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I installed Point Linux 2.3 for a buddy of mine a few months ago and he's wanting to get his printer hooked up but it's just not going as easily ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer TNFrank's Avatar
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    Best Printers for Linux?


    I installed Point Linux 2.3 for a buddy of mine a few months ago and he's wanting to get his printer hooked up but it's just not going as easily as it should. I had it working yesterday via USB from the Desktop then I unhooked the USB and hooked it to his laptop(also running Point LInux 2.3) and couldn't get it configured so I hooked it back up to the Desktop and it didn't work there either. I was getting the "waiting for printer to become available" deal, not sure why it stopped working. Anyway, it's an HP and I've read on the interweb that even with the added HP drivers they're still somewhat of a pain to get working under Linux.
    So, the million dollar question is, which Printers are more compatable with Linux and hook up easier? Thanks.
    "Now, what y'all wanna do?
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    Just Joined! YourPalMark's Avatar
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    Everyone wants to know the answer to your question, and I don't know if there's a clear answer. I favored Canon printers back in my MS-DOS/Windows days, and I still think their products are excellent, but they're not so easy to use with Linux. My Canon MX870 can print and scan by way of CUPS, although scanning reliability depends a little on the distribution. I've given HP a try, and they seem even less "Linux friendly" than Cannon! (and print/scan quality doesn't compare to Canon in my experience) I haven't tried Epson or Brother. Seems I may have heard good things about Epson, but don't hold me to that.

  3. #3
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    The link below has a lot of information on Linux compatible printers and links to various sites. It includes the comment: 'HP has the largest selection of free software compatible' printers' which has historically been the case. Were you using CUPS to set it up or HPLIP?

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Printers

  4. #4
    Linux Engineer TNFrank's Avatar
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    Really couldn't tell you if it was CUPS or HPLIP, I just clicked the Printer icon and clicked the HP icon that was there, it gave an error but I closed that and then did a Print Test and it worked. After unplugging it from the USB to try and get it set up on his laptop(which didn't auto detect like the desktop computer did) and failing I plugged it back into the desktop computer and tried to print and got the "waiting for printer" stuff.
    It worked, then it didn't work and I have no foggy clue as to why it stopped working. I just figured it was something to do with the printer and not the Linux so that's why I ask if there is a printer that works better with Linux.
    "Now, what y'all wanna do?
    Wanna be hackers? Code crackers? Slackers
    Wastin' time with all the chatroom yakkers?
    9 to 5, chillin' at Hewlett Packard?"

  5. #5
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    About 8 years ago, I settled on purchasing Brother laser printers. Ink printers were always problematic. Ink dried up in the jets, or the ink on the paper was too wet.
    My experence has been fantastic. Brother company cares about Linux, and for each model, there is a set of downloadable (or cups auto-install) that works A1

    My current printer is a brother duplex dw2170 (or 2170dw). I plugged it into the USB port, and with plug and play, the appropriate driver was installed. I can print single side, duplex, and even multiple pages per side of sheet.
    When I want reference stuff, I print it to have at my side. At 8 pages per sheet, who can complain?

    When my brother printer wears out, or perhaps sooner, I will ad to it a color laser printer.

    I have a HP color laser, and I paid $120 for the printer. However, each cartridge costs 180 to replace 4x180 makes the HP printer a door stop device. I made a big big error in not checking for the cost of consumables.

  6. #6
    Linux User sgosnell's Avatar
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    Both HP and Brother support Linux well. I've used HP for years, and currently have a Brother. HP printers work well enough, but the ink cost is prohibitive for inkjet printers. I don't have enough experience with Brother inkjets to say for sure, but I think they will be a little cheaper, since you can replace individual colors. Both manufacturers provide Linux drivers and support, and IME work well with most any Linux distro. I don't think I would bother with any other brand. The support just doesn't seem to be there for Linux.

  7. #7
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    Curious that it would not work on the system it was previously on. Was the printer turned off when you unplugged it and did you plug it in the same usb port (if it's usb)? Might have been useful for someone more familiar with printers if you had noted the initial error?

  8. #8
    Linux Engineer TNFrank's Avatar
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    Not sure what happened between plugging it into the USB port and getting it to work the first time and then plugging it back in to the same USB port and having it not work after I tried to get it to work on the laptop.
    It's almost like something in the printer screwed up, like a data log jam or something that stopped it from taking any new print data once it was plugged back into the desktop computer.
    I wish I knew more about setting up printers but I've not really had to mess with them much. The Lexmark that I had with my iMac worked fine but I didn't print enough and the print head dried up and clogged so it stopped working and I'm not going to mess with digging into it to clean or fix it since ink costs more then a new printer would cost.
    It's probably something really stupid simple that I just can't figure out. Anyway, sounds like Brother is a good choice for a Linux based system. I may tell my buddy to look into buying one of those if he can afford it. He needs to copy off sheets for the home health care worker to fill out and he'd like to also be able to print stuff too so I'd really like to get this working for him.
    "Now, what y'all wanna do?
    Wanna be hackers? Code crackers? Slackers
    Wastin' time with all the chatroom yakkers?
    9 to 5, chillin' at Hewlett Packard?"

  9. #9
    Linux Engineer docbop's Avatar
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    Sometimes I just create a second instance of the printer and the second one works. Also my HP stops working sometimes and just telling it to send a test print with get it back working. Also check your print queue it you've been testing it might be full of jobs waiting jobs that will never complete, clearing them will help.

  10. #10
    Linux User zenwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docbop View Post
    Sometimes I just create a second instance of the printer and the second one works. . . . Also check your print queue it you've been testing it might be full of jobs waiting jobs that will never complete, clearing them will help.
    I've experienced what docbop refers to in the first sentence, as well.
    I recently purchased an Epson WF-3540 and am very pleased with it. It works well with my Debian-based OS. Have owned Canon and HP printers, too. I like Epson better than Canon, personally. HP? depends on the model; can't beat their lazer printers, though. Again, just my subjective view.
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