any other tasks, this method ensures seamless integration on a Linux environment.

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