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Old 02-25-2017, 02:59 PM   #1
Red Squirrel
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Why is printing in Linux so flaky?


In ANY distro, on ANY system that I have tried, half the time when I go to print, instead of printing the actual document, it just prints a page that says:

Code:
ERROR NAME;
typecheck
COMMAND;
image
OPERAND STACK;
I just want to print the actual document. It does this pretty much on any web page, and it can be hit and miss for anything else. I end up having to print it to a PDF, and then I can print that PDF.

In this particular case I'm trying to print from Mint 18 to a Brother MFC 7840W but I've seen this on other systems/printers too. I usually give up and bring the document to work but I'm just fed up of having to find work arounds for everything because what works in windows does not work in Linux. There's got to be a way to make this work without some obscure workaround like having to print to PDF first. In this case even that is not working, I had to take a screenshot, put it in gimp and then print it.

As a side note, and this may be related to the actual program, but in KiCAD when you print, it prints 1 page at a time instead of the whole document. So it spools up the printer, 1 page comes out, it spools down. Then it warms up, it spools up, the next page comes out etc...

Last edited by Red Squirrel; 02-25-2017 at 03:26 PM.
 
Old 02-25-2017, 05:11 PM   #2
dejank
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Guess that I'm lucky one, whenever I've tried printing from Linux, it worked perfectly for me, at least in Debian, Ubuntu and Mint. On other hand, my friend with Windows came to me when he needed something to print, like doc from one version of Windows with other version of Windows.

Anyway, did you try to search web for those errors that you got? With some quick search, there is for example this link:

https://www.prepressure.com/postscri...rors/typecheck

And on that page you can find links to offending command image as well as something that could be related to stack part. Hope that this can help you.

Oh, one more link for you, for Brother printer:

http://www.itbh.at/brother-printer-e...stack/?lang=en

Last edited by dejank; 02-25-2017 at 05:16 PM. Reason: found another link that could help
 
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Old 02-25-2017, 05:12 PM   #3
Shadow_7
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What type of document and what application to do the printing? I find a2ps to be useful which can then be opened in gimp and gimp to be pretty good at print jobs. Or at least control-able for portrait / landscape and margins and such.
 
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:19 PM   #4
rknichols
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
As a side note, and this may be related to the actual program, but in KiCAD when you print, it prints 1 page at a time instead of the whole document. So it spools up the printer, 1 page comes out, it spools down. Then it warms up, it spools up, the next page comes out etc...
There are some programs that produce PostScript that is so inefficient that rendering the page takes far longer than printing it. I recall a very old posting (not here) from some folks that were astonished when, for page 1 of their printed newsletter, FrameMaker produced PostScript that took "only" ~15 minutes to render and print on an Apple LaserWriter. With their previous tool (Ventura Publisher, IIRC) that identical page took several hours to render.

I haven't used KiCad, so I can't advise about possible settings that might affect that. A Google search for the words kicad+slow+printing doesn't turn up any complaints, so apparently it's not a commonly seen as a problem.
 
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:33 PM   #5
allend
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I use a Brother MFC-J825DW in a 64-bit only install. I need to add 32-bit compatibility support for cups and glibc to for the printer driver to work.
When printer manufacturers provide Linux support, they often include precompiled libraries that need other specific libraries. This works OK until newer libraries are released or distributions change the location that libraries are kept. There is no incentive for printer manufacturers to update drivers. They want you to buy a new printer.
 
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Old 02-26-2017, 04:00 PM   #6
totedati
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Well, my printer work perfectly in Linux. Is an HP LaserJet P1102. For you printer maybe you need to follow more carefully official drivers from brother because Brother MFC 7840W look like a multifunctional printer ( fax, scanner & print ) and this means almost always proprietary drivers for linux to work.

brother.com - MFC-7840W driver downloads

And if is still flaky, you can try vuescan Can't find a driver for your Brother MFC-7840W? VueScan is here to help
 
Old 02-26-2017, 04:01 PM   #7
totedati
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Well, my printer work perfectly in Linux. Is an HP LaserJet P1102. For you printer maybe you need to follow more carefully official drivers from brother because Brother MFC 7840W look like a multifunctional printer ( fax, scanner & print ) and this means almost always proprietary drivers for linux to work.

brother.com - MFC-7840W driver downloads

And if is still flaky, you can try vuescan Can't find a driver for your Brother MFC-7840W? VueScan is here to help
 
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Old 02-26-2017, 06:23 PM   #8
Mill J
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I think HP is to most supported printer on Linux. Probably because they were smart enough to release their drivers as open source. Never had a problem printing from Mint. Try searching for a ppd driver for your printer.
 
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:03 PM   #9
ferrari
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I think this is an application-specific issue (as already hinted at by rknichols). There are others reporting similar issues (based on some googling) and I've read of suggestions to export to PDF or SVG first.

http://electronics.stackexchange.com...tting-printing
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/kicad/w...735d#msg474841

KiCAD documentation...
http://docs.kicad-pcb.org/stable/en/kicad.pdf
 
Old 02-26-2017, 10:50 PM   #10
John VV
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the only issue with HP printers are the price of the ink

and really never had a problem with them

brother or canon ??? i have not used them so ...
 
Old 02-27-2017, 11:04 AM   #11
DavidMcCann
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The thing you never told us is whether you installed the driver from Brother's site? I ran a HP for years after installing with hplip and now have a Samsung laser printer installed with the Samsung Unified Driver. When manufacturers actually provide software, it makes sense to use it. If they don't, it makes sense not to use their hardware…
 
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Old 02-27-2017, 08:45 PM   #12
frankbell
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Quote:
Why is printing in Linux so flaky?
The short answer to that general question is this: It's not a case of Linux not supporting printers. It is, indeed, quite the reverse.

Some printer manufacturers support Linux well, some support Linux in a mediocre manner, and some support Linux hardly at all.
 
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:44 PM   #13
ferrari
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Quote:
The short answer to that general question is this: It's not a case of Linux not supporting printers. It is, indeed, quite the reverse.

Some printer manufacturers support Linux well, some support Linux in a mediocre manner, and some support Linux hardly at all.
Well put.
 
Old 02-28-2017, 11:49 AM   #14
sundialsvcs
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Also: my very best investment was an honest-to-gawd HP LaserJet printer ... one built to run in an office.

Flawless support for Linux, OS/X and Windows. (It's a network-attached, but non-wireless printer.) Cost about $150.

I printed over 2,000 pages with the toner cartridge that came with the machine. Then, for $135, I bought another toner cartridge that promises over 5,300 pages. We'll see.

Ink-jet printers are for turd. They practically give 'em away, but they can afford to because the total cost of ownership is insane. "Don't send a squirt gun to do a real printer's job."

I don't need to fax anything, and I've got a scanner of my own. Furthermore, I have a nice simple photocopier app which scans a document and sends it to the printer.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 02-28-2017 at 11:51 AM.
 
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Old 02-28-2017, 12:09 PM   #15
TB0ne
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I concur with what others have said, but will suggest a modification to the subject of this post. Remove the "in Linux" part, and just leave "Why is printing so flaky?"

I have worked with systems since the early 80's...printing was, and CONTINUES to be, the bane of my existence, regardless of OS or printer. I've had $49 inkjets work fine, and $20k printing beasts snarl everything. Don't get me started on PCL5/PCL6/Postscript garbage, font rendering, or any of the other gazillion things that don't seem to work.

Great example; at a client site now, there is a Xerox 7855 workcenter. Drivers for Linux, Windows, and Mac. It has six paper-trays (one of them being manual bypass). You can select ANY of the trays...EXCEPT TRAY 1 to print from...from ANY system. So the 'solution' was for us to print envelopes (the media in tray 1), by telling the printer to print from the manual bypass...which causes the jobs to spool to the printer for 'resolution'. Then select the jobs and send them to an ALTERNATE tray (1)...which will magically print. This isn't just Linux...it's everything.

That said...it's gotten MUCH better, but that's like saying "Gee, the bleeding has ALMOST stopped!"
 
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