The nightmarish problem of installing a printer

Roland Smith rsmith at
Fri Sep 17 19:11:32 UTC 2010

On Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 06:10:56PM +0100, Frank Shute wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 01:45:54AM +0100, Chabane HEMDANI wrote:
> >
> >  I'm computer science teacher at university of Tizi-ouzou in Algeria. I'm
> > using FreeBSD since 2007 when I "discover" it by chance when searching in
> > the Web something about Linux.
> >  Since that date, I always invited and recommended to my students to install
> > and use this "magical" and my favorite system.
> > 
> > However, all my students retort me that they have a problem of installing
> > their printers. I have so this problem, so I can't tell good-bye
> > definitively to winosor and Linux. I always need them for printing.
> > 
> > I've search, read, learn, follow instructions about nearly all the
> > web-documentation about installing a new printer to work under cups without
> > any success. I've  an HP Laser Jet 1018 printer and tools given by package
> > print/hplip don't work correctly.

According to it is
best to use the foo2zjs driver: But it only works in
black and white.

> > Please where is the problem?

Printers these days are by-and-large built for MS windoze, without much
thought for other operating systems. So they tend to use unpublished
communications protocols or only work with the driver that works on windoze.

When shopping for a printer, preferably look for one that understands the
PostScript page description language. Those will work in FreeBSD and Linux
without problems. These tend to be more high-end models, and may be more
expensive when new. Secondhand they are probably more affordable, especially
for students!

If that is not an option, try for a printer that is supported by ghostscript
(the print/ghostscript8 port) You can see the printers it supports by running
'make config' in /usr/ports/print/ghostscript8. Printers that use the PCL (HP)
or ESC/P (epson) printing protocols should work without problems.

Alternatively look for a printer that is supported by the "gutenprint" driver;

When you are thinking about buying a certain model of printer, _always_ check
the openprinting database to see if it will work _before_ buying it:

> Postscript (and I believe HP Laserjets can) then this can be a fairly

Some do, particularly high-end models. Most consumer-oriented stuff does not.

Hope this helps!

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