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Revision as of 11:08, 10 January 2013 by Rpeters (talk | contribs) (added preliminary guideance for those new to Linux)

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For General Users

New users of Linux may find that their printer (and scanner) is neither supported nor supportable. Simplest option is to (carefully) purchase a new printer.

Selection Guideance

  • be aware that Linux uses Postscript or PDF technology as the basis for its print sub-system
    • printers that use Postscript, PDF or perhaps PCL print languages are readily supportable and likely to remain so
    • most entry-level printers do not use those technologies, that require additonal processing resouces which in turn adds cost
    • be prepared to purchase a mid-range printer (or multi-function device).

All of the following pre-purchase research is strongly recommended

  • download the relevant driver from the manufacturer's web site
  • check for availability of alternate drivers at:
  • install the relevant driver prior to purchase
    • in almost all cases this can be achieved without the printer physically present
  • seek assistance in a Linux forum if the drivers are not available or don't install


The direct interface to the Linux printing sub-system (CUPS) on your computer is via the URL http://localhost:631

  • this is also usually the most capable and reliable interface
  • other setup routines are provided in many Distributions
    • these might not detect downloaded drivers and are thus less reliable

Failure to print, although the driver is installed, can result from unsuitable settings.

  1. from the CUPS Administratin tab, select
    • Manage Printers -> Set Default Options
  2. check the settings for and adjuxt if necessary
    1. paper size (usually A4 is appropriate)
    2. paper source (tray (cassette) or manual)

Printer Recommendations

The following factors might assist preparation of a "short-list"

  • HP provide Linux support for most of their devices
    • low-end devices would be reliant on continuation of this support, as would be the case with other brands
  • Fuji-Xerox have argueably the best colour laser technology
    • CP/CM 305 series are the lowest cost models having Linux support
    • and are competitively priced, for the capability provided
  • Brother multi-functions all support scanning via network
    • mid-range models do use Postscript and should be supportable long-term

--[[--Rpeters 18:15, 18 August 2012 (EST)]] --