Best printer makes (manufacturers) for FreeBSD

Polytropon freebsd at
Sat Jul 15 19:23:34 UTC 2017

On Sat, 15 Jul 2017 13:23:51 -0500 (CDT), Valeri Galtsev wrote:
> Recent discussion about replacing old printer prompted me to start this
> thread. Basically, which makes (or manufacturers) do you use on your
> FreeBSD boxes?

Mostly HP laser (and a few inkpee) printers here with great success.
That leads me to the assumption that with educated choice _before_
paying money, HP is always on the "nice" list.

> What would you recommend to watch for and avoid when
> choosing the printer.

Connection: preferred via network (cable or WLAN), USB only if
no other choice.

Printer language: PDF, PCL or PS (at least one; if none, avoid).
Being able to use PS or PDF usually indicates you don't need
any printer driver at all. ;-)

For HP printers _always_ check:

Make sure it's supported. Integration of HPLIP and CUPS is easy,
but you can use it with system LPR, too.

A PPD file is always welcome.

> (I personally would prefer one manufacturer not even
> mentioned: Xerox.

I'd like to add Canon here. :-)

> They went bad several years ago, and are banned wherever
> I have a voice to affect the choice... So if you tell good story about
> Xerox I definitely will reply with my bad one - enough for having my
> attitude).

This one? :-)

> In one of recent threads two manufacturers were mentioned: Brother and HP
> (Hewlett Packard). What prompted me to start this is suggestions that for
> some model of Brother printer you need to install Linux support and use
> Linux diver.

Check the technical (!) properties page (not the home consumer
marketing speak page). Does the printer _really_ require a Linux
driver? Doesn't it speak PS, PCL or PDF natively?

> In the Department I support I use HP printers (mostly high end like Color
> LaserJet CP4020-CP4520; Color LaserJet 4650, but have one low end LaserJet
> ColorPro 400 m451). I must confess as Linux refugee, I am not total
> refugee yet, so my setup is probably only partly relevant. Namely, all
> print jobs go to printers through CUPS print server, the last is still on
> Linux - hadn't chance to migrate it to FreeBSD. However, when I set up
> printing on FreeBSD, the only things I have to do is: install CUPS, drop
> wherever CUPS keeps printer drivers a bunch of .ppd files (you can
> download these at site, basically PPD is PostScript
> Printer Description file, and these can be extracted from postscript
> printer driver manufacturer supplies, and it doesn't matter which  system
> the driver is designed for).

The P in PPD suggests that it's portable. ;-)

> I would like to hear about other good printer manufacturers, especially
> cases then you set up printer as hassle-less as HP postscript printers are
> for me - just curious what is good out there and what is not.

I also use a color laser printer here, a Samsung CLX-2160
with the SPLIX language (foo2qpdl-wrapper -> /dev/ulpt0,
even though CUPS printing is also possible). The printer
works, but I cannot recommend it due to the low quality.

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

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