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Old 16th March 2012
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bashrules bashrules is offline
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Question laser printer for lpr/gs?

Hi all,

I want to buy a laser printer for $200-$300, but I'm puzzled. The last time, I had a printer was in the 1990s (hp laserjet 4).

Back then, I was using lpr with gs filters directly sending output to the parallel port /dev/lp0. That's exactly what I want, again:

Interface: I think parallel printers are obsolete. That's ok. Then I prefer USB + ethernet or USB + wifi. When I buy an USB printer, I assume I can send output to /dev/da0 (or however an usb device is accessed under BSD), but how do I access a network printer with lpr?

Manufacturer: When googling, many linuxer recommended hp. That's fine with me and should work equally well under BSD.

Drivers: I don't want cups. I figured out that a lot of hp printers are supported through the hplib system http://hplipopensource.com/. The "screenshots" are a flash slideshow and show me GUIs. I don't want this. I want a printer supported by gs so I can use it as a filter for lpr.

Year: I would like to buy a recent model so it will be supported for many years (cartridges, etc.). It looks like that rules out usb + ethernet as usb + wifi becomes more and more popular.

Misc: The printer should be "green" and have no/low emissions (haven't google yet if this is generally regarded a problem or not). Then, the toner should be on the cheaper end. What else is important when looking for a printer?

Any idea how to best look for such a printer? Recommendation?

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Old 16th March 2012
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I'd recommend staying with HP and make sure it supports Postscript and life will be simple. I on the other had was an idiot and got a brother networked laser...I have to translate all Postscript to PCL and then send it to the printer....

Anyway, this guide has everything you pretty much need to know and saved me from print hell...it's FreeBSD specific but I assume it will work on other BSDs.

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Old 17th March 2012
J65nko J65nko is offline
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There are quite some differences in costs per page. In http://www.daemonforums.org/showthread.php?t=6474 I posted a link to a UK review/comparison of 10 laser printers.
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Old 17th March 2012
shep shep is offline
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Another good resource is this database. It also recommends printer drivers and has info on cups/hplip/lpr. Hplip uses the cups interface.
The hplip version in FreeBSD 9.0 release/OpenBSD 5.0 stable has some issues with system trays on multifunction (printer/scanner) devices (335662 - hplip status service cannot find system tray).

I have an HP 5L laserjet that has been rock solid and has a rebuild kit. I access it through a trendnet printserver using lpr for FreeBSD/OpenBSD/Debian and cups for Arch linux. I've seen mention that they are still a highly desirable printer.
These threads also contain useful info: link 1 link 2

Last edited by shep; 17th March 2012 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 21st March 2012
DrJ DrJ is offline
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I have a refurbished HP 4200n ("network") that's great: 35 ppm, Postscript emulation, good quality text, and lots of paper-handling options (duplex, multiple trays). It cost me about $180, and long-life cartridges from multiple sources are available (namely, non-HP).

It was a huge step up from my HP 4M+.
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cups, gs, hp, lpr, printer

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