Linux, A Laptop & A Laser Printer

I don’t own a USB printer other than a fairly poor quality Lexmark which is an ink jet printer. I really dislike using it, and it won’t run under Linux which is my preferred operating system on my laptop. So when I need something printed in good quality, up to now I’ve been emailing the document to my business partner who then prints it off on her printer.

However, I do own a huge Tektronix Phasar 560 laser printer which, except for its size, I like. It is very fast and does a nice job for my needs. But, it uses a parallel port which my laptop does not have.

I have managed to get it working though! I need to print a large number of documents over the next several days so I was looking for a solution and discovered that I could purchase a parallel usb converter cable. I did not know that such a thing existed, but they do. After purchasing the cable, and with a bit of research, I managed to get the laptop with the Linux operating system to print to the Phasar.

In case anyone else has a similar issue, I am providing the solution here. First, I needed to download the driver for the printer. My version of CUPS did not have it, but I found it here.With the print configure tool in OpenSuse 11.2, I installed the driver, but that was not enough to get the laptop to recognize the printer. The operating system did detected that there was a printer but it was in an “unknown location.”

So my next stop was to manually enter the device uri location like this:


After doing that, the laptop was able to communicate with the printer, and I can now print!

For some reason though, the operating system changed the device uri location to:

usb://Tektronix/Phaser%20560P which I don’t understand, but I don’t really care as long as it works.

I was thinking that I might try to sell the Phasar as I thought it was going to be useless to me with my laptop.  However, I also have several ink cartridges for it, and they are very expensive but last a long long time.

So, if anyone else has a laser printer with the parallel port, you can still keep it and make it work with your laptop’s USB port.






About ianhughscott

Ian Scott enjoys several hobbies such as fly fishing, home winemaking and fly tying when not working as a web consultant and search engine optimization specialist.
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