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Old 12-03-2017, 09:17 PM   #1
Tecolote
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Second-best Monochrome Laser Printers for Linux?


According to Google, HP are the best printers for Linux support. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find even one that meets my requirements:
1. Auto-duplex
2. High enough dpi resolution to clearly print small text.
3. Under $250 (hopefully way under!).
So I have decided to give up on HP printers. My question is which brand is second best at Linux support?
 
Old 12-04-2017, 12:33 AM   #2
tofino_surfer
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I have a 10+ year old Samsung laser printer which works fine with CUPS. I have heard from other forum posts that Brother has excellent Linux support at least for their mid-range models.

Quote:
1. Auto-duplex
2. High enough dpi resolution to clearly print small text.
3. Under $250 (hopefully way under!).
Have you considered that you can't get what you want for your budget perhaps with any make ?

One thing to consider is that for the cheapest models the printer's processor is very cheap and offloads much processing to a driver usually written for Windows GDI. Mid-range printers support a printer language such as PCL or Samsung SPL. As long as a Linux filter exists to convert from raster to this printer command language exists you will be fine. Another forum post highly recommended mid-range Brother printers for use with Linux that support PCL but to stay away from the cheapest models. You will get better Linux compatibility if you pay more.

Toner costs are also a big factor as the cheapest models are given away below cost and profits are made on the overpriced toner cartridges. Before buying look at the price and capacity of toner cartridges.

Last edited by tofino_surfer; 12-04-2017 at 09:28 PM.
 
Old 12-05-2017, 01:20 AM   #3
Tecolote
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tofino_surfer View Post
I have a 10+ year old Samsung laser printer which works fine with CUPS. I have heard from other forum posts that Brother has excellent Linux support at least for their mid-range models.



Have you considered that you can't get what you want for your budget perhaps with any make ?

One thing to consider is that for the cheapest models the printer's processor is very cheap and offloads much processing to a driver usually written for Windows GDI. Mid-range printers support a printer language such as PCL or Samsung SPL. As long as a Linux filter exists to convert from raster to this printer command language exists you will be fine. Another forum post highly recommended mid-range Brother printers for use with Linux that support PCL but to stay away from the cheapest models. You will get better Linux compatibility if you pay more.

Toner costs are also a big factor as the cheapest models are given away below cost and profits are made on the overpriced toner cartridges. Before buying look at the price and capacity of toner cartridges.
Thanks for your reply. With Brother models, they all seem to have something wrong with them. Brother HL-L2340DW, and HL-2270DW are the closest I found, but both are way off mark. So far, Canon ImageCLASS LBP6230DW is the best I found, but keep seeing conflicting info on whether or not it will do Linux. I'll look into Samsung brand. That is the question. Can I get what I want on this budget? Don't know yet.
 
Old 12-05-2017, 02:52 AM   #4
hazel
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I bought a Brother HL1110 recently and I'm very pleased with it. It's one of the cheap models that tofino_surfer warns against, but I specifically wanted the simplest possible machine because the more complicated something is, the more is likely it is to go wrong.

[rant]I will never buy HP again! Those people are crooks who cheat you cross-eyed. According to Adam Smith, capitalists who sell overpriced goods lose out in the end because people prefer to buy it cheaper from rivals. But HP have got around that by programming their printers not to work with the more reasonably priced non-oem cartridges. And they treat us Linux users as a captive market. Grrr![/rant]
 
Old 12-05-2017, 04:07 PM   #5
tofino_surfer
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Quote:
So far, Canon ImageCLASS LBP6230DW is the best I found, but keep seeing conflicting info on whether or not it will do Linux.
The general advice is that Canon provides very poor Linux support which makes sense as they are a photography and optics company. They make pro and consumer cameras, photocopiers, and yes printers/scanners. HP which provides the best Linux support is a computer company which makes Linux and Unix servers.

Quote:
I bought a Brother HL1110 recently and I'm very pleased with it. It's one of the cheap models that tofino_surfer warns against, but I specifically wanted the simplest possible machine because the more complicated something is, the more is likely it is to go wrong.
This is a very bad analogy for Linux laser printers as the top end supports PostScript directly and has network connections so no Linux drivers are needed. The mid-range supports a printer language such as PCL or Samsung's SPL so only require simple raster to printer language converter such as:

Code:
*cupsModelNumber:  2
*cupsFilter:  "application/vnd.cups-postscript 0 rastertosamsungspl"
*ModelName:     "Samsung ML-1740"
*ShortNickName: "ML-1740"
*linuxLanguage: "SPL II"
*linuxPriority: "0"
*linuxURL:    "http://www.samsungprinter.com/"
*linuxIdentify: "ML-1740"
*NickName:      "Samsung ML-1740 Series (SPL II)"
*PSVersion:     "(3010.000) 550"

$ file /usr/lib64/cups/filter/rastertosamsungspl
/usr/lib64/cups/filter/rastertosamsungspl: ELF 64-bit LSB executable, x86-64, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.4.1, stripped
$ du -h /usr/lib64/cups/filter/rastertosamsungspl
44K     /usr/lib64/cups/filter/rastertosamsungspl
So with a 44K filter executable and a .ppd file all provided by Samsung you are all set.

At the lowest end are Windows GDI printers which require the most complex drivers often 32-bit with compatibility libraries. So for Linux support the more you pay the better and with the top end PostScript network printers you don't need any Linux support.

Quote:
According to Adam Smith, capitalists who sell overpriced goods lose out in the end because people prefer to buy it cheaper from rivals. But HP have got around that by programming their printers not to work with the more reasonably priced non-oem cartridges.
You don't seem to realize why they need to do this. Cheap printers are given away at or below cost so they need to make money off toner or ink. If you were happy paying $200 or so more for the exact same printer then maybe HP toner would be cheaper. For $1000+ office printers toner is available in much cheaper bottles as opposed to cartridges.

Quote:
And they treat us Linux users as a captive market.
Linux users should at least be happy that a company supports them. Linux users don't have to buy HP so there is no 'captivity'. Many choose to as they seem to provide the best Linux support.

Last edited by tofino_surfer; 12-05-2017 at 09:51 PM.
 
Old 12-05-2017, 10:10 PM   #6
Tecolote
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
I bought a Brother HL1110 recently and I'm very pleased with it. It's one of the cheap models that tofino_surfer warns against, but I specifically wanted the simplest possible machine because the more complicated something is, the more is likely it is to go wrong.

[rant]I will never buy HP again! Those people are crooks who cheat you cross-eyed. According to Adam Smith, capitalists who sell overpriced goods lose out in the end because people prefer to buy it cheaper from rivals. But HP have got around that by programming their printers not to work with the more reasonably priced non-oem cartridges. And they treat us Linux users as a captive market. Grrr![/rant]
I agree, that is why I started looking with the idea that no multifunction stuff would be considered. Often as not, when the fax or copier breaks, it takes the printer down with it...which is likely why its so easy to find the multifunction junk, and so hard to find plain ole stand-alone printers.
 
Old 12-05-2017, 10:28 PM   #7
Tecolote
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tofino_surfer View Post
I have a 10+ year old Samsung laser printer which works fine with CUPS. I have heard from other forum posts that Brother has excellent Linux support at least for their mid-range models.



Have you considered that you can't get what you want for your budget perhaps with any make ?

One thing to consider is that for the cheapest models the printer's processor is very cheap and offloads much processing to a driver usually written for Windows GDI. Mid-range printers support a printer language such as PCL or Samsung SPL. As long as a Linux filter exists to convert from raster to this printer command language exists you will be fine. Another forum post highly recommended mid-range Brother printers for use with Linux that support PCL but to stay away from the cheapest models. You will get better Linux compatibility if you pay more.

Toner costs are also a big factor as the cheapest models are given away below cost and profits are made on the overpriced toner cartridges. Before buying look at the price and capacity of toner cartridges.
Well, after a lot of searching I found these that appear to meet all my requirements, although a couple are over-budget, but not by much:
Brother HL-5200DW
Brother HL-L6200DW
Canon ImageCLASS LBP151DW
Canon ImageCLASS LBP251DW
Samsung Xpress SL-M2825DW
They all seem to have Linux drivers, though not sure if that alone is good enough. Anyway, would like your opinion on these. I know you have a preference for Samsung, but would appreciate your thoughts.
 
Old 12-06-2017, 11:45 PM   #8
tofino_surfer
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Quote:
They all seem to have Linux drivers, though not sure if that alone is good enough.
Do the Canon drivers come from Canon or are they generic ? For Brother and Samsung the Linux support can be trusted. Not so with Canon. I have noticed that the Brother and Samsung models support multiple printer languages. The Samsung now supports PCL5e/6 as well as Samsung's own SPL. My old printer ML-1740 only does SPLII. The Brother's support PCL as well as their own emulated PostScript, BR-Script3 so you may not need a driver. The more languages that are supported means the more drivers can be used. For BR-Script3 you don't need a Linux filter or you could use a raster-to-PCL CUPS filter. With Samsung you could use a CUPS filter for either PCL or SPL.

Quote:
Anyway, would like your opinion on these. I know you have a preference for Samsung, but would appreciate your thoughts.
I actually don't have a preference for Samsung. It is just the only printer I have ever owned. I am on my third computer since my first in 2001 but have only bought one printer around 2005 which still works. It is the only brand I can vouch for. On another forum Fedora Forum there are posters who rave about Brother's Linux support. Their website has deb and rpm packages for both CUPS and LPR spoolers as well as a source code package. I don't know if Brother or Samsung are better as I have never used anything except my one printer. Canon has a reputation for poor Linux support.

Last edited by tofino_surfer; 12-07-2017 at 12:05 AM.
 
Old 12-07-2017, 06:28 AM   #9
hazel
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I just did a blog on installing brother printers. Their drivers need 32-bit versions of glibc and libstdc++ but nothing else exotic.

Last edited by hazel; 12-07-2017 at 06:37 AM.
 
Old 12-07-2017, 12:18 PM   #10
tofino_surfer
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Quote:
I just did a blog on installing brother printers. Their drivers need 32-bit versions of glibc and libstdc++ but nothing else exotic.
This is just for the cheap Windows GDI printer that you bought. The two models that the OP is considering are much higher end, have PostScript emulation with BR-Script3, can print PDF, and support PCL6. With PostScript emulation and PDF no driver is needed and for PCL6 a simple CUPS filter is needed.

From the Brother website:

Code:
Brother HL-5200DW

PCL6, BR-Script3‡, IBM Proprinter, Epson FX, PDF Version 1.7, XPS Version 1.0

Brother HL-L6200DW

PCL6, BR-Script3‡, IBM Proprinter, Epson FX, PDF Version 1.7, XPS Version 1.0
These higher end models don't need any binary libraries or 32-bit versions of glibc and libstdc++.

Last edited by tofino_surfer; 12-07-2017 at 06:29 PM. Reason: toned down
 
Old 12-07-2017, 04:07 PM   #11
onebuck
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Moderator response

@tofino_surfer

Hazel was making a note of what she purchased and recommended.

Since the title of the thread is 'Second-best Monochrome Laser Printers for Linux?' then Hazel's presentations are valid. Maybe her printers are not the best but are doable with a Gnu/Linux.

There are not restrictions since the OP has requested that Second -best' is the fitting rule so the posts by Hazel are justified via the LQ Rules and my own decisions
Quote:
LQ Rules When posting in an existing thread, ensure that what you're posting is on-topic and relevant to the thread. If the content of your post will interfere with the current discussion, you should start a new thread.
 
Old 12-08-2017, 01:11 AM   #12
Tecolote
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tofino_surfer View Post
Do the Canon drivers come from Canon or are they generic ? For Brother and Samsung the Linux support can be trusted. Not so with Canon. I have noticed that the Brother and Samsung models support multiple printer languages. The Samsung now supports PCL5e/6 as well as Samsung's own SPL. My old printer ML-1740 only does SPLII. The Brother's support PCL as well as their own emulated PostScript, BR-Script3 so you may not need a driver. The more languages that are supported means the more drivers can be used. For BR-Script3 you don't need a Linux filter or you could use a raster-to-PCL CUPS filter. With Samsung you could use a CUPS filter for either PCL or SPL.



I actually don't have a preference for Samsung. It is just the only printer I have ever owned. I am on my third computer since my first in 2001 but have only bought one printer around 2005 which still works. It is the only brand I can vouch for. On another forum Fedora Forum there are posters who rave about Brother's Linux support. Their website has deb and rpm packages for both CUPS and LPR spoolers as well as a source code package. I don't know if Brother or Samsung are better as I have never used anything except my one printer. Canon has a reputation for poor Linux support.
Sorry, newbie here...I have no clue where the Canon drivers come from. Never had a home PC before, and hence no printer to ever deal with. Here are the relevant links:

https://www.canonprintersdrivers.com...p151dw-driver/
https://driver-canon.com/canon-image...dw-driver.html
https://www.canondrivers.org/canon-i...iver-download/
https://canonprinters-drivers.com/ca...251dw-drivers/

So generic, or the good stuff? I have no idea about most of the stuff you mentioned. I have sorta heard of CUPS, but that is about it. Whichever model I get, I will definitely be having the tech guy hooking it up, dealing with the drivers, etc., so I don't need to know much...just which one is best to buy.
 
Old 12-08-2017, 01:19 AM   #13
Tecolote
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tofino_surfer View Post
This is just for the cheap Windows GDI printer that you bought. The two models that the OP is considering are much higher end, have PostScript emulation with BR-Script3, can print PDF, and support PCL6. With PostScript emulation and PDF no driver is needed and for PCL6 a simple CUPS filter is needed.

From the Brother website:

Code:
Brother HL-5200DW

PCL6, BR-Script3‡, IBM Proprinter, Epson FX, PDF Version 1.7, XPS Version 1.0

Brother HL-L6200DW

PCL6, BR-Script3‡, IBM Proprinter, Epson FX, PDF Version 1.7, XPS Version 1.0
These higher end models don't need any binary libraries or 32-bit versions of glibc and libstdc++.
Wow, I stumbled onto something higher-end, and for cheap? I assume Canon is a no-no, so which is your pick of the litter...Samsung or one of the Brother models?
 
Old 12-08-2017, 01:30 AM   #14
Tecolote
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Originally Posted by hazel View Post
I just did a blog on installing brother printers. Their drivers need 32-bit versions of glibc and libstdc++ but nothing else exotic.
Thanks for your reply. I'm glad you can deal with installing drivers and whatever 'glbc' is, but my skill level is a few light-years behind you. Fortunately, I have a tech guy on retainer to do a monthly housecall to fix anything I messed up, connect up anything that needs connecting, install the complicated stuff, and so on. Most here will pitch a fit to hear I'm paying $100 a month for this, but I consider it money well spent. Maybe one day I will be able to do this sort of stuff on my own, but I think not anytime soon.
 
Old 12-08-2017, 02:33 AM   #15
tofino_surfer
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Quote:
Wow, I stumbled onto something higher-end, and for cheap? I assume Canon is a no-no, so which is your pick of the litter...Samsung or one of the Brother models?
They are higher end compared to Windows GDI printers. I would recommend one of the Brother models as they have PostScript emulation as well as PCL. If Brother's BR-Script3 is good enough you don't need a driver just a print queue.
 
  


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