Use Erika 3004 compatible typewriters as input and output on modern unix computers. Based on knowledge from
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Jonah Brüchert 704a99554b
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Erika s3004 Computer Interface

Build status

Tested on a SIGMA SM 8200i, which is supposedly the same hardware just under the brand name used in Western Germany.

This project is based on information from Chaostreff Potsdam.


  • A 5V USB TTL adapter (I used this one, which I still had lying around)
  • A few pieces of wire, to connect the pins of the TTL USB Adapter with the typewriter.

Note: although the typewriter turns on when the 5V pin is connected, the external power source is still needed in order to do anything with it.

5V 5V


Cable wiring


Building and running


cargo build --release

Printing some text:

./target/release/erika-cli print-file text.txt

For more commands, have a look at the help page:

./target/release/erika-cli --help

CUPS Integration

The Erika s3004 and derived typewriters can be used with cups support for dot matrix printers.

To set this up, first install this project: make, sudo make install. For pdf support, you need to have the pdftotext util from poppler-utils insalled.

Then, visit the cups web interface in your webbrowser. It is located on http://localhost:631, and add a new "AppSocket/HP JetDirect" printer. The web interface now asks for a URI. Enter serial:/dev/ttyUSB0. If your serial adapter is not on /dev/ttyUSB0 (you can test with erika-cli), replace it with the proper path.

On the next page, choose "RTS/CTS (Hardware)" as flow control.

Next, enter the name and description for the new printer.

When you are asked to choose a vendor or PPD file, select the ppd file from this repository. You can find it in cups/ppd/ErikaS3004.ppd