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Using a printer with Linux

Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Using a printer with Linux

Am using a Canon MP610 printer with Mint 11 and it's up and running no problem, however there is nothing that shows ink levels which is a bit risky should a cartridge run empty and damage the print head.
A Search on the forums indicates that an Epson printer driver might work with some models of Canon Printer but have tried this without success.
Is there some generic software that might cover this or is it a facility I will have to live without.
Thanks
16 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: Using a printer with Linux

Try the "inkblot" (gnome) or "ink" (command line) packages. They use libinklevel.
Ellis
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Re: Using a printer with Linux

Quote from: gleneagles
however there is nothing that shows ink levels which is a bit risky should a cartridge run empty and damage the print head.
Thanks

I take it that your particular printer has print heads separate to the cartridges. I used to use Epson (separate print heads) and never had any trouble when cartridges ran out of ink. Although I have an HP inkjet (it's in the shed), all I use now are laser printers, they work out cheaper in the long run, don't give any trouble (blocked jets) and don't need fancy papers. My Minolta Magicolor 2400W does a pretty fair photo print at 2400dpi, although Konika Minolta now have a new one out which does 9600dpi (costs a lot less than the 2400W did)
Community Veteran
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Re: Using a printer with Linux

If you install inkblot then you need to do an additional step. (I know 'cause I installed it yesterday  Wink) if you printer is usb (probably) then in a terminal enter "sudo chown user:user  /dev/usb/usblp0" changing the user:user to your user id. This is needed for it to GET the readings otherwise it just sits there saying Can't find printer.
Community Veteran
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Re: Using a printer with Linux

Update to this:
you loose the changes to /dev/usblp0 when you reboot so need to create a udev rule.
Working on that now.
Community Veteran
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Re: Using a printer with Linux

Ok simpler than F#ing about with udev rules...
Add yourself to the lp group (Admin/Users and Groups/Manage Groups scroll to lp and double click, add your self to the group and close the program), then log off /on to see the changes.
MJN
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Re: Using a printer with Linux

Quote from: gleneagles
Am using a Canon MP610 printer with Mint 11 and it's up and running no problem, however there is nothing that shows ink levels which is a bit risky should a cartridge run empty and damage the print head.

Just use the printer's LCD display - it shows the ink levels on there and will warn when nearing low. When it thinks a tank is empty it'll stop any further prints anyway (which you can manually override on a per-print basis by holding down the OK button for 10 seconds).
Mathew
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Re: Using a printer with Linux

Fair comment.
As you say there is a LCD display showing the ink levels on the MP610.
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Re: Using a printer with Linux

I know nothing about Linux or Canon printers so forgive me for butting in  Roll eyes
But I have always worked on the premise that that the print quality would tell you that a cartridge needed changing before the ink ran out completely  and thus no damage.
This methodology was developed before printers had all the bells and whistles they have now and I'm pretty sure the printer handbooks of the time had such advice. Also some printers just count prints!
In my heart I think the printer manufacturers are having a larf and maximising their profits by getting us to throw away perfectly good cartridges still with ink for many more prints.
Dont get me started on refills and generic cartridges  Roll eyes
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MJN
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Re: Using a printer with Linux

A properly designed inkjet cartridge should produce the same print quality right through to the last few drops, or at least to the point where an uninterrupted flow of ink can be maintained.
You're right though that some printers employ rather crude, and wildly inaccurate, means of calculating the end of a cartridge however in this case the MP610 is fairly good in that it uses an optical arrangement that can determine when a cartridge really is nearing empty without having to count/predict anything.
Mathew
VileReynard
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Re: Using a printer with Linux

My methodology was to change the colour cartridge when the print went a bit manky and
to change the black cartridge when text showed a lot of drop outs.

Ellis
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Re: Using a printer with Linux

I agree with the last three posts, it makes more sense to use your eyes to tell you when a cartridge is not working correctly.
Regarding third party cartridges, I have used these for years and only had a problem once. When that happened I rang the suppliers and they immediately sent a replacement. I was also advised on clearing blocked jets. Do a head clean, don't print but leave the printer switched on all night and do the print in the morning. I've found that always worked and saves a lot of ink.
Community Veteran
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Re: Using a printer with Linux

Quote from: Ellis
leave the printer switched on all night and do the print in the morning. I've found that always worked and saves a lot of ink.

Interesting my printer switches itself off after a few min  Wink
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Re: Using a printer with Linux

I have two HP Deskjet 5150 printers, one goes into standby after a while, but the other stays permanently on !
Ellis
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Re: Using a printer with Linux

I wonder if the move to put a printer on standby or switch off is done to save ink (questionable), or going through the motions again when starting up which uses more ink. I hope you realise that they actually pay people to work these things out so that they get more money out of the users.