Linux Printing isn't working

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colinalvin63
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by colinalvin63 »

I fully sympathize with the original poster regarding printing under Linux. I installed 32 bit Linux Mint 15 Petra Cinnamon and tried to get two different DELL printers to work. One was a 944 photo, the other a P513W; neither worked. With the P513W I tried obtaining a special driver file and a tool for installing printers - it looked promising to start with, but errors were generated stating that certain files weren't in the expected location. It was as though DELL had the path names hard-wired to the wrong location - a location that bore no resemblance to where the driver was located. I spent many hours on the problem without success. PLEASE CAN SOMEONE INFORM THE OPEN PRINTING FORUM THAT THESE TWO PRINTERS ARE UNSUPPORTED UNDER LINUX MINT. I TRIED, BUT WAS UNABLE TO REGISTER ON THE SITE - SAID I WAS UNAUTHORIZED TO REGISTER!! HOW VERY USEFUL, NOT - ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS TO WARN OTHER PEOPLE FROM TRYING TO INSTALL THE PRINTERS UNDER MINT.

Strangely, I seem to recall that an earlier version of Ubuntu supported my DELL P513W - It was Ubuntu 11.1 . I would have to reinstall to know for sure. How can it be that Ubuntu 11.1 would support the printer and not Mint, when Mint is based on Ubuntu ? Don't get it. I thought Mint was supposed to be even more user friendly.

I realize that it's not the Linux community that is at fault regarding printers not working on the various flavors of Linux, but when a new user is faced with being unable to print on their existing printer, it begs the question "What's the point of them moving to a free operating system if they have to buy a new printer once they've installed Linux?". Kind of defeats the object of moving to Linux doesn't it ?

I did manage to get an old Epson printer working under Mint 15, namely an Epson Stylus Dx4450, but it's rather ancient, slow and noisy. PLEASE COULD SOMEONE ADD THE MODEL TO THE LIST OF THOSE SUPPORTED ON THE OPEN PRINTING FORUM, IF IT ISN'T THERE ALREADY.

I took a brief look at the open printing forum and found that indeed, Epson and HP were very well supported under Linux. Dell on the other hand was abysmally supported. Somehow we need to publicize the fact that these manufacturers don't support Linux, then people will be less inclined to buy their printers, then they'll have to pull their socks up and start taking Linux users seriously!
Trying to escape the Microsoft "Merry-Go-Round", if only Mint would let me !

Tz2001
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by Tz2001 »

I think it depends on the individual model. My Dell 2350DN works perfectly after downloading the relevant PPD from the Dell website. It was a 5 minute job to get my printer working after I purchased it, if that.

Locutus of Borg
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by Locutus of Borg »

This thread could turn out to be very influential. In 7 weeks 70+ million Windows XP systems, still in use today, will become unquestionably obsolete. All support ends for the second most used OS in April 2014. Many of those systems are perfectly capable of running a modern OS, such as Linux Mint. It's a huge opportunity. Along with other Windows users, I'm looking for an XP replacement, and Win 8 isn't it. Mint 16 could be. It certainly seems to be able to do everything Windows does, faster, with better updates, and it looks great!

Until you discover "The Deal Breaker". The printing is a wildcard; so is the touchpad. There may be a fix, or maybe not. To find out, you spend weeks wading through cryptic, chaotic, confusing posts, wiki pages, manufacturers instructions, configuration files, etc. A touchpad that won't work, or a printer that won't print anything, is just enough of a barrier to put it into the deal breaker category for an awful lot of Windows refugees.

For me, I have a brand new Brother MFC-J870DW all-in-one printer connected wirelessly to a home network. Printing from an iPhone is so simple anyone could do it. But from Linux Mint, you'd have to be Nostradamus to know when a page might come out of there. Openprinting.org database lists none of the new MFC-Jxxx series...not a single one. Brother provides drivers, but the "pre-requirements", multitude of libraries and configuration file edits (yeah, you have to manually edit files yourself) are nearly indecipherable. I can't tell what they want me to do. Effectively, I've been presented with a Rubik's cube to solve.

I also have a perfectly useable Sony Vaio dual-core notebook with an Alps touchpad, which runs Mint 16 great, except the cursor jumps unpredictably here or there, even selecting things randomly. I only mention it because the touchpad problem is similar to the printing problem, it's a driver thing that has no easy solution...and, it's a deal breaker.

There must be 10's of millions like me. We are trying to leave Windows! But there are still some washed out bridges on the road to Linux.

There were some eye-brow raising ideas in this thread, one by "sabonmu" to keep a separate Windows partition just for printing. In effect, Windows becomes the printer software. Clunky, but it might work as a temporary patch. Another from "rich2005" points to a print driver that might get my new Brother printer working in Linux Mint. A third from "TBABill" suggests cloud printing; my Brother all-in-one supports Google Cloud Print. Thanks to all! Google Cloud Print seemed like the way to go, bypassing the printer driver problem in Linux. But Google Cloud Print doesn't support Linux, so none of the applications can find the printer in the cloud. Another washed out bridge, in other words. I have until April to figure it out, or just give up. The lack of print capability could really be a deal breaker for me, and a lot of others.

brmccarty
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by brmccarty »

Must admit the Linux appeal is wanning for me. Simply getting tired of fighting problems (that's why I left Windows). Sure my system is stable, virus free, and runs faster, but things just don't work. Took me a week to get 3D working after an update broke it. My Kodak printer will somewhat work, but gives problems so I just bought another. I checked for drivers before buying and found them available http://welcome.solutions.brother.com/bs ... MFC-J870DW. Can't even get it to work at all.
Toshiba Satellite AMD Sempron SI-42 2.1GHz 2GB DDR2 ATI Radeon 3100 Mint 13 Xfce

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Pierre
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by Pierre »

Typically it's the scanner, that is the big "printer issue".
- in which case, use a HP printer, as they supply the correct drivers.

otherwise, it's Epson which almost always works, - for the printing side.
& for Cannon, "Install the PPA using the terminal commands provided then update and choose your drivers from the list."
but that can vary for your model, some work, some don't.

Don't use a Brother printer, or a Lexmark printer.
& be wary of those "all in one" printers.

Printing within a 'nix O/S - can be done - and it shouldn't be that hard.
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Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] - when your problem is solved!
and DO LOOK at those Unanswered Topics - - you may be able to answer some!.

brmccarty
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by brmccarty »

Pierre wrote:Typically it's the scanner, that is the big "printer issue".
- in which case, use a HP printer, as they supply the correct drivers.

otherwise, it's Epson which almost always works, - for the printing side.
& for Cannon, "Install the PPA using the terminal commands provided then update and choose your drivers from the list."
but that can vary for your model, some work, some don't.

Don't use a Brother printer, or a Lexmark printer.
& be wary of those "all in one" printers.

Printing within a 'nix O/S - can be done - and it shouldn't be that hard.
I'll never buy anything HP again. The last two HP printers I had made it less than a month out of warranty and died. I later read where HP toner cartridges would stop working on the expiration date regardless of the amount of toner remaining. Not to mention their tech NO-support is horrible. I'll go back to dealing with Windows problems before dealing with the likes of HP again.
Toshiba Satellite AMD Sempron SI-42 2.1GHz 2GB DDR2 ATI Radeon 3100 Mint 13 Xfce

Locutus of Borg
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by Locutus of Borg »

Google Cloud Print can work from Linux, at least for printing.

The fantastic thing about this method is that it completely eliminates the need to install a print driver. The downside is that cloud printing just prints...no scanning from an all-in-one. Setting up a cloud printer is a two step process: 1) add your printer to the Google cloud, and 2) install the CUPS Cloud Print application. In my case, the Brother MFC-J870DW all-in-one on my local network is Google Cloud Print ready, so setup/registration on GCP was relatively straightforward...just have to follow their instructions.

http://www.google.com/cloudprint/

That gets the printer on the cloud, but to print to it from linux you need to install "CUPS Cloud Print".

http://www.niftiestsoftware.com/cups-cloud-print/

Follow the instructions for "Deb based" installation, which you run in a terminal. The last line of the instructions runs the actual setup, and authorizes the program to use your Google account for printing. The cloud printer shows up in System Settings / Printers with whatever prefix you've given it. You should now have a working printer without having installed ANY printer specific driver at all!

This last section has nothing to do with GCP, it would only be of interest to those trying to get the Brother print driver and scanner installed in Linux Mint. The only print driver that worked for me, and only for the MFC-J870DW, is the Linux-brprinter-installer tool, which is mundanely included among a long list of drivers on the brother-usa support site (it should say 'if you don't know, use this one'). The description makes no mention of a scanner driver, but it IS included in the installer tool. This one little compressed file will unzip into nearly 6 MB worth of install & uninstall files:

http://welcome.solutions.brother.com/bs ... 8&type2=-1

Instructions for installation are difficult to follow; everything is done through Terminal. If it's a network printer you are installing, the installation program will ask for the "URI" of your printer, and what that means is the IP address of your printer (something like 192.168.xxx.xxx). Be sure you know what it is before you start. Nothing is graphically driven, so you have to enter everything explicitly on a command line. I did not install all the options, but ...once done you should be able to print, and also scan using Simple Scan.

brmccarty
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by brmccarty »

Locutus of Borg wrote:...
This last section has nothing to do with GCP, it would only be of interest to those trying to get the Brother print driver and scanner installed in Linux Mint. The only print driver that worked for me, and only for the MFC-J870DW, is the Linux-brprinter-installer tool, which is mundanely included among a long list of drivers on the brother-usa support site (it should say 'if you don't know, use this one'). The description makes no mention of a scanner driver, but it IS included in the installer tool. This one little compressed file will unzip into nearly 6 MB worth of install & uninstall files:

http://welcome.solutions.brother.com/bs ... 8&type2=-1

Instructions for installation are difficult to follow; everything is done through Terminal. If it's a network printer you are installing, the installation program will ask for the "URI" of your printer, and what that means is the IP address of your printer (something like 192.168.xxx.xxx). Be sure you know what it is before you start. Nothing is graphically driven, so you have to enter everything explicitly on a command line. I did not install all the options, but ...once done you should be able to print, and also scan using Simple Scan.
Thanks L of B
When I follow those directions I get the following.
billy@billy-laptop ~/Downloads/Brother ... del name.

It may be better if comments for my specific problem are posted to the thread I started for the MFC-J870DW. http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=161673 That way anyone searching for help with this printer can find it easier.
Toshiba Satellite AMD Sempron SI-42 2.1GHz 2GB DDR2 ATI Radeon 3100 Mint 13 Xfce

OzRattler
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by OzRattler »

One of my annoying experiences is that with Mint 12 all worked flawlessly. Then in Mint 15; it had some bugs but the printing still worked! Now in Mint 16 the printing does not work! Printer is a Lexmark C543dn, PPD files installed and Mint 16 x64. I am not outright expert with Linux but after a decade I know how to navigate, research and solve most dramas. I also know my limitations of knowledge. (wish there were none)

Printer is on the LAN with fixed IP addressed mapped via DHCP ~ Mac OS can print dead easy, Win prints dead easy, Mint 3.2.-23 works 100% but Mint 3.11.0-12 is a DOG. (In other ways in some other posts of mine) So rather frustrated that the latest release of Mint fails to work when the old release does..... Curious.

Anyway, I am now off to hit my head on the wall. At least I know I will get observable results from that. :?

Once I do work it out, I'll be back. It could even be that the proverbial trees are blocking my view of the forest!!!
.....insanity is so confusing.....

menhir
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by menhir »

I was one of those business/home users, and I'm sure that there are many many MANY more, who hoped Linux would be a successful alternative to the awful Windows 8, especially with XP going bye-bye.

I started by converting two of my computers to Mint 16 (I'm typing on one of them now), one to play and learn with, and the other for my office. I had already been using OpenOffice for years, and my MS database worked well in Wine...so all was ready to go. Still, In spite of my great hopes and intentions, the printer driver issue has made this a total deal breaker. It's been several weeks now and I'm still unable to print a single damn document. It all comes down to this: There just ain't enough hours in the day, especially in a business environment, to play around with this stuff. Running around buying new printers on a hit-or-miss basis isn't going to work for most people either. A great opportunity was lost.

All the great things Linux promises of is overshadowed with it's inability to simply do such a basic and necessary task.

I'm still at it. I'm still here. :wink: But the Linux thing for my business is all on the back burner for now.

I hope that changes.

Scubyw
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by Scubyw »

I've been trying to install a Brother MFC240C. In the process I also had to reinstall Mint 16 3 times. One time I had both the printer and scanner working. The 3rd time, the printer worked without a hitch, but the scanner failed. Simple Scan came up with an error and could not detect. Xsane is a multi-purpose scanning tool and also could not detect it. I went back to the Brother solutions site and found this, which I added to the rules as root.
I had already installed the 'rules' pkg given for the later Ubuntu versions. (Not sure if this makes a difference).
After I added this to the rules (and restarted the OS), it worked without a hitch, including scanning to email. (Still need to try the other options).
Note that the file you're looking for is '60-libsane.rules', not '40-libsane.rules' as stated below. (This may be different for other versions of Mint.)

Ubuntu 9.10, 10.04, 10.10, 11.4, 11.10, 12.04, 12.10
1. Open "/lib/udev/rules.d/40-libsane.rules" file.
2. Add the following two lines to the end of the device list. (Before the line "# The following rule will disable ..."):
If there is "LABEL="libsane_rules_end"", add the following 2 lines before "LABEL="libsane_rules_end"".

The lines to be added---------------------------

# Brother scanners
ATTRS{idVendor}=="04f9", ENV{libsane_matched}="yes"

3. Restart the OS.

jackson98
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by jackson98 »

I can only agree with all that has been written about Linux printing - it really is medieval. Surely it cannot be that difficult for all the boffins to sort out. I have wasted many days trying to sort out downloads for Canon, Brother and now Epson printers. I think I have to give serious thought to binning all notions of sticking with Linux and migrating back to dreaded Windows. So Well Done Linux and the printer software manufacturers - What a FAILURE.

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DrHu
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by DrHu »

Like anything else, it doesn't suck if the printer is well supported or has a vendor supplied Linux driver
http://www.openprinting.org/printers
http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/6729#

For a postscript based printer, it will be a no-brainer, although I admit postscript based printers are not the cheapest or the most popular (for some reason, that isn't clear)
--other newer printers such as canon pixmas being that they really only are developed for a windows OS could be problematic.
http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/6729#

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karlchen
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by karlchen »

This whole thread - most "problem reports" inside it at least - actually has never been a real support thread, but rather an ongoing rant. Therefore it has been moved to the "Chat about linux" subforum.
Oh, before I forget: Thanks a lot to all those who tried to give constructive answers to those who vented their frustration. :-)
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menhir
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by menhir »

I just solved my problem...sort of. :D As luck would have it, the print head failed on my wife's Lexmark. For nearly the cost of a new print head, I decided instead to buy an Epson printer I found on sale to use at my office and give her the working Lexmark I have there.

Unlike the Lexmark printer, I was easily able to find and load drivers for the Epson. I still have a few issues...the scanner can't be directly accessed from OfficeLibre, but I don't use the scanner function at my office anyway...only the printer and the copier. No big thing. I'll figger it out later.

Victory for Menhir! 8)

So Linux is now in the office, where I wanted it to be. A month later than I wanted it to be there...but still, it's there.
I may complain...vent...what have you, but I don't give up.

So, back atcha MS, for trying to foist Windows 8 on me. I'm now dating Linux.
And nerts to you, Lexmark, for not playing well with my new date, Linux. I just bought an Epson.

Hows that for venting frustration. :twisted:

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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by FirebirdTN »

After reading this thread, I guess I should thank my lucky stars. I had the OPPOSITE experience of the OP:

I have an Epson Phtostylus R280 I believe it is; I got it "free" with purchase of a digital camera at Circuit City (long out of business here-that tells you about how long ago this was).

I have it hooked up in an "unsupported" fashion. Its a USB only printer that is hooked to a usb-to-ethernet converter, so all my computers can printer to it whether they are wired or wireless. My printer isn't actually on the supported devices list, but I bought the converter and rolled the dice...

I have been using XP for a long time now. Printer has worked PERFECTLY in XP. I have two identical laptops. With the recent "death" of XP, I installed Mint on my primary laptop, and Win7 on my backup laptop (what they originally shipped with-I was running XP by choice).

I installed the printer in Mint 13 and have had ZERO problems with my printer. :D

I installed the printer in my Win 7, and it seems like I get one print job out of it, because the next time I go to use it, it is "offline" and requires me to uninstall the print driver and reinstall, because no matter what I do, it will not come back "online". :cry:

-Alan

colinalvin63
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by colinalvin63 »

Back for another round of misery trying to get my two Dell printers working under Linux Mint Rosa. Tried 2.5 years ago and posted on this thread then. I've been at it for weeks now on and off and stil without success. This time I found a Linux driver for my Dell P513W from the Dell support website, but it got half way through and said that there were problems with the package installer that was in use !

I thought I'd try to install Wine, and see whether I could install the Windows print driver there. Half way through the installation process, the installer asked me to plug my printer into the USB port, which I promptly did, but nothing was detected, so the installer program ground to a halt and exited !

I've tried using CUPS, but neither the Dell 944 or P513W are in the list of available Dell drivers.

I've tried searching for Dell PPD files, but can't find anything. I've looked under my Windows7 installation System 32 spool directory, but there's no PPD files I can copy into Linux (incidentally, both printers are working under Windows7, and also under XP which I have on another hard disk).

If anybody reads this who has had success installing either of these printers using a PPD file, please let me have a copy.

I've viewed some support threads which mention installing a Dell backend printer in CUPS, but nothing comes up with that description when I try to add a printer under CUPS Administration. Does anybody know how you do that , and happy to list the steps for me to follow ? Perhaps it used to be possible in an earlier version of Mint, or perhaps in Ubuntu ?
Trying to escape the Microsoft "Merry-Go-Round", if only Mint would let me !

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Portreve
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by Portreve »

squeedle wrote:I'm new to Linux, and yes, I'm a newbie moron. Granted. But STILL. Linux printing support, or compatibility, is BAD, and is a total deal-breaker for normal people.
I bought an HP LaserJet P1102w for $50 from Walmart back when they were clearancing them out. The link I just posted to that printer on Amazon suggests around about the same price there. The printer works perfectly well in LM 17 - 17.3. I don't know how old you can go and still get it to work.

In general, the older the printer, the more likely it is to work. In the case of the P1102w, the reason HP's support is important is there is a plugin (they call it a "printer filter" which you have to get from them during the setup process, and if you can't get it or get it to install, then the printer WILL NOT WORK. Once it's installed, printing is as effortless as it would be in Windows or Mac OS X.
Please remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

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Fred Barclay
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by Fred Barclay »

Just a bit of clarification here. A lot of the blame is being placed on we "geeks" which isn't exactly fair in this case.

Printing on Linux is, generally speaking, abysmal. I quite agree with you there, and it really needs to improve. I've never personally experienced it as I've spent my life in an ivory tower of HP printers which work quite well with Linux. (Silent cheer for HP!) But I've heard horrible things about Cannon and Brother printers.

The trouble is, this isn't Linux's fault. The printer manufacturers won't provide open-source drivers (so the community can provide and support drivers), won't provide closed-source drivers (so the manufacturers themselves can provide support), and won't let us see the inner workings of the printers' software so we can hack our own drivers together. Any of these three options would immediately resolve the situation for most people, but the manufacturers don't offer any of them.

So while you are right to be upset about the situation, you're directing it at the wrong chaps. Call the manufacturers, let them know that you want drivers that work! Once they provide 'em, we can incorporate it into Linux. :)

Cheers!
Fred

PS: as several people have mentioned, HP usually works pretty well with Linux. If you happen to buy a new printer I'd definitely recommend testing an HP.
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Portreve
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Re: Linux Printing isn't working

Post by Portreve »

Fred Barclay wrote:Just a bit of clarification here.
+1 to everything you just said, Fred.

Even though it's for fewer things now than it used to be, pre-purchasing research is still important with any GNU+Linux distro.
Please remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

Running Linux Mint Cinnamon 20.0.

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