Looking for network based printer

PacketMan

Aspiring Daemon

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Well the wife is nagging me to buy a printer because the kids are in school and printing has become pretty much necessary. So over the next week or two or three I really should buy something. Happy wife happy life. :p I've been reading through the multiple discussion post so I think I got it. 'Think'. But first the requirements:

  • Must be network based - ethernet/cat and/or wifi, both preferred.
  • Must work with FreeBSD and Linux.
  • Light duty home use to print various 'office' docs, that could contain embedded images.
  • Color printing very desirable. (Edit: laser color preferred).
  • Photo-quality printing not required. Not buying such a printer.
  • 8.5" x 11" sheets.
  • Scanning, email integration, print from cell phone app, making toast, etc not required.
  • Prefer to avoid special ports made for specific printers, where such ports are more likely to get abandoned.

All my machines are FreeBSD, except the 'family computer' which is Ubuntu. There is no Microsoft Windows machines in our house, but I suppose we could have a guest with a Windows laptop. Regarding configuration - each machine could print directly to the network printer, or each machine could send the print job to a 'spooler' on our main server. I prefer the later, but it doesn't really matter.

From what I can gather, I require a printer that understands PostScript natively, and require the print/cups correct? I notice some discussion about 'Ghost' port, but it seems that port has been split up into many ports now, but I only need that for printers that do pcl5e/pcl6 which works, but is slower. Am I on the money or am I missing something?

I am not brand loyal, but I do want something that will last quite a few years so I don't mind spending the money. Back to color, the color cartridge(s) must be separate from the black ink. I realize this crosses over into a printer discussion and not a FreeBSD discussion, but I really value what you folks know. I will likely be buying from Best Buy, or Amazon, and will be looking for feature listings of what ever you guys tell me. The part that concerns me is 'marketing' can often list a feature in a more-vague-than-clear-truthful way, so feel free to offer comments on that.
 
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PacketMan

PacketMan

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I trust the old rule is still golden?

Printers with "W" in the name are usually host-based or wireless, and either can be a problem. The old rule still works: get something that understands PostScript natively. PCL also works, but usually does not print as quickly.
 
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PacketMan

PacketMan

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Yeah I should have mentioned that, will be preferring color laser. My challenge is the online retail stores don't mention Postscript, pcl, etc in their online notes. Perhaps I should go to the manufactures sites first, and look there. Is there a online resource that lists vendors and their printers and their 'friendliness' towards FreeBSD? Or are we and this site pretty much it? :)
 

shepper

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Some online sites provide more information than others. In the following links you can review the specifications of 2 different color laser printers. Click the specifications tab and scroll down to printer language.
Brother color laserjet
HP color laserjet

Once you settle on a model, I would confirm the specs at the manufacturers web site.

The printer market is a morass to wade through. HP recently bought Samsung's printer division and wrote Software for Windows users that essentially functions as a marketing tool to push printer consumables with a high cost mark-up.
 
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PacketMan

PacketMan

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Thanks a bunch. I didn't think of Newegg. The family didn't want to wait so I bought this one: "Brother HL Series HL-L5200DW Duplex 1200 dpi x 1200 dpi wireless/USB mono Laser Printer. https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIADGE5R74219

I got it working on the Linux machine, using PCL6 / PCL XL printing. I'll be farting around with print/cups to try and get it working from my FreeBSD machines soon, and from the Linux machine via CUPS (for fun really). In case anyone is interested the built in web admin server shows me this:

Enabled Services
BRN3C2AF4161FE9
BINARY_P1
TEXT_P1
POSTSCRIPT_P1
PCL_P1
BRN3C2AF4161FE9_AT
 

Oko

Daemon

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Thanks a bunch. I didn't think if Newegg. The family didn't want to wait so I bought this one: "Brother HL Series HL-L5200DW Duplex 1200 dpi x 1200 dpi wireless/USB mono Laser Printer. https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIADGE5R74219

I got it working on the Linux machine, using PCL6 / PCL XL printing. I'll be farting around with print/cups to try and get it working from my FreeBSD machines soon, and from the Linux machine via CUPS (for fun really). In case anyone is interested the built in web admin server shows me this:

Enabled Services
BRN3C2AF4161FE9
BINARY_P1
TEXT_P1
POSTSCRIPT_P1
PCL_P1
BRN3C2AF4161FE9_AT
That is a PostScript printer. There is nothing to "fiddle". I have two HL-5250, one at work and one at home. The one at home is network printer. This is the /etc/printcap.conf file

Code:
# Remote printer must use jetdirect since foomatic-rip doesn't speak LPD
rp|HL-5250DN:\
        :lp=9100@192.168.3.15:\
        :if=/etc/foomatic-rip/script_brother.sh:\
        :sh:sd=/var/spool/output/brother:\
        :lf=/var/log/lpd-errs:

and this is the script I had to write after foomatic-rip guys dropped LPD
Code:
predrag@oko$ more /etc/foomatic-rip/script_brother.sh
#!/bin/sh

/usr/local/bin/a2ps -BRq --columns=1 -o - | \
        /usr/local/bin/foomatic-rip -P HL-5250DN --ppd /etc/foomatic-rip/direct/brother-hl-5250dn-postscript-brother.ppd

Note that counter intuitively foomatic filters are now distributed with cups-filters. If you promise yourself that you will only send PostScript files to the printer you don't need the stupid filter anyway. It is just fancy Perl parser which detect the type of the file and call appropriate program which converts it to PostScript. For example if you send jpg file it would call ImageMagick.
 
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PacketMan

PacketMan

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That is a PostScript printer. There is nothing to "fiddle"........If you promise yourself that you will only send PostScript files to the printer you don't need the stupid filter anyway.

Well when I said farting with CUPS, I meant I have to get CUPS working first. I installed it on a lesser used server and it runs, but I can't access the web page. See Thread 59350 for that. Honestly I have no clue how to "send only PostScript files to the printer". We will click the print button. (You forgetting I'm a big router guy, not a sys admin? :p) I thought PostScript was the ''generic 'open' best'' way to work with printers, and also have the highest probability of success with FreeBSD. I did try some generic PCL and Postscript 'add printer' options and PCL works, but PostScript was blank pages. The openprint-glutenworks (I think that was what Linus installed) works fine, and it seems to find the printer on the network automatically and does not refer to a hard coded IP adddress, where as the PCL and PostScript options seem to want to use a hard coded address. 'Raw' prints crazy fast, but some of the print formatting is errored, for example some white spaces become black.

Lots to learn.
 

shepper

Aspiring Daemon

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I am also happily running a networked Brother HL-5450DN in BSD/Linux.:beer:

Postscript (*.ps) is a printing format that is the industry standard. When you tell an application (Firefox, Word processor etc) to print something, it generates a *.ps file. If you have a Postscript capable printer it can process that file without further manipulation. On the other hand, if you have a PCL5 printer, the *.ps file has to pass through a filter that translates it. Most printers can also handle *.txt files and there are some simple utiliities (a2ps, enscript) to convert *.txt -> *.ps.

Printing basics are succinctly presented in Chapter 9 of the Handbook. At the end of the chapter, there is a link to a FreeBSD cups howto.
 
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PacketMan

PacketMan

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Printing basics are succinctly presented in Chapter 9 of the Handbook. At the end of the chapter, there is a link to a FreeBSD cups howto.

Yeah I read through both before I started posting in here. Reading through again to see if I missed anything, but of course we know from time to time that the pages are not 100% up to date.
 

scottro

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Ah, one thing I'd forgotten. With cups, I always have to manually add the packages cups-filters and usually cups-pdf as well.
 

ralphbsz

Son of Beastie

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For printers, there is EXACTLY one answer: HP. Not cheap, but in nearly all cases it works excellently (there are rare exceptions, such as the LJ 6MP, which was internally known as "the paper curling machine"). Nearly every HP laser will today have wired Ethernet; many have wireless too.

Personally, I stay away from inkjet printers, because for me they have always ended up being unreliable: the ink mechanism manages to dry up and clog. Other people have good experience with them, but that doesn't help me. Personally, I only buy printers that are postscript capable. While I've managed to set up CUPS/ghostscript/... to print on non-postscript printers, it is a massive pain, and never ends up 100% reliable.

I have three HP laser printers at home. One is a LJ5MP, which is nearly 20 years old, and still the main workhorse (slow, cheap to operate, ridiculously reliable). Connected via parallel port, for lack of other options. The second one is a HP2055, which is very fast (40ppm) and can do double sided. The third one is a HP400 for color printout (more expensive to operate, so we use it to color where needed). Disclaimer: I am a former HP employee, but none of those printers were bought while working at HP; and the employee discount (which I still get!) ends up being more expensive than just waiting for a sale at Newegg or Amazon.
 

trev

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For printers, there is EXACTLY one answer: HP.

Well, yes, I've had excellent results with FreeBSD and a LJ 4 with postscript SIMM, LJ 2200DN and the current LJ M401DN. But I've also had the same excellent results with the Fuji-Xerox Phaser 3400.

By the same token, the HP Colour LJ 2600DN was a disaster -- grey caste printed over every colour page which turned out to be a design flaw. Returned to store for full refund after 34 days after HP failed to fix it (twice).
 

Oliver Jones

New Member


Messages: 9

It's not cheap, but I'm the sort of guy who wants to buy this sort of thing no more than once a decade...

Ricoh SP C440DN
https://www.ricoh-europe.com/support/product-support/product-support-detail.html?prodId=100-12522

I have a 431DN (previous model), and it works very well. The 440DN comes with a slightly slower processor, but 1GB of memory as standard (the 431DN maxed out at 768MB.) It's a PostScript 3-native printer, and there is a UNIX filter for controlling stuff like duplex - and it even works with RHEL, Solaris, HP-UX, et cetera. Even SAP R/3, if you have a need for that. :)

It uses four massive toner cartridges, and even the 30% filled demo toner cartidges that came with my printer in 2012 lasted me until 2016. Buy a full set, and it's about $1000, but you won't have to worry about refilling it for a very, very long time.
 

LVLouisCyphre

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For printers, there is EXACTLY one answer: HP.
You are correct, sir!

Old discussion but warrants my commentary and another data point. I'm a retired IT network professional from a large local gov't employer. Just about any HP printer with a HP Jetdirect card will do. I have an old HP LJ 2100 (max mem with PS module) with an internal older 100BTX Jetdirect with a generic WiFi bridge.

Before I bought the internal Jetdirect for it, I used an older HP 500X external Jetdirect and connected to it with a parallel cable. I can print to it from anything over my network; BSD or Windows. With respect to network printing, HP pretty much is the de facto standard.

Networked HPs have a web interface so you don't need Windows except maybe for the proprietary multifunctionality; fax and scanning for their client software.

Clearance, new old stock or refurbished HP printers are not difficult to find.
 

ralphbsz

Son of Beastie

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And also, you can often find half-full toner cartridges. A few days ago, I was at a second-hand store (Goodwill), and they had a dozen HP printer cartridges, used. That's because people donate used printers, and if they can't get the printer itself to work, they'll sell the used cartridge. The other source of printer cartridges for the small "personal" printers: In my previous office, lots of people had a small printer in their office (managers were not allowed to use shared printers for HR-related documents, like the official letter that tells an employee their pay raise), and whenever a manager retired or changed to another office, they would throw stuff that's no longer needed in the trash. Just by looking around in the dumpsters for printer cartridges, I scored a handful of new and used cartridges for my LJ5MP, and now I'm set for about 10 or 20 years.
 

CraigHB

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It uses four massive toner cartridges, and even the 30% filled demo toner cartidges that came with my printer in 2012 lasted me until 2016. Buy a full set, and it's about $1000, but you won't have to worry about refilling it for a very, very long time.

I have a Ricoh C250SF and it also has four big toner cartridges. It ran out of ink and I was pretty unhappy with the cost of replacement cartridges. So I bought a refill kit off ebay for like forty bucks. It worked just fine once I figured out how to get to the refill plugs. A bit tricky, requires some disassembly of the cartridge, but I got it done and all is well.
 

Sevendogsbsd

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This thread is nearly 3 years old :) Having said that, I have had good luck with Xerox printers on both Linux and FreeBSD. I avoid HP printers because the toner cartridges are expensive, or at least too expensive for me. Never had an issue getting my PCL/postscript Xerox to work on any 'nix platform so far. I do use cups though and have never printed without cups so some may not like that.
 
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TimPaige

Guest


agree that still cartridges from HP is really expensive. for me best choise is Canon and Samsung of course. I decided that a network-based printer will be the necessary thing in my life. It is a really useful thing and you don’t have issues with cables. So I wanted to order it online on a trusted website. My friend recommended me this site https://www.mrdepot.ca where I could buy a quality printer from a famous brand. These guys offer a bunch of office products such as cartridges and printers. I am absolutely pleased with my new printer and use it every day! So if u want, u can check out this site for more info!
 
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trev

Daemon

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HP bought Samsung's printer division a few years ago :eek:

HP Inc., maker of printers and personal computers, on Wednesday said it completed its purchase of Samsung Electronics' printer business in a deal valued at $1.05 billion. Nov 1, 2017
 
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