Unsupported Printers - just "sticks" in the lpd queue ;(

Eric Sisler esisler at westminster.lib.co.us
Thu Jan 20 15:39:14 GMT 2000

At 08:25 PM 01/20/2000 +1100, Steve Frampton wrote:

>I've got 6 printers that I need to set up as print shares.  The ones that
>speak Postscript or PCL were very easy to set up, and work admirably.  
>However, I've got some WinPrinters as well as some unknown-format ones
>which I would like to get working as well -- I realize I won't have the
>luxury of being able to print from Linux on these, but surely I should be
>able to set them up to simply pass, untouched, anything printed from a
>Windows client (which would have the appropriate driver installed) to the

Correct.  I have a few odd, unsupported printers, but nothing as weird as
you, if that's any consolation.  ;-)  As long as you have a working Windows
printer driver, Linux can just pass the print job through "as is" to the

>I have a Fuji Xerox Color Laser Wind 3310 -- it's Japanese, and an older

>I set it up in my /etc/printcap as follows:

>  FXColorWind:\
>          :sd=/var/spool/lpd/FXColorWind:\
>          :mx#0:\
>          :sh:\
>          :rm=\
>          :rp=raw:

Looks ok to me.

>I did a portscan on the printer, and it only has ports 21 (FTP) and 515
>(unknown) open -- the FTP server appears to be for updating firmware (my
>guess), and port 515 immediately drops the connection if you telnet to it.
>Therefore I have *no* idea how this printer is accepting data -- UDP?

According to /etc/services:

printer         515/tcp         spooler         # BSD lpd(8)

so it looks like it *should* accept and lpd print job.  Can you telnet to
the printer to configure it or is their some other means of configuring the
interface?  Maybe there's something that needs to be turned on in order for
the printer to accept lpd print jobs.  I have one that defaults to Novell
printing and turns all other methods off by default (ethertalk, lpd, etc.).

Another possible solution would be to ditch the printer's ethernet
interface entirely (assuming it has a regular parallel port) and by an
external print server.  HP and others make 1 and 3 port external print
servers.  It's basically a network card with a buffer and a parallel port
(or 3).  You can telnet to the print server and configure it that way or
use BOOTP/DHCP.  The only thing that's been annoying is even if you turn
off the banner page in /etc/printcap you'll still need to telnet to the
print server and turn it off there.  I've got several of them hooked up to
a variety of printers that don't have internal network cards - HP LaserJet
6's, Epson color inkjets, etc.


Eric Sisler
Library Computer Technician
Westminster Public Library
Westminster, CO, USA
esisler at westminster.lib.co.us

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