Monday, April 02, 2007

Episode 6: Printers

The continuing adventures of one man's attempt to migrate his desktop PC from MS Windows to Ubuntu/Linux.

Setting up my Ubuntu machine to print was a step I was dreading. Over many years I have spent long hours dealing with the myriad of problems that printing spawns. And as my regular readers know, I don't normally approve of printing anyway (see Friends Don't Let Friends Print).

Notwithstanding my dread and hostility, no computer is complete without one or more printers installed and working. There are situations when even I need to print out something.

To date, I've installed 4 different printers on different Ubuntu Edgy machines. These were all network printers. One was an HP LaserJet wired directly to the network. Two were HP OfficeJets shared by Windows PCs, and one was a Samsung laser shared by a Windows PC. One network was a peer-to-peer network and the others were Microsoft Active Directory networks.

So, how hard is it to set printers up on Ubuntu? I am happy to report that it is not hard. In fact, it is so easy that I made it more difficult for myself than I had to because I said to myself, "It can't be that easy."

The information you need to install your specific printer is available on the Internet. Google it. Start with the simplest pathway you can find; resist the impulse to make it difficult.

If you have any trouble, stop. The problem is either a lack of drivers for your model printer (complain to the manufacturer and get another/different printer -- they are cheap) or with you (get another self(?)). The problem is not Ubuntu. So, don't waste time agonizing about the solution. There is an easy one available.

Episodes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

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