Friday, November 2, 2007

Linux Printing...

It's been a while since I had to look at printing via Linux. But seeing as my old printer has given out, and I wanted to get a new color printer capable of printing photos, I figured it was time to go and buy one.

My last printer was a Lexmark z32, which worked fine under Linux. So, assuming that Lexmark was still supporting Linux, I went out and picked up a new Lexmark z1480... first mistake. I should have done some research.

So, after picking up the printer and spending an entire day trying to beat it into submission, I finally gave up, and returned it. But not before I wrote a letter to Lexmark (probably won't make a difference).

Anyway, I used to have a HP DesignJet years ago, and I remember that it was also supported under Linux. After doing some reading, I found that HP actually does support Opensource and Linux and they have a true full featured HP driver for Linux.

Armed with this information and new hope, I went to Open Printing to see which printers are supported by HP's driver under Linux. To my surprise, there were quite a few. A quick scan through the list and I find the one I want - a HP 6980. It's reasonably priced and includes Wireless.

I'm happy to say it was painless to setup. Basically, I followed the steps in the setup guide up to the point where I had to use the windows software. At that point, I instead ran the hp-setup utility under Linux (part of the HPLIP driver project).

Wow. Effortless.

I have to say I am impressed with the support HP has provided the community. Great job and hats of to them.