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More Than HPLIP Service for Linux - page 2

Linux-Friendly Printers

  • August 13, 2007
  • By Carla Schroder

Hewlett-Packard has the most extensive line of well-supported Linux printers, scanners, and multi-function devices of any printer manufacturer. It even make it easy to find them (unlike the others) as this handy page shows. It also has a Sourceforge site with detailed information.

These are all supported by the HPLIP subsystem, which depends on CUPS. Most Linux distributions these days install HPLIP by default. You don't need it if you're not running any HP printers.

HPLIP is a genuine FOSS project hosted on Sourceforge. The code is released under the GPL, MIT and BSD license. So there is nothing sneaky; no antique, buggy binaries, no silly wailing about protecting precious eye pee, no funny "you can download it if you can find it" games.

HPLIP supports inkjet printers, laser printers, photo printers, and multifunction devices. So you can actually have a multifunction device where everything works on Linux. You can make pretty photo prints, send and receive faxes, make copies, and churn out reams of endless monochrome prose just like a real computer user.

HPLIP includes HPIJS, which is the basic printing driver that supports CUPS, LPD, PPR, and other spoolers. These two are packaged separately on both Debian and Fedora as hplip and hpijs. Debian packages the help documents separately in hplip-docs. If you wanted the smallest possible printing system and only needed shared printing, with no fax, scanner, or smart card readers, then HPIJS + CUPS would do the job.

The HPAIO scanner driver replaces the older HPOJ driver. This is a separate package on Fedora, libsane-hpaio, and is included in hplip on Debian.

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