Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 10th Jun 2010 12:53 UTC
Linux This is a problem I've been dealing with for a while now. I have a Lexmark printer which I've bought without checking for compatibility with Linux (I bought it when I was still using Windows), and as it turns out, this printer is not supported in Linux. I switched to Linux on my main desktop full-time late last year, so instead of to my desktop, I hooked this printer up to my bedroom Windows 7 media server/HTPC, and whenever I need to print, I just drop the file in question on this machine, and print form there. I need a better solution. Update: As it turns out, Lexmark has recently started releasing Linux drivers (good stuff). Still, the problem at hand stands, as there might still be other printers that suffer from the same problem.
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by coreyography on Fri 11th Jun 2010 02:32 UTC
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Sorry, Thom, that your question generated such a flurry of off-topic, and often acrimonious, responses. I mean, you _did_ say you got the printer when you only ran Windows. I had the same difficulty when I first started using Linux and BSDs at home.

I don't think I have anything new to add. I'd say your two best options are 1) the RedMon/GhostScript hack if it was reliable and doesn't load down my HTPC box too badly (and RedMon will run on Win 7). Or 2), my favored method, spin up a stripped-down 32-bit Linux VM on your 64-bit Linux desktop and install the Lexmark driver (and CUPS or something) into it. I bet if you try hard enough you could get it small enough (and fast booting enough) to start the whole VM like an app when you need to print, or just leave it running all the time.

I'm assuming the printer is a "winprinter" (i.e., offloads some raster processing to the PC host to save a few pennies -- dumbest idea printer makers ever had). I also assume the Linux machine can get to it over the wifi.

All that said, do like I did and get your next printer with Postscript. I learned from trying to make ancient Unix boxes print at work that that is by far the easiest way to go. I got a Postscript color laser for ~$320 USD, so the cost is not all that high any more.

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