I’ve recently installed Ubuntu 10.10 natively on my work iMac, as OS X was getting in the way of fast build times for a bunch of linux-based software.
As part of being back in a linux environment, I need to be able to talk to printers. Apparently the last time I played this game was November 2008, as documented in Brother DCP 9045cdn with Ubuntu Intrepid. In that post I compared the Linux experience of 2008 with the Mac OS X printer experience of 2003. So how have things advanced in the last 2 and a bit years in Linux?
- Bad: I had to ask a colleague for the IP address of the printer as the ‘find network printer’ option seemed to need it, and couldn’t see the printer on the network otherwise
- Bad: the printer driver is still not found out of the box.
- Good: Synaptic has advanced to the point where I feel I can just type ‘brother’, select the most likely-looking package, and click ‘Apply’
- Good: printing a test page worked once I went back in and selected the newly-installed printer driver. And the test page is quite fancy.
- Good: I was then able to print immediately from LibreOffice.
It’s nice that I don’t need to do any of the command line mucking about that I needed to do a couple of years ago. But I think Ubuntu might like to ship more printer drivers by default to avoid the tedious jumping-through-hoops of driver installation, and it still has a long way to go to match the automagical setup that OS X performs.
Final grade: C+