Monday, October 3, 2011

Printing with an HP printer in Ubuntu Linux

With computers most people want them to just work. Sometimes they do and sometimes they come no where near just working. When it came to my first experience with printing in Linux it simply worked with no fuss at all.

For those used to Windows systems, the first thing you will notice when printing from Ubuntu Linux is there is no new hardware detected pop up notification, no configuration or installation needed and the printer is not displayed anywhere once connected. My first thought when I turned on my printer was 'did the computer see it?' Since there was no notification, I wasn't quite sure. But I decided to open up Open Office and give it a shot to see if it would print. I went to print and sure enough my HP PhotoSmart printer showed up as available and printed fine (of course, Linux cannot solve the several year old, nearly dry ink cartridges).

The only draw back I can see right now is the lack of a management from the default install (Ubuntu 10.04) where ink levels can be monitored. If you like technology to just work, a Linux distribution (most have the HP print driver package as part of the default setup) with an HP printer will likely be a no fuss, no install - it just works scenario. I was very pleased with my first printing experience from a Linux system and will be looking into the lack of management options and hopefully find something worth while, stay tuned!

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