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Lexmark's Linux Secret

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  • phoronix
    started a topic Lexmark's Linux Secret

    Lexmark's Linux Secret

    Phoronix: Lexmark's Linux Secret

    Most of the time at Phoronix we focus on looking at the Linux graphics performance of the software drivers and hardware, since traditionally that has been one of the most troubling areas of Linux hardware support. Tides though have turned as AMD continues to back their own open-source strategy with providing documentation and pushing out code that enables open-source hardware support from 3D acceleration to power management, while Intel continues to back their fully open-source model too. Another area of hardware support that has caused much grief for users has been with printer support. Printers are not nearly as complex as a modern-day graphics processor, but the different vendors have not been quick to offer up any Linux support -- and binary-only drivers frequently back the ones that do. There is one printer manufacturer though that as of last year has begun supporting Linux from top to bottom with their entire line-up of printers. Not only are they providing CUPS drivers, but also they are even printing Tux in the corner of every box they ship right besides the Windows and Apple logos. Do you know who we are talking about? Probably not, but it's Lexmark. After months of wrangling within the company, Lexmark has stepped up to become a Linux and open-source friendly company. We are seeing how far this Linux support extends as we try out the Lexmark Pro905 Platinum multi-function printer.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=14735

  • Yfrwlf
    replied
    Originally posted by mendieta View Post
    I agree. I only buy computers/laptops/netbooks with Linux preinstalled, and I still need to find one in newegg. Actually, I think I spotted one or two in the past, but it's been rare.
    NewEgg is notorious for not having any Linux computers. Basically, any storefront which has high consumer visibility has been highly targeted by Microsoft to either hide or not provide alternatives. Linux on netbooks, especially in the U.S., has really suffered because of those deals. Thank you for standing up against the Microsoft tax. ^^ Never, ever, evereverever pay it! Of course no Linux users should have to.

    Originally posted by mendieta View Post
    On the Inkjet subject, I totally agree with others. It's a big scam. My quick recommendation is: if you need an All In One printer for occasional use, go for a cheap inkjet. If you are going to print frequently, go for Laser. Only do color if you really need it. Print your pictures with a web service. And be happy
    Print pictures with a web service? Didn't even know that was offered but it makes sense. A cheapo printer is indeed an option, but I prefer supporting companies that offer Linux support *and* don't screw their consumers over by locking down their ink/toner cartridges. Sure, the cheapo throwaways may be cheap because they're hoping you will use them enough to pay the $100 (usually more than the cost of a new cheapo printer lol) or whatever stupid price to be forced to buy new cartridges, but you shouldn't have to do all that. Printers should last a long time, and you shouldn't be treated like crap by corporations like that. Plus, what a waste of materials...

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  • Kano
    replied
    Or use 32 bit sane.

    Leave a comment:


  • kernelOfTruth
    replied
    Originally posted by Rob72 View Post
    If I am not mistaken that only covers Postscript Laserprinters. Not the kind of printer the typical desktop user will have.

    All the drivers for Inkjet printers and scanners, are as far as I can see binary only. And the quality leaves a lot to be desired. Even for the latest Brother models they still only provide a binary LPR with a (opensource) CUPS wrapper. And 64bit Linux binaries are nowhere to be found.
    don't you read the instructions on Brother's site ?

    the 32bit binaries also work on 64bit systems which I can confirm,

    for the scanners however you need 64bit binaries

    Leave a comment:


  • Rob72
    replied
    Originally posted by kernelOfTruth View Post
    while I agree with anyone saying that the BR-Script3 drivers are not on par concerning performance and the "binary" drivers are NOT opensource or GPL - the BR-Script3 drivers / PPDs certainly ARE release under GPL !
    If I am not mistaken that only covers Postscript Laserprinters. Not the kind of printer the typical desktop user will have.

    All the drivers for Inkjet printers and scanners, are as far as I can see binary only. And the quality leaves a lot to be desired. Even for the latest Brother models they still only provide a binary LPR with a (opensource) CUPS wrapper. And 64bit Linux binaries are nowhere to be found.

    Leave a comment:


  • kernelOfTruth
    replied
    Originally posted by Rob72 View Post
    Sorry, but that is completely not true. All brother offers source code for is the cups wrapper. The actual printer drivers are LPR and binary only. And the same applies to scanner drivers, binary only.

    I have a Brother DCP315CN, and while printing works with Fedora 12 and the binary drivers, scanning (network attached, I have not tried USB attached) is a sure way to crash gnome-scan.

    The printer is starting to act up, and I am thinking of replacing it sometime in the near future. And that replacement may well be a HP, even though I hate their price gauging on ink.
    while I agree with anyone saying that the BR-Script3 drivers are not on par concerning performance and the "binary" drivers are NOT opensource or GPL - the BR-Script3 drivers / PPDs certainly ARE release under GPL !

    Leave a comment:


  • mendieta
    replied
    Originally posted by Yfrwlf View Post
    By the way, it's on NewEgg here, but fails to mention Linux support. NewEgg does seem to be a bit of a Microsoft whore though.
    I agree. I only buy computers/laptops/netbooks with Linux preinstalled, and I still need to find one in newegg. Actually, I think I spotted one or two in the past, but it's been rare.

    In the meantime, the Phoronix article (unintentionally) spreading FUD is still hanging there.Ballmer's gonna love it.

    Repeat with me: you don't support Linux with a CD of binary only drivers. You do it upstream, and you give the source. My HP's just work, because of that.

    On the Inkjet subject, I totally agree with others. It's a big scam. My quick recommendation is: if you need an All In One printer for occasional use, go for a cheap inkjet. If you are going to print frequently, go for Laser. Only do color if you really need it. Print your pictures with a web service. And be happy

    Leave a comment:


  • Yfrwlf
    replied
    By the way, it's on NewEgg here, but fails to mention Linux support. NewEgg does seem to be a bit of a Microsoft whore though.

    Leave a comment:


  • Yfrwlf
    replied
    Originally posted by monraaf View Post
    I have a HP Deskjet printer. It's horrible, paper always gets stuck and the proprietary ink cartridges are really expensive but despite that the printer is always purging its ink, or "cleaning the nozzles" or something like that as HP calls it.

    I don't expect Lexmark to be any better though, Inkjet printers are probably the biggest racket in consumer electronics. So I can see why they would want to expand their profitable business to Linux.
    Fully agreed, and if Lexmark is like HP, they can kiss off too, never buying another HP printer. HP is really Dell-quality any how now days sadly. I bought a $600 HP printer which just sucked, it was crappy quality, noisy, and I promptly returned it along with their printer cartridge racket scheme.

    Support printer makers like Konica Minolta that have third-party refill kits available, even in-store here. Our printer is a color laserjet that was only $150. It's not the best of quality, and lacks shiny features, and didn't have the greatest Linux support, but still.

    I'm interested in any sellers who offer consumer-friendly Linux-supported decent quality printers. Consumer-friendly meaning you don't try to screw them over and instead give them ample doses of freedom to let them do what they want. It IS their printer, after all.

    Leave a comment:


  • Yfrwlf
    replied
    Too bad it was a secret.

    Along with Linux support (ideally open source out-of-the-box support), what I care most about are the ink/toner cartridges not having proprietary evil gimmicks like counting the number of pages and then refusing to work, and instead having a method of refilling it with your choice of toner/ink easily. It is for that reason my current printer is a Konica Minolta, as third-party refill kits for them are sold right in stores.

    Combine those two things, plus decent quality, and you have +3 to your customer base here. ^^

    Leave a comment:

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