Printer advice

Valeri Galtsev galtsev at
Sun May 14 17:28:50 UTC 2017

On Sun, May 14, 2017 3:34 am, Manish Jain wrote:
> On Sun, May 14, 2017 at 1:35 PM, Thomas Mueller <mueller6722 at>
> My luck with HP has been bad, enough to dissuade me from buying any more
HP products.

Just for balance: we love HP printers, we use HP printers forever. We
allow clients print through print server only (configuring printers to
accept jobs only from print server). HP printers always have been easy to
install. On client if some stupid laptop has no HP drivers (to save
space), just use generic postscript driver. I only can speak for laser HP
printers. They are extremely reliable. I just retired printer that worked
for the department for over 15 years, heavily used, and is still working.
Never broke of failed. And HP still makes supplies for this "obsolete"
printer. Which brings me to the

I decided to never ever buy any Xerox product (even though I still would
sign under their old motto: "we taught the world how to copy"). Some 7 or
8 years ago Xerox made a decision to eradicate "compatible" supplies. They
did it this way: every 3 Months or so they were releasing "new" printer
model, essentially the same previous one, only toners for that were
incompatible with "older" models. This made manufacturing "compatible"
after market supplies economically unprofitable, as there was only small
number of each Xerox printer model. I wouldn't care as I'm used to buy
slightly more expensive supplies made by printer manufacturer. But: 6
years after some Xerox printer model was sold (Phaser 6200 was our case),
Xerox stopped making toners, and parts with finite life, after a life of
such a part ends printer will refuse to work. As a result I had to throw
away decently young perfectly working Xerox printers. So: no Xerox
anything will ever be purchased or rented whenever I have enough leverage
to affect the decision.

> I have HP LaserJet Professional M1212nf MFP, and the first
> several attempts were fruitless, in both NetBSD and FreeBSD. I finally
got it to print in NetBSD through cups with a special PPD file, think
FreeBSD might also work with the same PPD file.

CUPS installed on any system will work with the same PPD file which brings
specific description of that particular printer, as PostScript Printer
Description (PPD) is written in postscript which effectively is
programming language which both CUPS and printer firmware (system that is
run on postscript printer) implement. You can get PPD for you printer
wherever you find it, and use in CUPS on your system. PPD can be found on
CD that comes with printer, it can be taken from successful installation
of printer on different system (e.g. macintosh, Linux...), it comes as a
part of "driver" package one can download from printer manufacturer
website, you can try webiste:

Good luck!


> Only Ethernet worked, USB didn't.
> I am rebuilding FreeBSD installations after getting nonbootable results
updating NetBSD (version 7.99.71 of current branch). Then I intend to
rebuild many packages including cups and hplip. I never got scanning or
fax from computer to work. One adverse factor is the need for a
> proprietary binary plugin. I was on Xerox website and more favorably
impressed, but didn't buy the printer because I already have that HP
multifunction printer.
> Have you tried using the printer with hplip ? hplip gives you every
single HP function available and usually works very well.
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

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