- 8th March 2016
- Posted by: Stephen Downie
- Category: Cups, Linux, Printers
Okay so this post is a little off topic, but it is tech related and it’s always nice to give a bit of a shout out to companies who support Linux well.
I needed a new printer as my old inkjet really isn’t up to the task of printing contracts and the like. So after about 5 minutes of searching for color laser printers on Amazon I reasonably blindly bought the Brother HL-3140CW without checking for Linux support figuring I’d just work that one out later.
When it arrived I plugged it in and realised it had WiFi support which is great but I was dubious as to how easy that would be to configure on a Ubuntu Xenial(beta) laptop. Anyway, after 30 seconds of Googling I found CUPS running on http://localhost:631. I clicked on Add Printer and was very impressed when I saw my printer just sat there under Discovered Network Printers. I selected it, clicked Continue but then found no driver listed for my specific printer brand. Luckily Brother clearly take Linux support pretty seriously as back on Google it took no time to discover they ship Linux drivers for what appears to be most of their printers. One shell script later and it had installed the 2 drivers CUPS required. Back in CUPS I could select the driver and print a test page in 30 seconds.
I remember a few years ago, setting up LPR printers was the biggest pain ever and over the years has steadily been improving and CUPS is great but its been a while since I bought a new printer and I was very impressed by the ease of use of CUPS these days and also kudos to Brother for churning out the drivers to make it work without any nasty driver hacks I remember from a while ago.