Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian
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c3po
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Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#1 Post by c3po »

I just installed Debian yesterday for the first time on my "new" Dell Optiplex 9020 but my printer doesn't work. The printer works fine with my old computer, a Dell Optiplex 760 running an older version of LXLE Linux. CUPS on the old computer has lots of HP printer drivers that are not shown on my new Debian machine. There's even a driver for my specific printer. It is possible to transfer the printer drivers from my old computer to my new Debian machine?

I've tried all the available drivers provided in Debian, both the generic PCL and HP specific drivers, but nothing works at all. CUPS detects the printer and displays its correct make and model (HP M1212ns MFP), but none of the available drivers work. There's no printer response at all. I'm not even sure anything is being sent from the computer to the printer but a message says the print job has finished.

My old computer uses CUPS version 1.4.3. Is it possible to install that version of CUPS on my new Debian machine?

I tried to find a driver for my printer in the HP web site but no luck.

HP has a printer system called HPLIP that looks like it can be installed from their web site but I don't know if it's worth the effort. I risk trashing my whole system that way.

Thanks!

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#2 Post by Segfault »

HPLIP used to be in Debian repos, it is not any more?

Edit: it is listed, just checked.

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#3 Post by arochester »

Have you tried the system-config-printer tool, a simplified graphical manager to add and configure your printer?

https://lescahiersdudebutant.arpinux.or ... ig-printer

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#4 Post by c3po »

Segfault wrote: 2022-09-21 17:23 HPLIP used to be in Debian repos, it is not any more?

Edit: it is listed, just checked.
Thank you. I'll look into that. I'm not optimistic because I've used HPLIP before. It's nothing to brag about, especially coming from a company with the resources of HP.

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#5 Post by c3po »

arochester wrote: 2022-09-21 17:27 Have you tried the system-config-printer tool, a simplified graphical manager to add and configure your printer?

https://lescahiersdudebutant.arpinux.or ... ig-printer
Thanks arochester. System-config-printer is the tool I've been using to config the printers on my old and new machines. The version on my "old" computer includes far more HP drivers than the version currently on Debian (and other distros). That's why I wonder if the drivers can be transferred. I guess HP decided they need sell more printers so they wiped out the drivers for some of the older models. What a shame!

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#6 Post by arochester »

Are you sure it is ns and not nf?

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#7 Post by Segfault »

Note, some HP devices require a binary plugin. HPLIP is the only way to get it as far as I know. HPLIP installs a bunch of little tools you can use for diagnostics and scripting. For instance, 'hp-scan -t in --box=0,0,3.4,2.2 -mcolor -sfile' will scan credit card size area, good for scanning all sort of cards.
All of them:

Code: Select all

hp-align               hp-diagnose_queues     hp-linefeedcal         hp-print               hp-systray
hp-check               hp-doctor              hp-logcapture          hp-printsettings       hp-testpage
hp-clean               hp-fab                 hp-makecopies          hp-probe               hp-timedate
hp-colorcal            hp-faxsetup            hp-makeuri             hp-query               hp-toolbox
hp-config_usb_printer  hp-firmware            hp-pkservice           hp-scan                hp-uiscan
hp-devicesettings      hp-info                hp-plugin              hp-sendfax             hp-unload
hp-diagnose_plugin     hp-levels              hp-pqdiag              hp-setup               hp-wificonfig

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#8 Post by Segfault »

https://openprinting.github.io/driverless/

Or you can resort to driverless printing!

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#9 Post by c3po »

arochester wrote: 2022-09-21 20:13 Are you sure it is ns and not nf?
You are correct! It is nf.

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#10 Post by c3po »

Segfault wrote: 2022-09-21 20:25 https://openprinting.github.io/driverless/

Or you can resort to driverless printing!
Thanks for the tip! I've never heard of this. I'll look into it. I'm very interested to know how to print without a driver.

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#11 Post by c3po »

After hours of investigation I've had a breakthrough of sorts. I installed MS Linux on another machine and found that its version of system-config-printer has a long list of HP printers and drivers. I found my printer and a driver that works. That driver is called "foo2xqx". After googling foo2xqx I found that this driver is part of something called "foomatic". I then found foomatic in Debian's package installer (synaptic) and installed it. The driver (foo2xqx) now appears in system-config-printer on Debian along with the long list of HP printers. So far most functions of my printer seem to work properly although I haven't used it a lot.

Next I'll try to configure the scanner feature of this multi function printer. I again tip my hat to the MX Linux folks because the scanner function is detected automatically by their version of system-confg-printer. The scanner was also detected on my old LXLE machine. Debian doesn't detect it for some reason.

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#12 Post by Segfault »

MX Linux may have HPLIP installed. I don't know what lousy experience you have with it, there are people working on it, this driver is open source under constant improvement. I use it gladly.

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#13 Post by c3po »

Segfault wrote: 2022-09-21 23:47 MX Linux may have HPLIP installed. I don't know what lousy experience you have with it, there are people working on it, this driver is open source under constant improvement. I use it gladly.
I guess I must have the wrong hardware. But how do I know what works before I buy it?

I installed HPLIP on my Debian system. It says there are no HP devices connected!

Also, I'm finding that when my computer goes to sleep after a period of inactivity it won't wake up. I have to power it down and reboot to get it going again. So yes, after hours of trying, Debian on my hardware is starting to wear me out. I feel like I'm beginning to see why so many other distros are derived from it.

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#14 Post by FreewheelinFrank »

c3po wrote: 2022-09-21 22:24
Segfault wrote: 2022-09-21 20:25 https://openprinting.github.io/driverless/

Or you can resort to driverless printing!
Thanks for the tip! I've never heard of this. I'll look into it. I'm very interested to know how to print without a driver.
Driverless printing requires a modern printer. Yours seems to be a decade or more old so driverless is not going to work. :cry:

However, Debian is moving towards driverless printing, which may affect the way printers connect. How are you trying to connect the printer? USB connections with non-driverless printers/scanners have issues in Bullseye I seem to remember.

viewtopic.php?p=746365#p746365

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#15 Post by c3po »

FreewheelinFrank wrote: 2022-09-22 08:41
c3po wrote: 2022-09-21 22:24
Segfault wrote: 2022-09-21 20:25 https://openprinting.github.io/driverless/

Or you can resort to driverless printing!
Thanks for the tip! I've never heard of this. I'll look into it. I'm very interested to know how to print without a driver.
Driverless printing requires a modern printer. Yours seems to be a decade or more old so driverless is not going to work. :cry:

However, Debian is moving towards driverless printing, which may affect the way printers connect. How are you trying to connect the printer? USB connections with non-driverless printers/scanners have issues in Bullseye I seem to remember.

viewtopic.php?p=746365#p746365
Maybe one of my neighbors will put a newer printer out by the street soon. Then I'll upgrade my equipment. That's how I get my computer stuff. I've never bought a new computer and only one dot-matrix printer 30 years ago. That's why I recommend Windows.

Thanks for informing me about driverless technology. I thought that only applied to cars.

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#16 Post by Segfault »

FreewheelinFrank wrote: 2022-09-22 08:41 Driverless printing requires a modern printer. Yours seems to be a decade or more old so driverless is not going to work. :cry:
Not going to work? There are PCL printers much older than a decade, you sure they won't work? I'm not.

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#17 Post by FreewheelinFrank »

Segfault wrote: 2022-09-22 15:59
FreewheelinFrank wrote: 2022-09-22 08:41 Driverless printing requires a modern printer. Yours seems to be a decade or more old so driverless is not going to work. :cry:
Not going to work? There are PCL printers much older than a decade, you sure they won't work? I'm not.
Good point actually. I saw that the foo2xqx is a driver for printers originally designed to work with Windows, and assumed that the printer would not have driverless capability (which seems to be more driven by Apple).

I have checked the driverless databases and can't see this printer listed, although some in the M1200 series are.

The term "modern" used by Debian doesn't seem to be very useful to be honest. My printer (bought a few years ago) isn't driverless, yet there are older printers which are, as you point out.

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#18 Post by c3po »

Segfault wrote: 2022-09-22 15:59
FreewheelinFrank wrote: 2022-09-22 08:41 Driverless printing requires a modern printer. Yours seems to be a decade or more old so driverless is not going to work. :cry:
Not going to work? There are PCL printers much older than a decade, you sure they won't work? I'm not.
I'm not sure my printer is PCL. I tried the PCL drivers found in system-config-printer. No joy.

BTW, I read something interesting about CUPS. It's owned by Apple and used and on several Apple OS's.

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#19 Post by c3po »

FreewheelinFrank wrote: 2022-09-22 16:56
Segfault wrote: 2022-09-22 15:59
FreewheelinFrank wrote: 2022-09-22 08:41 Driverless printing requires a modern printer. Yours seems to be a decade or more old so driverless is not going to work. :cry:
Not going to work? There are PCL printers much older than a decade, you sure they won't work? I'm not.
Good point actually. I saw that the foo2xqx is a driver for printers originally designed to work with Windows, and assumed that the printer would not have driverless capability (which seems to be more driven by Apple).

I have checked the driverless databases and can't see this printer listed, although some in the M1200 series are.

The term "modern" used by Debian doesn't seem to be very useful to be honest. My printer (bought a few years ago) isn't driverless, yet there are older printers which are, as you point out.
FYI, my printer is listed in openprinting.org as "LaserJet Professional M1212ns MFP". The foo2xqx driver is recommended.

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Re: Transfer printer drivers from older Linux install

#20 Post by FreewheelinFrank »

c3po wrote: 2022-09-23 05:45 FYI, my printer is listed in openprinting.org as "LaserJet Professional M1212ns MFP". The foo2xqx driver is recommended.
Yes, I found that too.

It seems to be a "Winprinter" because the driver depends on code form the Windows operating system.

See this link. Different printer, but similar. Video at end may be useful too.

https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2420331

The printer also depends on a plug-in to support full function including scanning.

https://developers.hp.com/hp-linux-imag ... lugin.html

NB installation doesn't seem to accept Sudo and requires root access.

viewtopic.php?p=756946#p756946

There is also the complication of Debian moving towards driverless printing, which means using HPLIP in Bullseye you will not be able to find the printer with a USB connection without changing the configuration. A wireless connection should be OK.

viewtopic.php?p=746334#p746334

See video in previous link as it shows how to find the printer wirelessly.

Sorry, I know this all just worked in previous versions, but hardware support in Debian can fall by the wayside over time.

PS I bought a dot matrix printer 30 years ago too. Cost me £200, for which today I could have bought four of my current laser printers, even before taking inflation into account.

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