Any laser multifunction printers out there with open source Linux drivers?

I’ll be updating this post when I get more information about multifunction laser printers with open source drivers.

Dear Lazyweb,

My parents would like to get a new laser printer, preferably an affordable multifunction one – I’ll probably be the one actually purchasing the device. They’re running Fedora 11 and I’d like to get them a printer which would work “out of the box” with open source drivers. They probably don’t even need the scanning features to work, they just need a photocopier and a printer. Here are some of my experiences with various printer manufacturers’ products. If I’m mistaken with some printers, please leave a comment.

Canon: These need a proprietary driver. With the printers I’ve tried, it works on Fedora but segfaults on Ubuntu. I’d hate to buy a printer with this kind of Linux support.

Brother and Epson: Apparently their Linux drivers are proprietary, I’d rather not buy something that requires a proprietary driver.

HP: HP is supposed to have decent Linux support with hplip, which is open source. However, basically all of their affordable (you could also read: cheap) multifunction printers currently on sale require a proprietary plugin according to this page. I’m quite disappointed with HP not providing open source/free software drivers for their current models.

So, dear Lazyweb, which multifunction printer out there should I get?

On a Finnish Linux forum someone recommended getting the HP LaserJet M1120 MFP, because apparently that also works with the foo2xqx open source driver. I’ll have to see if that one is available in the local shops.

Edit: 24 August

Samsung: I had completely forgotten to write about Samsung. I actually own a SCX-4100 myself and that one needs the proprietary drivers. At least in the past the Samsung proprietary drivers were horrible, the installer overwrote system libraries causing Qt apps not to work and all kinds of evil stuff like that. Since then I’ve manually searched for the PPD file, entered it into system-config-printer, searched for the binaries s-c-printer says are missing and copied them into place. All of this hasn’t really convinced me into buying a Samsung MFP again.

However, Myrtti mentioned in the comments (thanks!) that the SCX-4200 works with an open source driver, splix. Apparently the SCX-4500 works with the same driver, too.

Conclusion (almost 😉 ):

After a day of searching the local shops for multifunction printers and googling like crazy, I’m beginning to think I should just get the HP M1120. Printing should work with the foo2xqx driver and SANE claims to have support for the scanner too.

As Tim, the system-config-printer developer, wrote in the comments, foo2xqx isn’t (and won’t be) in Fedora. It seems to be available from the RPM Fusion Free repository, though, and that’s good enough for me.

(As a side note, the splix driver for the Samsung SCX-4500 isn’t available even from RPM Fusion and the scanner driver Myrtti mentioned seems to not be in SANE, which means getting that to work in Fedora would be more complicated than getting the HP to work.)

8 Responses to “Any laser multifunction printers out there with open source Linux drivers?”

  1. Myrtti says:

    I’ve got a Samsung SCX-4200 and while the printer works out of the box with my Ubuntu, scanner doesn’t. Until recently I thought the only way to make it work was to install the proprietary drivers that come with it, but I’ve found an open source driver for it too at http://splix.ap2c.org/ While I’ve not tried the drivers myself, I like the appliance itself.

  2. Myrtti says:

    eh, I take the previous URL back – that was only for the printer – here’s the scanner driver http://people.ksp.sk/~vlado/scx-xx/

  3. foo says:

    Open source Linux-based “firmware” would be more interesting.

  4. Tim Waugh says:

    Unfortunately neither “splix” not “foo2xqx” can be shipped in Fedora.

  5. Hi:
    I’ve the Epson CX3900, plug and play (I know, it’s not a laser, but the drivers are available natively in Fedora) Even the scanner works out of the box.
    At the office we’ve the Xerox Workcentre PE120i, same thing, point to the socket and rock and roll.

  6. swistak says:

    Did you eventually buy the HP? If so, how does it work?

  7. swistak: We did buy an HP but not the one I thought we would when writing this blog post. We bought the CM1312 MFP, more about it in this blog post: http://vpv.kapsi.fi/blog/2009/08/the-linuxopen-source-friendly-printer-we-finally-bought/

  8. Hey there,

    SCX-4500 works fine with splix here too, and the scanner works out of the box with sane (using Debian GNU/Linux squeeze and `scanimage`). So, no proprietary binaries involved.

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