More Fun With Printing

by Carla Schroder

Printing in Linux gets better all the time, especially when you find the right drivers.


2007-05-23 19:11:43

I have an Epson and use those Gimp-print drivers (or so I understand) with CUPS. Nearly instant (< 1s) color preview on a 512MB AMD 1.5GHz machine. Do you have little memory? (Er, not you, your computer...)

Also, I've used Lexmark's Linux proprietary drivers with network attached lasers on work and, yes, there was some wait involved, but my machine sucked (Celeron 800MHz, 128MB) and I seem to recall some settings could be tweaked for better troughput (like font substitution etc.)

2007-05-23 19:30:24
KDE prints and previews quickly for me... Wonder what is causing your slowdowns.
2007-05-24 00:15:48
I'm migrating many of my company old WIN 98 into linux debian, ubuntu everything is fine, except printing that cause me lot of headache (several document format received by our customers and suppliers that does not print with the correct format :size, fonts) and java applications trouble for find the right print connections.
Many people discuss every day about several linux desktop features sound, multimedia, gaming ,but printing is the main issue especially in enterprise enviroment (the second one is Open Office format interchange especially for word releated document).
I'm not an IT man I've got an electromechanical and finance background and in my opinion printing is the main issue to solve for linux. I know we got HP support but in a company normally we have several printer brand and model (in my own Samsung,Oky, IBM, epson, Minolta and of course HP )


2007-05-24 09:25:19
my cross-platform solution to printing problems: networked hardware postscript support.

printing is just as big of a problem for windows as it is for linux; just different problems. but almost all of those problems go away with a networked postscript printer (b/w or color). yes, it costs more, but you get what you pay for. all that is required for linux or windows is a ppd (usually distributed with the printer). no longer do you have to wonder if the manufacturer will drop binary driver support for your printer after the next operating system release. you don't have to worry if cups is new enough to work with your fresh-off-the-internet printer filter (that does nothing more than translate your linux application's postscript to the printer's proprietary language). instead everything usually just works. isn't standards based technology great?

if you have to compromise on price, lose the ethernet capability and use parallel/usb hooked to a networked computer (which will just pass the postscript jobs through and maybe do some job accounting).

any business using consumer inkjets for general printing is short sighted due to the cost of consumables, high maintenance, and short lifespan. if you don't print enough business graphics to justify a color printer (though much cheaper than they use to be), then outsource (and not to india, but kinko's or any other modern print shop).

i've heard of a few high-end ink-jet printers, but they are so proprietary and expensive that dedicating a windows machine to the task seems cheap in comparison.

Carla Schroder
2007-05-24 15:30:57
New HP 3050 is up and running almost painlessly, despite the lack of Linux instructions. Hurrah! Just plug it in, fire up CUPS and your scanner software, and away you go.

It is fast, but the print preview is still sloooow. It's a common problem; I'm not the only KDE user complaining about dog-slow print previews. i've heard suggestions ranging from 'too many printing subsystems' to 'gs needs more caffeine.' Even on a system with a gigabyte of RAM and a newer hotrod processor.

2007-08-17 23:09:43
My search "Artistic printing on Linux" connects to Carla's Oreillynet entry above.

I bought my 2nd yard sale DeskJet 1120C 13" wide printer (this one hasn't died... yet) and yet again I am trying to find an elegant and transparent pathway from that dim image on a dinky square of silicon to something I can hang on a wall that is worth looking at.

With more practice and fiddling, I think I have learned how to refill and unclog the expensive HP ink cartridge. (Dip printhead 1/8" in an ultrasonic cleaner and blow gently through a piece of vinyl tubing into a 1/16" hole drilled in the top of the cartridge.) I can print on posterboard and I am eyeing "bristol vellum" as a beautiful media worth developing.

But the feeling that I have understood and mapped the input image to the output image, with control and precision has not arrived.

I feel that getting technical artistic control will lead through several levels. I am thinking of Ansel Adams' Zone System as a model for what artistic control might be.

First level: Mapping input photo pixels to the printer dots. In the '30s there was a "straight photography" movement. So far the main Linux printer settings don't even think about the image this way.

So, there is a long way to go.

Carla Schroder
2007-08-18 12:29:10
LeeMcK, you are right that Linux is a long, long way from being able to do serious artistic printing. I'm pretty happy with the photo printing I've been doing, but that's not even close to what you're doing.

Thanks for the tip on cleaning and refilling HP ink cartridges. I think the printer manufacturers are making a big mistake by trying to screw us over on ink cartridges. By making them expensive and trying to lock them down, most folks use them a lot less. It would be smarter for them to supply genuine official manufacturer refill kits at a reasonable cost. They would sell more and everyone would be happy.

2008-05-16 07:13:55
I have configured one Xerox Documen center 440PS printer on my SLED-10 SP1 its printing is fine but always prints an extra page of Xerox symbol "X", I tried lot of thing to stop this extra print page but was in vein, could you please put a ray of hope onto this situation..