[TriLUG] Linux Printing Suggestions
matt at noway2.thruhere.net
Mon Dec 27 22:02:21 EST 2010
I would like to say, "Thank You" to everyone that helped out with this
endeavor. Based upon the feedback from TriLUG, we selected an HP
printer. Specifically, a Photosmart 510A.
After several hours of frustration and a few well placed swear words, I
finally managed to get it working in Linux (Ubuntu 10.10).
Just in case the experience helps anyone in the future, here are the
details: The printer uses HPLIP, however, there appears to be some
kind of problem with the default driver, or more specifically the
filter. After the installation, the printer was detected fine, but any
page would spew pages of garbage. Actually, the garbage looks like it
was raw printer control data of some form. Eventually, I found a
(translated) French site claiming the exact same problem and that they
switched to CUPS drivers instead thinking that the default driver is
I also found this link, post number 4. I think there is actually an
Ubuntu 10.10 patch to this file on the Sourceforge page for HPLIP, but
the thread contains more information. Combining the information from
the translated page, I manually ran ./configure with the cups options
enable and the HPLIP, options disabled, made and installed the driver.
This seemed to be the magic bullet on getting the printer to print. For
some reason this install didn't seem to take after a reboot (not sure if
I did something else) and I had to reinstall it. Subsequent reboots
have been fine.
Next, I tried the scanner. Much to my surprise, it almost worked
perfectly out of the box, once I had the printer driver installed. I
say almost because when I tried to run xsane, I found I had deleted some
necessary packages in my attempt to "clean the slate" on the printer
build. However, the success was short lived as after I rebooted the
computer it then started claiming that it couldn't open the "hpaio
device" claiming it was busy. I found a link to the xsane forums where
someone mentioned to make sure that /usr/local/lib/sane is NOT listed
in /etc/ld.so.conf. I ran grep against /etc/ld* and it found a
ld.so.cache file. I deleted this file and the scanner has worked ever
Overall, I wouldn't say that this has been a fun experience and that
getting a printer to work in Linux still is one of the tasks that
potentially keeps Linux out of the hands of those that want things to
"just work", but support for Linux printing seems to have come a long
way in the last few years.
On Mon, 2010-12-27 at 15:14 -0500, Alan Porter wrote:
> > I agree. Brother is always good. I have also had good luck with HP
> > all-in-ones. Definitely stay away from Lexmark. They can't even spell
> > Linux.
> Ironically, Lexmark's high-end business printers run embedded Linux
> under the hood. But their consumer printers are all "win-printers",
> where the instructions to move the print heads are done by the
> Windows printer driver, and the printer itself only contains a few
> dumb motors.
> I will second the opinion that HP all-in-one's are pretty good under
> I would recommend a visit to http://LinuxPrinting.org to look for
> specific model recommendations.
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