[8-STABLE] USB printer disconnecting when trying to print

Jeremy Chadwick freebsd at jdc.parodius.com
Fri May 21 09:35:21 UTC 2010

On Fri, May 21, 2010 at 11:04:59AM +0200, Torfinn Ingolfsen wrote:
> On Fri, 21 May 2010 10:29:04 +0200
> Thomas Gellekum <Thomas.Gellekum at gmx.de> wrote:
> > echo "hallo" > /dev/ulpt0
> > [...]
> > Any ideas on how to debug this are welcome.
> Most of todays printers do NOT understand plain text, usually you need a driver which transforms whatever you want to print into
> the language the printer understands.
> See http://www.openprinting.org/printer/Brother/Brother-HL-1250
> for more info.

As someone who used to own a Brother MFC-5490CN printer, here are some
points/items I came across when trying to get FreeBSD working with it.
Note that I did not try USB because I don't use it; I use wired
Ethernet/IP, but from the USB errors you see it looks like your
situation is the same.

- Brother has officially stated they do not support FreeBSD:

- Linux emulation will be required.  I refused to go down this road,
  and brandelf(1) is not enough.

- Looking through forums and discussion threads for Linux, I found a lot
  of people encountering what I did: communicating with the printer via
  IP (specifically LPR mode) worked, but the instant it saw any sort of
  I/O data, the printer would lock up and require a power-cycle, while
  showing (if my memory serves me right) "READING" or "COMMUNICATING"
  on its LCD immediately prior to locking up.

- I encountered the same problem when attempting to use its PCL
  emulation mode.

I had no problem telnetting to the printer and doing administrative
commands/things, including printing, under Windows -- except, of course,
once the unit was locked up.

I no longer own the printer in question for reasons unrelated, but the
overall experience itself left me so irritated that since purchasing a
non-Brother printer I haven't even bothered to try and get FreeBSD to
print to it.  The fact that one needs "OS drivers" to print to a printer
is absolutely preposterous; I don't know when this became the norm, but
it wasn't like this in the early-to-late 90s.

| 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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