This is a read-only archive. Find the latest Linux articles, documentation, and answers at the new Linux.com!

Linux.com

Feature

HP all-in-one device works great with Linux

By Joe Barr on October 20, 2006 (8:00:00 AM)

Share    Print    Comments   

I recently replaced both my Epson CX5400 All-in-one printer/scanner and my Brother MFC-210C fax/copier with a single all-in-one Hewlett-Packard Officejet 5610. Not only does the new product do more than both of the machines it replaced, it does it in less space. The price isn't real big, either.

Unpacking and setting up the Officejet 5610 took me less than 15 minutes. The hardest part of the job was locating all the places where things had been taped shut for shipping. The power cord, USB cable (not included), and the phone line all connect to the back of the unit. Everything else is done up front, including routine chores like feeding paper and changing ink cartridges.

Once the ink cartridges have been installed and aligned -- the unit first prints an alignment page, then scans it to check for needed adjustment -- Windows and Mac OS users are told to load their respective CDs to install the drivers. Linux users can scoff at the intellectual property handcuffs imposed on their non-free brothers and sisters and simply configure the unit from the friendly confines of their distribution.

To print, perchance to scan, in less than five minutes

The HP 5610 was detected and properly configured for both printing and scanning chores by the three distributions I tried it on: Debian Etch, Ubuntu 6.06.1 LTS, and openSUSE 10.1. Using the GNOME Cups Manager on each of those distributions, it took only a couple of clicks to configure the recommended HPIJS driver and have a usable printer.

Printing from the GIMP takes a little more configuring, but once you have a print queue set up for the 5610, it takes only a few seconds to do the same in the GIMP. Keep in mind, however, that to get the best results when printing color photographs on HP printers, save them as PostScript files in the GIMP, then print them from the command line.

Setting up the Officejet 5610 for use with the XSane scanning application requires no effort at all, at least on the distributions I tried it with. XSane detects the scanner at startup time, and it's ready to use -- period. You don't have to do anything. Life on the Linux desktop has changed considerably since the days when I wrote an article entitled "Sane is making me crazy."

Just the fax

Thumbnail
Click to enlarge
Prior to purchasing the Officejet 5610, I'd never actually sent a fax from Linux. All my previous fax machines operated in standalone mode. The Officejet 5610 will do that, too, if that's what you need, but it also allows you to send a fax from an application, such as OpenOffice.org. All it takes is the secret sauce in HP's HPLIP driver.

The experimental installation instructions given on the HPLIP project site are distribution-specific and are provided for Fedora, Red Hat, SUSE, Debian, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Slackware, and FreeBSD. I failed to get HPLIP 1.6.9 properly installed on Debian Etch, but had no problems at all installing it with the experimental installer on Ubuntu LTS.

The installation process creates a new print queue for the Officejet 5610, this one exclusively for fax use. But it's still not quite ready to use at this point. In order to send a document you've prepared in OpenOffice.org, for example, you need to run hp-sendfax from the command line.

From the hp-sendfax screen, enter the phone number, select a cover page, and otherwise prepare to fax you document. Then, from within OpenOffice.org, print the document to the fax printer queue, and you're done. The Officejet 5610 takes over from there, dialing the assigned number and putting your fax on the line.

The to-do list

The experimental HPLIP installer eases user headaches considerably when compared to the manual install/dependency resolution process, but I'm looking forward to the day when all the software is as easy to install and configure as the scanner function of this all-in-one is today. I'm not sure whether that requires work on the distribution side, the HPLIP project side, or both. But it's work that needs to be done in order to get the full value of the printer to Linux users quickly and easily.

I purchased the Officejet 5610 for $119 at a national retailer with a local outlet. You may be able to beat that price if you shop around. I've found it to be a real value for the money.

Share    Print    Comments   

Comments

on HP all-in-one device works great with Linux

Note: Comments are owned by the poster. We are not responsible for their content.

Printer sucks

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 21, 2006 01:13 AM
Printers sucks. You buy a printer, then you print a couple of papers, and then its out of ink. When you want to buy new ink, it cost almost as much as whole new printer.
Many printers have some dumb check which makes it impossible to use cheaper third-party ink, hence there is no competition and ink price is sky high.

And most printers do print invisible yellow tracking dots.
* <a href="http://www.eff.org/Privacy/printers/" title="eff.org">http://www.eff.org/Privacy/printers/</a eff.org>

Also paper come from trees and they cut down forests to make paper, its bad for the environment.

Also having papers on the desk makes it look messy!

#

Re:Printer sucks

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 21, 2006 02:09 AM
You can buy non-tree paper, it costs more, but it saves trees.

#

gripe gripe gripe

Posted by: Administrator on October 21, 2006 01:59 AM
When you figure out how to power your 100% organic computer from raw sunlight, let me know.

#

HP all-in-one device works great with Linux

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 21, 2006 02:28 AM
Yeah, I figured this out when I started Linux with Fedora Core 3...Over a year ago. (This article really represents nothing new to me).

At the moment, I'm using an HP multifunction and HP LaserJet (color) on the same print/file/scan server...It would be nice if the article included how to share your scanner or the scanning functions of the OfficeJet.

BTW...What's Debian Edge?<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)

#

Re:HP all-in-one device works great with Linux

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 21, 2006 05:48 AM
Make sure you have sane.d up and running and your snae dll.conf configured correctly. Look at page <a href="http://www.sane-project.org/sane-frontends.html" title="sane-project.org">http://www.sane-project.org/sane-frontends.html</a sane-project.org>

I have used SaneTwain successfully for Windows

I have use Twain Sane successfully for OSX.

Or you could use one of the web based solutions and the end user would not need to install any software.

Note that I have used these solutions with the HPOJ drivers and note the PLIP bloatware, but it should works the same. Good Luck.

#

Re:HP all-in-one device works great with Linux

Posted by: Joe Barr on October 21, 2006 11:24 AM
At the moment, I'm using an HP multifunction and HP LaserJet (color) on the same print/file/scan server...It would be nice if the article included how to share your scanner or the scanning functions of the OfficeJet.


I think we just ran an article on sharing a scanner on a network, within the past week.



BTW...What's Debian Edge?<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)


Debian Edge? Did I really type that? Oops. Sure did, but now I've fixed it. thanks.

#

Re:gripe gripe gripe

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 21, 2006 03:59 AM
Maybe he can't do that, but one can use lasers these days cheaply and the ink lasts forever. $50 for ink replacements of my Samsung ML-1430, the printer itself was only $90 (came with ink)... and it lasts about 18 months between ink fill-ups.

I would love to find a cheap color laser or wax printer tho.

#

print with little configuration

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 21, 2006 07:36 AM
Sure you can print, but the drivers that go with windows give you all kinds of configuration options (multi-sided printing / duplexing / etc)...

#

Ok some one does not know the Linux print system.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 21, 2006 09:41 AM
I love the multipage per side option under Linux. This is a default feature. All printers under Linux can do it. Ok might not look nice. Up to 8 pages per side. Nice for just doing a basic proff without wasting all the pages and ink.

Under Windows you are at the will of the printer driver maker if you can do this or not.

All the hp features are useable by the linux printer drivers. And some extra features you don't get with the Windows drivers. Yes it better to hook it up to a linux box and use cup printer drivers to access the complete feature list.

#

you missed the ripoff parts

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 21, 2006 11:20 AM
Joe, I understand the enthusiasm for HP's Linux support. They have a big line of well-supported Linux printers and multifunction devices.

But you missed a couple of important points. One is the tricolor ink cartridges- are these refillable? Or are they chipped to foil refilling? How long do they last? How good is print quality?

Are the ink cartridges full, or do they pull their notorious trick of shipping them half-empty?

You glossed over the lack of a USB cable, and their generous offer to sell you a three-dollar cable for $19.99.
<a href="http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/product_detail.do?product_code=Q7311A%23ABA&tab=accessories&aoid=5504=en&cc=us" title="hp.com">http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/produc<nobr>t<wbr></nobr> _detail.do?product_code=Q7311A%23ABA&tab=accessor<nobr>i<wbr></nobr> es&aoid=5504&lang=en&cc=us</a hp.com>

Please let's have a little more journalism and a little less gee-whiz.

#

Re:you missed the ripoff parts

Posted by: Joe Barr on October 21, 2006 12:24 PM

It sounds like you want to attack HP, not read about my experience with one of their printers. Such an attack might be journalism, I suppose, if you compare HP with all the other printer vendors and deal with them all equally.


It's been "give away the razor, sell the blade" in the computer printer business for decades. That's not exactly news.


I can buy 3rd party cartridges at two locations I know of without having to drive into Austin. So can everyone else who lives near a town of 25K.


It's clear you are swinging from your heels, and that you have an axe to grind, but I don't think you hit anything.

#

Re:you missed the ripoff parts

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 21, 2006 02:15 PM
heh, easier to snark than to respond to the points raised. A $119 printer is not a bargain if the ink refills are overpriced and if the printer vendor takes steps to foil the use of refills or third-party ink cartridges. The issue of chipping ink cartridges is a very important one- on some printers they will stop working when the control chip thinks you are refilling the ink tanks, or a little notice pops up warning you that you are voiding the warranty.

Apparently you think print quality doesn't matter either, or that mentioning that USB cables are a notoriously overpriced printer accessory.

soooo...you can either dig up useful information, or sound like a HP shill. Your choice.

#

Re:you missed the ripoff parts

Posted by: Joe Barr on October 21, 2006 08:41 PM


soooo...you can either dig up useful information, or sound like a HP shill. Your choice.


Thanks for your input.

#

Linux driver are best

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 21, 2006 05:56 PM
I have an OfficeJet d155xi for years. I have installed drivers for Windows2k, MacOS X, Windows Vista, Debian and Ubuntu. Let's make it short, Linux drivers are best. Even the older hpoj drivers are far more reliable than the HP Windows driver. Not talking about MacOS X. It's a little bit frustrating that you can only install a NETWORK device when it's connected via a USB cable, like with MacOS X.

The Linux driver are doing what they are asked for, simple and reliable. They print double sided. They print in various resolution, from every tray you choose on every paper you select or let the printer decide. They are shared via cups on the network, so you have to install them once if you like.

With sane/Xsane or kooka it's a pleasure to scan from the glass or adf over the network.

I wish HP could simply port those great apps to MacOS X and Windows instead of using those blown up graphical all-in-one apps that don't do what I expect: Just work.

#

Re:HP all-in-one device works great with Linux

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 22, 2006 01:00 AM
Hmmm, time to go looking for this article then. I'm using dapper (kubuntu) and trying to share a printer on this OS is almost stupid! I hope the article makes sense and works.

Also, I've had only the best experiences out of HP printers over the last 5 years. I was kind of nervous about the PCS printer I bought, but even my old libranet OS worked with this.. scanning couldn't have been easier. Now, can I scan over the network??

Take it easy OM. 73

Jaye, ke6sls

#

Re:HP all-in-one device works great with Linux

Posted by: Joe Barr on October 22, 2006 07:41 PM
I checked on the whereabouts of the article on sharing the scanner, and it won't appear until Thursday, October 26th, or later. Sorry, I thought it was already published.

#

Re:HP all-in-one device works great with Linux

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 22, 2006 11:22 PM
AWESOME!

I know one of the things some home users want, is to share a scanner!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)

#

'recommended HPIJS driver'

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on October 24, 2006 12:51 PM
The link to the driver returns 'printer not found'.

#

Re:'recommended HPIJS driver'

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 06, 2007 04:01 AM
<a href="http://linuxprinting.org/show_printer.cgi?recnum=HP-OfficeJet_5600" title="linuxprinting.org">OfficeJet 5600</a linuxprinting.org>

should work

#

This story has been archived. Comments can no longer be posted.



 
Tableless layout Validate XHTML 1.0 Strict Validate CSS Powered by Xaraya