I thought i’d respond to this thread to circle back on my solution, which mostly works.
The progression of printer connections was the following, the last one is the one that
imacs ——> WiFi (dhcp) ——> HP Printer
imacs ——> ethernet (dhcp) ——> HP Printer
imacs ——> ethernet (static IP) ——> HP Printer
imacs ——> ethernet ——> Linux Cups Server ——> ethernet ——> HP Printer
imacs ——> ethernet ——> Linux Cups Server ——> USB (over rj45) ——> HP Printer
imacs ——> ethernat ——> Linux Cups Server on Raspberry PI ——> USB ——> HP
As mentioned by contributors to this thread, the network stack on the HP Printers seem to
be flaky, so any attempt that involved the HP Printer’s network stack would fail at some
point. Its strange that all of the HP Printers in the office seem to be affected by this.
Everything i tired that involved a network link to the HP Printers was very flaky. My
second-to-last ditch effort was to try using USB over ethernet; since the printers and the
Linux Cups Server are not physically close and i have network drops next to each, i tried
the USB over ethernet dongles, which didn’t take. The devies were recognized, but i
couldn’t print over the USB device. There were some postings online about setting some
serial parameters, but i didn’t want to mess around with it too much. So my final solution
was to use an old Raspberry Pi i had kicking around which can be placed next to the
printers and connect via USB, and it can also be connected to the office network via
ethernet. This has been rock solid and clears my desk of an old r-Pi.
In the end i can’t really come to a conclusion other that the HP Printer’s TCP stack is
flaky. The rest of the network seems to be fine, i’ve never seen any troubles with
anything else on the network. I’d occasional see the printer’s settings claim it is
on-line, but have no IP address, which was always suspect to me. the printers operate
reliably if using USB.
Anyway, just wanted to let y’all know that a raspberry-pi running CUPS was the best
solution, and thank you for responding.
On Jan 25, 2019, at 11:27, John Stoffel via WLUG
Bradley> tl;dr: Can someone recommend a printer (or printer brand)
Bradley> that is reliable for printing via CUPS?
In general, CUPS is pretty darn reliable. But can you post some logs
from when the printer goes offline?
Bradley> I’m struggling w/ printers in a small office and i've
Bradley> struggled to get any kind of guidance on-line. The volume of
Bradley> pages printed at the office is probably around 100 pages a
Bradley> day and there are 4 printers — all HPs and all consumer grade
Bradley> — each printer has its purpose, e.g. there's an 11x17
Bradley> printer, one color laser, one BW laster, one color
Bradley> inkjet. The office is all iMACs, which connect to a Linux
Bradley> CUPS server. The iMacs were networking directly w/ the
Bradley> printers, but i added the CUPS server to try to mitigate the
Bradley> poor reliability with only marginal results.
So this is a key issue to me, if printing from the iMACs (which
version of MacOS?) was un-reliable, then it points to a problem
somewhere else. As others have said, maybe the power is bad? But
have you checked your network as well? Do you have a switch or two
which are dropping packets randomly? Yes, TCP should handle stuff
like this, but maybe it's a wierd corruption issue somewhere?
Bradley> Routinely printers become “paused” in CUPS so i need to go in
Bradley> and ‘unpause’ them, also some printers just fall of the
Bradley> network entirely. Inevitably the only printer that works most
Bradley> of the time is the ink-jet which is a lot more expensive to
Can you move your most used laser to the same network port/cable as
the inkjet and see if that improves reliability?
Bradley> I’m looking for a reliable solution. If anyone has a
Bradley> recomendation that’d be great!
I've got a Brother MFC-8860DN laser printer which has lasted me over
10+ years at home and been quite reliable. The only problem is that
it's PostScript implementation is now getting long in the tooth. Best
damn $400 printer I've ever gotten.
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