Printer recommendation please

Polytropon freebsd at
Fri Mar 30 21:23:17 UTC 2012

On Fri, 30 Mar 2012 17:38:36 +0200, Karel Miklav wrote:
> Could you please recommend me a home printer that works nicely with FreeBSD?
> HP inkjets aren't that bad, FreeBSD drivers are allright, but I'd like 
> to shift towards some kind of PostScript laser. Xerox Phaser 6500 looks 
> nice, but I can not economically justify my appetite. Is there a cheaper 
> alternative or maybe PostScript printers aren't that good idea anyway, heh?

Allow me to mention some things that are worth investing in.

1. Network connection.
Don't bother with USB stuff. Buy a printer that offers Ethernet
and maybe also WLAN, this will save you many trouble, and you
are free to put the printer wherever you want.

2. Standard language.
Postscript and PCL. Make sure the printer understands at least
one of them. PCL is very common among HP printers. Regarding
drivers - you don't need them. PS is the default output format
for printing from every application. Printer filter collections
such as apsfilter or CUPS tend to support non-PS printers very
well, and it's quite easy to write your own printer filter (may
even be a one-liner) using ghostscript. There's nothing wrong
with PS because (as I said) you don't need any drivers, but the
data transfer may need some time, and the processing speed
depends on how fast and how good (!) the PS interpreter in the
printer is. In my experience (with the printers I'm going to
mention at the end of this message) PCL is faster.

3. Laser printer.
Don't believe that inkpee printers are genereally cheaper. They
are not. The only excuse for using them is that you need photo
quality color prints (requiring the proper paper, too).

4. Additional functionalities.
Before buying something, ask yourself what you need. Does it
need to have a scanner? Does the scanner part support FreeBSD?
Is there a way to "scan to local storage" (e. g. USB stick)
in the printer? Does it need a sheet feeder for scan input?
Does it need to scan photo positive/negative films? Does it
need to fax?

I have had good luck with my army of laser printers here.
HP Laserjet II, 4, 4000 duplex, as well as a Samsung color
laserprinter CLX-2160. All this stuff works out of the box.
I don't have any need for inkpee. Photos can be printed at
much better quality at my local drugstore, if I need that.
The printer filters are gs one-liners I wrote myself, because
I speak PCL to the laser printer, and some splix gibberish
using foo2qpdl to the (sadly USB connected) color printer.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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