[OT] printing question
koitsu at FreeBSD.org
Tue Nov 18 12:34:02 PST 2008
On Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 02:00:03PM -0600, Andrew Gould wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 1:53 PM, Chad Perrin <perrin at apotheon.com> wrote:
> > Your best bet for printer compatibility is to ensure that it's available
> > as a network device rather than having to connect to it directly, and
> > that it's a Postscript printer. If you want to get a printer and connect
> > it directly to your Mac, and you're sure it'll work with your Mac, then
> > you should be able to share it with the rest of the network without
> > problems -- as long as it's a Postscript printer. If it isn't, you may
> > have to do some digging to determine whether other computers on the
> > network will be able to use the shared printer at all, including FreeBSD
> > systems.
> > Alas, I know basically nothing about the Epson Artisan 800. I'm happy
> > with my HP laser printer connected directly to the network.
> > --
> > Chad Perrin [ content licensed PDL: http://pdl.apotheon.org ]
> > Quoth Albert Camus: "An intellectual is someone whose mind watches
> > itself."
> Thanks to all for the advice.
> So the bottom line is: "Get a postscript printer." They're rather
> expensive. It may be worth the inconvenience of sharing drive space and
> printing from the Mac via VNC window. ;-)
> Now, if I had money to waste.......... I just discovered that those really
> cool, wide format printers used at many photo printing shops are postscript
Those are hit-or-miss as well. Our HP plotter at work, for example:
when printing actual images (JPEG, GIF, etc.), you have to configure the
printer driver to think that the printer is the exact size/resolution of
the image you want to print, otherwise it prints half the image, then
in mid-line starts looping back to the top of the image, and loses all
concept of paper size.
> Imagine the font size you could use on a 20"x30" memo.
I can tell you that my Brother MFC-5860CN printer, despite being a AIO
network printer, does not work with FreeBSD -- even lpd does not work
with it. The behaviour is repeatable: sending data to either the LPD
port or the JetDirect emulation port results in the printer showing
"Receiving data" (or something like that) on the LCD, then the printer
just locks up. Supposedly the network data stream has to be encoded in
Brother offers numerous Linux packages, and Linux binaries, which take
care of this for you, but nothing for FreeBSD. In fact, their FAQ/KB
even answers "Do you support FreeBSD?" with something that resembles
"No, we do not, and we will not, go away". You can find tons of web
pages on this printer, and other Brother printers; tons of Linux success
stories, otherwise nothing but tears. This printer does work very
well in Windows, but not so well with OS X (unless its hooked up to the
USB port, where supposedly it works fine).
I have no interest in CUPS (bloated and overcomplex), and no interest in
Linux emulation (lolcat style: DO NOT WANT), so I stick with printing
Prior to the Brother, I had an HP DeskJet AIO, and I literally threw it
in the trash due to Windows drivers bloat galore. There's a famous
problem with their drivers where every time you print, it launches an
EXE, but then never kills the EXE off. Print 10 times, you've got 10
EXEs lingering around in memory. Imagine this in a corp environment
where there's a Windows print server involved -- totally unacceptable.
I'm afraid to sell/dispose of my Brother and get an HP LaserJet because
of their drivers.
The point I'm trying to make: do not think that just because a printer
has an Ethernet port that it will work with FreeBSD.
The other part of the problem is that FreeBSD's USB stack isn't so
great. I assume that just because a USB printer attaches as ulpt(4)
doesn't mean it'll print properly (e.g. needs an I/O driver of some
kind), but I could be wrong.
I don't know what your budget is, but US$300-400 for an AIO printer
that works with your setup, and in a multi-OS environment, is well
If folks out there are using network or USB printers with FreeBSD
RELENG_7 (without Linux emulation; CUPS is acceptable for others, just
not me :-) )), compiling a list of compatible hardware would be
It seems that most HP LaserJet printers with network I/O work well,
assuming the model supports some form of PostScript.
| Jeremy Chadwick jdc at parodius.com |
| Parodius Networking http://www.parodius.com/ |
| UNIX Systems Administrator Mountain View, CA, USA |
| Making life hard for others since 1977. PGP: 4BD6C0CB |
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