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Linux Printing HOWTO
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Linux Printing HOWTO - Supported Printers

5. Supported Printers

The Linux kernel will let you speak with any printer that you can plug into a serial, parallel, or usb port, plus any printer on the network. Unfortunately, this alone is insufficient; you must also be able to generate data that the printer will understand. Primary among the incompatible printers are those referred to as "Windows" or "GDI" printers. They are called this because all or part of the printer control language and the design details of the printing mechanism are not documented. Typically the vendor will provide a Windows driver and happily sell only to Windows users; this is why they are called Winprinters. In some cases the vendor also provides drivers for NT, OS/2, or other operating systems.

Many of these printers do not work with free software. A few of them do, and some of them only work a little bit (usually because someone has reverse engineered the details needed to write a driver). See the printer support list below for details on specific printers.

A few printers are in-between. Some of NEC's models, for example, implement a simple form of the standard printer language PCL that allows PCL-speaking software to print at up to 300dpi, but only NEC knows how to get the full 600dpi out of these printers.

Note that if you already have one of these Winprinters, there are roundabout ways to print to one, but they're rather awkward. SeeSection 12 in this document for more discussion of Windows-only printers.

Linux Printing HOWTO
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  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire