Will HP LaserJet 5L Xtra work with Linux?

Will HP LaserJet 5L Xtra work with Linux?

Post by Jeffrey D Goldad » Wed, 27 Nov 1996 04:00:00



Hello,

We have a Dell Dimension XPS P133s running Slackware '96 at home.  We
also use it under Windows 95.  What we do NOT have is a printer.

Last weekend, my wife and I saw the HP LaserJet 5L Xtra, and were impressed
by its print quality and price.  Speed isn't a major concern for us now, but
price is.  The flyer next to the printer says it has a parallel port and
runs Enhanced HP PCL5, so my first impression is that it should work for us.

*Has anybody successfully used this printer with Linux & Windows?*  We'll
need to print PostScript from Linux, and probably documents containing
TrueType fonts from Windows 95.

Any help you can give is very appreciated!!  Are there other low-cost,
600 DPI printers out there we should be considering?  These new printers
which *require* Windows are muddying up an already murky picture for me.

Thanks very much,

Jeff Goldader                     Disclaimer: These are my opinions, not those

 
 
 

Will HP LaserJet 5L Xtra work with Linux?

Post by Uwe Bonne » Wed, 27 Nov 1996 04:00:00



: Hello,

: We have a Dell Dimension XPS P133s running Slackware '96 at home.  We
: also use it under Windows 95.  What we do NOT have is a printer.

: Last weekend, my wife and I saw the HP LaserJet 5L Xtra, and were impressed
: by its print quality and price.  Speed isn't a major concern for us now, but
: price is.  The flyer next to the printer says it has a parallel port and
: runs Enhanced HP PCL5, so my first impression is that it should work for us.

: *Has anybody successfully used this printer with Linux & Windows?*  We'll
: need to print PostScript from Linux, and probably documents containing
: TrueType fonts from Windows 95.

: Any help you can give is very appreciated!!  Are there other low-cost,
: 600 DPI printers out there we should be considering?  These new printers
: which *require* Windows are muddying up an already murky picture for me.

As "enhanced PCL" Printers these printers should understand PCL
too. Ghostscript can do PCL very fine ( I use it here), but check
twice. Perhaps somretimes a Ghostscript driver for "enhanced PCL" will
emerge, if somebody cares.
--

Institut fuer Kernphysik  Schlossgartenstrasse 9  64289 Darmstadt
--------- Tel. 06151 162516 -------- Fax. 06151 164321 ----------

 
 
 

Will HP LaserJet 5L Xtra work with Linux?

Post by Christopher B. Brow » Wed, 27 Nov 1996 04:00:00




>: Last weekend, my wife and I saw the HP LaserJet 5L Xtra, and were impressed
>: by its print quality and price.  Speed isn't a major concern for us now, but
>: price is.  The flyer next to the printer says it has a parallel port and
>: runs Enhanced HP PCL5, so my first impression is that it should work for us.

>: *Has anybody successfully used this printer with Linux & Windows?*  We'll
>: need to print PostScript from Linux, and probably documents containing
>: TrueType fonts from Windows 95.

I can't speak too specifically to the "Xtra" model, but I have beside me now
a "plain old" 5L which works eminently well under Linux.  Ghostscript does a
nice job of translating PS to PCL; just pretend that it's a "ljet4" and
you'll get pretty output.  You may need to specify the 600 dpi resolution;
you may also wish to get some nice Type 1 fonts as the ones traditionally
included with Ghostscript are not scalable.  With GS v4 come nicer fonts.

From what documentation I've seen online, the Xtra adds the option of
putting a JetDirect card into the unit, which implies nothing but good to
me.  That strongly implies that it speaks "genuine PCL."

You can fairly well assume that it is Windows-compatible, as that represents
the majority of the purchasers of the printer.
--

"When you say 'I wrote a program that crashed Windows', people just stare at
you blankly and say 'Hey, I got those with the system, *for free*"
  - Linus Torvalds

 
 
 

Will HP LaserJet 5L Xtra work with Linux?

Post by wupi » Fri, 29 Nov 1996 04:00:00


I don't know if 5L Xtra will work with Linux, but I can tell you what
problem I have been seeing on 5L Xtra.

Somehow I believe the 'low' price on the 5L Xtra has a reason, and it's
not because HP is interested in selling it cheap. I have seen it
returned in many stores and I saw one in Computer City in Houston
selling for about $350 yesterday. It has a $50 rebate, so it costs about
$300 after rebate. That's the price part of it.
Here are the problems I am seeing, and I don't think I am not alone. The
high volume of returns and the price drop may be an indication HP is
trying to get rid of it (a lemon?). Problem 1: The driver will disappear
from the Windows 95 [start-settings-printers] and you can't print after
the computer has been running for a while. It will work again after
reboot, but you have to reboot. That's a big problem, because you are on
internet, and you see a page that you want to print, but you have to
reboot to do it. Problem 2: When the driver is around, you may run into
a message that there is not enough memory to print. I have 16MB of RAM
and not many tasks running, and yet it says not enough memory. I closed
down all tasks I could, and it still says the same thing. Again, you
have to reboot to cure the problem. Problem 3: The paper feeder
frequently has problem handling paper. It can't feed properly. It works
sometimes, but when it's having difficulty, I can just get a gun and
shoot it. Problem 4: The rebate ($50) requires you to cut the sticker
from the box and send it along with the original receipt, which makes
very difficult for you to return the product after you discover all
these defects. Problem 5: Unlike the Pavilion Computer, the printer
support has no toll free number, so every minute you wait an additional
cost for having an HP 5L Xtra.

I had an HP 520 DeskJet, and I was happy with it, but this 5L Xtra was
just a nightmare, and still IS. If you do decide to buy one, go get it
cheap, especially on the returned ones. And if you are in Houston, I
will sell mine to you.


> Hello,

> We have a Dell Dimension XPS P133s running Slackware '96 at home.  We
> also use it under Windows 95.  What we do NOT have is a printer.

> Last weekend, my wife and I saw the HP LaserJet 5L Xtra, and were impressed
> by its print quality and price.  Speed isn't a major concern for us now, but
> price is.  The flyer next to the printer says it has a parallel port and
> runs Enhanced HP PCL5, so my first impression is that it should work for us.

> *Has anybody successfully used this printer with Linux & Windows?*  We'll
> need to print PostScript from Linux, and probably documents containing
> TrueType fonts from Windows 95.

> Any help you can give is very appreciated!!  Are there other low-cost,
> 600 DPI printers out there we should be considering?  These new printers
> which *require* Windows are muddying up an already murky picture for me.

> Thanks very much,

> Jeff Goldader                     Disclaimer: These are my opinions, not those


 
 
 

1. Laserjet 5L (xtra) printing problem

I have just installed RedHat 4.0 on my computer. I had slakware
until recently, but after the lightning strike necessitated buying
some new hardware, I decided to switch to RedHat. I had the same
type of printer under slakware as I do now, and it worked perfectly
then.

I have set up my printer, an HP lj-5l using the RedHat control
panel, and it sometimes works. However with ever-increasing frequency,
the printer will quit printing my documents and start spewing out
garbage. I know that the printer is okay because I bought it after the
lightning strike, and it works okay in windows.

I have ghostscript 3.33 installed (It is the updated version from
the RedHat archive) and I think that is where the problem lies. If
I send plain text to the printer port, that comes out okay, but if
I send a postscript file through ghostscript, garbage comes out the
printer port. The garbage always starts with ";E" which I think is the
printer reset command in PCL.

This is the command I have been using to test the printer port:

cat <postscript file> | gs -q -sDEVICE=ljet4 -r300x300 \
-sPAPERSIZE=letter -dNOPAUSE -dSAFER -sOutputFile=- - >/dev/lp1

Am I using the right drivers?
Are there more recent drivers that might work better?
Can anybody help me here?

If anybody can help me, I would appreciate it if you sent
e-mail. My ISP's newsserver seems to miss about half the traffic
that goes by here. Thanks in advance.

--
----
Derek Tattersall


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