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Thread: Printer compatible with Win, Mac, and Linux?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Printer compatible with Win, Mac, and Linux?

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a color printer with Win/Mac/Linux compatibility for home use? Photocopy/scan and wireless capability would be nice too, but not necessary and only if it's affordable.

    TIA!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    1,323

    Re: Printer compatible with Win, Mac, and Linux?

    This isn't a recommendation exactly, it's an information data point.

    I have a networked 600dpi Canon MF8050Cn color laser all-in-one which works with Mac and Linux. It will inevitably be fine for Windows but while I have installed the driver on Vista we wiped that box shortly after and haven't printed more than a dozen pages with Windows.

    Drivers are a pain in the rear on both Mac and Linux but they work. I've installed this driver on 9.10, 11.10 and 12.04

    This uses the MFRII printer driver from Canon, but there are hoops you need to jump through to install it on Ubuntu, and I've never made it work on Gentoo. The driver itself is GPL but when I tried to compile it for Gentoo I couldn't get it to work.

    If you are only installing on a Debian-based or Redhat-based distro this printer should be fine for you.

    The printer itself is pretty good, but frankly I've had a hard time finding toner for it in the Chicaco area.

    I like the printer. It hasn't jammed and it has reasonable speed. I have't used the scanner ever, or the fax, but I have used it as a copier. I think it has an email based scanner. My fiancee loves printing full color photos with it. I wish she would stop.
    Help stamp out MBR partition tables. Use GPT instead!

  3. #3
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    Mar 2009
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    1,323

    Re: Printer compatible with Win, Mac, and Linux?

    Sorry I can't leave it alone.

    There are way too few data points on printers for Linux. The mainstream ones work fine with the generic drivers, but if you want anything special you're doomed to gamble with your money.

    I absolutely cannot tolerate the scam that is the printing industry in America. Ink, which is just about the cheapest substance on the planet except sand, costs so much that people often buy a brand new printer for slightly more money. It's outrageous. When I was buying inkjets I refused to ever buy a toner cartridge because I refused to pay the extortion to get a @#%@# ink cartridge.

    For me, the inkjets won't work because I print maybe 6 or 10 pages, then leave it for 6 months and the jets would dry out. So I went to a laser printer because the toner doesn't get old.

    I used my printer for several years without doing a thing to it. Then my fiancee moved in and started printing endless color photos and web pages and whatever else she can do to suck down toner. After a year of that I had to buy toner.

    The toner cartridges on the MF8050Cn are about $250 for a set of 4, or maybe half that for refilled ones. It's cheaper per page than an inkjet, but the printer is $500 (cheaper now I'm sure) and the toner is expensive too. On the other hand, toner has ALWAYS been expensive per cartridge, and black laser printing has always been cheaper per page. I don't know exactly what the cost per page is on this printer but it's not too bad I think.

    Good luck and have fun.
    Help stamp out MBR partition tables. Use GPT instead!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Re: Printer compatible with Win, Mac, and Linux?

    Thanks for the info, but that's really not affordable for me. Even though I'm splitting the cost with someone else. I just priced it and the price is still up there.

    I don't really need the scanner or copier. So hopefully I'll find one a lot cheaper.

    Thanks for trying though!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Re: Printer compatible with Win, Mac, and Linux?

    I recommend a second-hand Canon or Epson inkjet for which you can find 3-rd party bottles of inks in your neighbour hood. Refill sets usually come with 50ml or so size bottles, but you can easily find 500ml or more(!) at consumer outlets. A chip-resetter is a must also.
    Once you have the above, it is a treat to reuse the cartridges, I've not bought new carts in years now, just the occasional new bottle of ink.
    Gutenprint and SANE support older devices, and you can rest assured that support, if not complete, will be better and better with each release.
    Learning the mechanism requires good teachers and dedication

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