Printing on Linux


Well you could have knocked me over the head with a feather.

So the Windows 10 1803 update seems to have broken printing on my main gaming rig, or at least I think it has. And normally I don’t have too many issues with Windows updates.

But, in the meantime I had to look for alternatives. I have my Linux machine (Lubuntu), so I plugged my HP All-In-One into it, and after clicking my way through a few dialog boxes, it said it was ready to go.

Printed out a test document, and … all is well.

Granted, the process was a little “Linuxy” in that I still think Windows presents friendlier wizards, but this was nothing that a user with sufficient intelligence couldn’t handle.

Got to admit, seems like Linux is getting better all the time.

Comments (17)

17 responses to “Printing on Linux”

  1. Oasis

    Good to know. I only have my Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 machines hooked(wirelessly) to my Samsung Laser and haven't tried to hook Lubuntu up to it yet. Also no Windows 10 here yet so no issues with printing(potentially). I am waiting for them to get past the chip issues before I buy another system.

  2. Bill Strong

    Strangely enough, we can thank Apple for a good portion of this, as they are the maintainers of cups, and cups is the printer model under Mac OS, so it gets a large amount of polishing for supported printers. Still can get messed up by distros though.

  3. lordbaal1

    Last time I used Linux was 10 years ago. Almost every setup that you had to do was command line.

    I hated it.

    • seapea

      In reply to lordbaal1:

      give it another shot. Personally I would go with Debian, Mint would also be on my list.

      • navarac

        In reply to seapea:

        With some of the "nonsense" features in Win 10 (rs4) I probably use Linux Mint 18.3 some 55% of the time now. Only a new Insider Build to test/try out and Gaming sends me back to Windows.

    • ErichK

      In reply to lordbaal1:

      I heard about Linux in the late '90s for the first time, and it seemed very mysterious.

      My first attempt to do anything with it was in the mid-2000s, when I tried to install ... Fedora I think?

      I was not successful. Don't know whether the blame lies with me or the OS, but it did seem awfully less user-friendly to install than, say, Windows. I think a lot has changed since then. But whether or not it has the capacity to go mainstream yet, I can't say.

  4. Minke

    I haven't had many problems printing with most Linux distributions, and they don't insist on installing all sorts of HP garbageware every time I install a new HP printer. The biggest hurdle I have found with many Linux distros is that for some reason eventually the printer becomes disabled, requiring finding the printer dialog box and clicking on "enabled." I would say in general that most current distros do a great job of hooking up to major printer brands with next to no fuss--maybe even less problems than with Windows. Some HP software install seemed to be the straw that broke the back of my father's Toshiba laptop running Windows 10. The HP printer software crashed the operating system so badly that I had to start over with a fresh install of Windows 10. The HP install then crashed it again, and I changed the OS to Endless OS and all has been well with printers ever since, except for the occasional printer disabled problem.

    • ErichK

      In reply to Minke:

      Yes it's strange. On my system for example, via WiFi I can't get my W10 machine to successfully connect at all anymore with the printer, and over USB I do get messages in the notification area that say "HP Printer All Set Up," but when I try to print a document with Word or something, the printer itself is not even listed among all the choices! Like I said, it's good to have a backup, so thankfully I have my Linux box.

      A friend of mine once said to me, "You still print?" Heh. I'm noticing that now that I have a smart phone, I can walk into places like Best Buy with the receipt on my phone as proof of purchase when I need to pick up something, instead of bringing a printout.

      • Minke

        In reply to ErichK:

        HP printers = good. HP software = bad. I have had to uninstall all HP stuff and then reinstall numerous times, and good luck not ending up with all sorts of HP adware you don't want!

        • ErichK

          In reply to Minke:

          Yeah if I had to be honest I don't think I've ever used much of the software that came with the printers I've bought over the years, although the programs do look pretty.

  5. wright_is

    That has been the case for over a decade, although the quality of the drivers varies and you still often miss out on some of the more advanced features, but for basic printing and scanning, the drivers tend to work pretty well and a wide range of devices are supported.

  6. AnOldAmigaUser

    If Mom or the Spousal unit cannot do it, it is not easy enough...whether it is Linux or Windows.

  7. lvthunder

    The problems are more likely to occur when you start wanting to use the specialized features of a printer like color correction or prevent paper abrasion on photo printers.

  8. hrlngrv

    Setting up printers under Linux using cups is more like setting up network printers under Windows. Linux puts more of an emphasis on security because cups is meant for servers. Printing to wifi printers can still be a PITA.