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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 12-17-2012, 03:40 AM   #1
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Location: Nanjing, China
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Toshiba e.studio243 photocopier printer

Hi! Our boss put a Toshiba e.studio243 in our room. Ubuntu and Fedora correctly recognized it and it can be seen under 'Printers'

Just won't print!! Not even a test page! It makes a click when I send a print job, but tha's all! localhost:631 says the job is complete, but I have nothing!

Any tips about what I might do please??

I tried localhost:631, Administration, told it to use various drivers, especially the recommended ones, but no joy! A driver specifically for this machine is not available, but some are very close, numberwise.
Old 12-25-2012, 02:04 AM   #2
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I did some checking on the Toshiba website for e.studio243 specs. This model uses a GDI (i.e. proprietary) print language. It doesn't work with Postscript or PCL drivers. Toshiba only supports Windows with the 243. The next model up, the e.studio245 supports Windows Mac and Linux, as the 245 supports both Postscript and PCL. This means the drivers for a 245 will not work with the 243, nor any other xx5 model drivers. Toshiba designed the 243 printer this way on purpose. Without a proprietary, binary (compiled) GDI driver from Toshiba, the 243 will not work on Linux, or Mac. I couldn't find any Linux or MAC GDI drivers for the 243 on the Toshiba site.

GDI printers are generally not supported by open-source programmers because it is near impossible to keep up with the all the new printers and their often unique GDI drivers. To build an open-source GDI driver requires figuring out how the printer works from scratch, usually with no help from manufacturers. HP supports the HPLIP project that supplies drivers for HP GDI printers for Linux and MAC, but I cannot find a Toshiba equivalent to HPLIP. HPLIP works by downloading a pre-compiled GDI driver, or printer firmware, for the user's specific HP printer directly from HP. This allows HP to provide drivers for Linux and Mac, without having to give away their source.

Looking at a number of Toshiba printers, the models ending in 5, all appear to support Postscript/PCL printing, models ending in 3 do not.
I suspect this means the xx3 printers are cheaper than the equivalent xx5 models, but also means you will have a difficult time getting it to work with any OS besides Windows.

This is not a shortcoming in Linux. It is the printer maker deciding to charge Mac and Linux users more for the xx5 printers.

The best advice I can give is to always check printers for either Postscript or PCL compatibility before purchase. The extra few bucks will be payed off quickly as more computers, and other devices, will be able to use the printer.
Old 12-25-2012, 03:09 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for your trouble! As my boss bought it, the problem is not so bad. But Toshiba do say on their site, the driver I have is for Unix. Maybe that is a Japanese truth! We do have a windows computer, and I put the software on that. It works, but I don't use it much. Can't handle windows! Xsane has no access to the scanner, so it's no use to me!

Printers and printing seem to be a modern day mafia! The ink is so expensive, you might as well print with gold dust, the printers are programmed to go wrong quickly! If you don't use Microsoft, you are in trouble anyway! Are there no laws?


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