What printers work best on Linux?

Guys, I’m gonna save up for a second hand printer ( probably off Ebay) at some point to use on my Asus netbook, running on Peppermint 9. Could you please advise me which are compatible and easy to set up?

I’ve never had a home printer before, but need one as the local print shop closed down 2 years ago and the only other option is going to libraries ( which of course are closed right now). There isn’t even a print shop in town any more!

Hello Melissa.

I’ve settled on HP as they are very reliable, their customer service is good and they support Linux with the HPLIP (HP Linux Imaging and Printing system).

I’ve also had Epson which are very good, too, except that unlike other manufacturers one doesn’t replace the whole cartridge, just the ink reservoir. I’ve had one instance of the ink stylus (fitted permanently) becoming blocked - but only the once, and one can get a very cheap cleaning kit that works well. I find Epson’s photo printing is better than HP but the installation of HP printers is usually easier.

I have a friend running an HP printer on Peppermint 9 and she is very happy with it.

Hope that’s some help,

I have also had an HP printer work very well on Peppermint Linux, although I haven’t updated my blog in a while I did post a tutorial My adventures with Peppermint ICE linux: Getting an HP scanner / multi function device to work in Peppermint

I currently have an HP (my second) and I’ve also used Samsung. Most of the big names work, but the secret is to check on-line before buying. So, a quick trip to ebay revealed a refurbished HP Envy 5530 at £25. A search for “hp envy 5530 linux” came up with a manual and driver to download and instructions for installation on Ubuntu — in other words, it’s OK. It’s also worth looking on Amazon to see the reviews. Of course, there’s always some-one who’s been unlucky, but the consensus will be reliable.

Hi Melissa

Printing and computers is rather like asking ‘how long is a piece of string’ - there are so many variables it’s difficult to give a definitive answer. It largely depends on what sort of printing you are wanting to do and how much? Is it high or low volume? Colour or mono? Photographic?

A second-hand printer may be ok but will doubtless come with no guarantee so a new printer may be more cost-effective in the long run. Is it possible to get a redundant one from a friend or colleague that you trust? Or what about the computer shop that you already use? Do they do recon printers? At least you would have somewhere to return it to if it became faulty. Bear in mind the cost of consumables. An ink-jet that has little use can work out very expensive on replacement cartridges as the jets can clog and then use masses of ink to unclog when running a ‘print-head-cleaning’ cycle - (I speak from experience!).

Most makes ‘should’ run pretty much out of the box these days on any platform but some are more user friendly than others and even the best can be pernickety over drivers and take some fettling to get working - and this applies as much on Windows as in Linux… I don’t wish to confuse or frighten, far from it! It would be useful if you could give a bit more info regarding your planned usage then no doubt we can come up with something that will fit your needs and hopefully help to keep the costs down. :wink:


If it’s professionally refurbished there should be a guarantee. The example I chose at random was guaranteed for 6 months — if it’s faulty it should show within that time.

On the subject of inkjets clogging, that can be a serious problem if you are not a frequent user. Laser printers are dearer, but they don’t mind being left unused for weeks. Also, even the initial ink supply is far larger than you get with an inkjet: my Samsung died after 8 years and I’d never had to replace the ink!

I agree wholeheartedly, but Melissa is talking about Ebay. There are many fine businesses operating there but also some not so good and there’s no way of knowing which is which until something goes wrong. After all, a guarantee is worth nowt if you can’t get a response from the vendor… Just saying…

You look at the customer feedback! Also, many items come with ebay’s own money back guarantee.

Thank you very much for the replies guys! Most of my printing purposes would be printing scans of vintage images from my collection of old books ( some are from the 19th century) vintage magazines ( which are so nice I don’t want to cut up as one magazine is from 1938!) which I would have scanned into my netbook and done editing on. They would be for art projects. Some would be in colour ( vintage colours) and some in sepia/monochrome.

Some print jobs would be of course documents/forms ( when the need arises).

I’m looking for a printer that would be cost effective, easy to use and do good quality images.

But since my day job will be part time ( staring that in a few weeks) I can’t afford a top of the range printer, so would be looking to spend about £50-£70. I am a newbie at printers, having always gone to print shops before ( but as I mentioned they are all closed down round my area now), so I’m not very knowledgeable on prices and models etc.

I only know that laser printers do the best smudge free images. But they are expensive!

That’s why I was thinking to look on Ebay from a top rated seller who re conditions/re sells them with a guarantee.

I got my monitor ( to plug into my netbook so I have a big screen) off Ebay from such a seller and it’s great!

I’d probably be using the printer 2-3 times a week on average.

Hello Melissa.
Laser printers are not economical for occasional use - they are best for 100-pages-per-day use, like businesses. And, as you say, they are expensive. But they are excellent for printing large blocks of colour like the images you want to print.

Although I swear by HP printers for all the reasons I mentioned earlier, I am not too happy with their photo reproduction (on photo paper), although ordinary colour printing is fine.
Here’s a refurbished one for £60: HP OfficeJet 3835 All-in-One Inkjet Printer for sale online | eBay. It has 1200x1200 pixels/inch scanning resolution which is fine your application.

The best all-round printer that I’ve owned has been Epson, especially if you want to print photographs on photo paper, although I have had one or two driver issues, and you do need to use it fairly regularly to prevent the jets blocking. If you can stretch to £85 then this might be of interest: https://tinyurl.com/yb367hnt

Overall, for your application, laser would be the way to go as ink-jetting large areas is rarely a happy experience.
Alternatively, since you are printing so few images,you could buy a printer/scanner and get the files photo-printed by, for example Snapfish UK: Online Photo Printing & Personalised Photo Gifts. They charge £1.69 for a 12"x8" photo and if you order several at once the post charge wouldn’t be too bad. I am sure that Boots uses this company for their on-line service and the quality is excellent.

So my suggestion is the HP printer and the on-line photo printing service.
Good luck.


Hi again Melissa - check your personal messages :wink:


Thank you for your reply Keith. I had thought about printing sites, but the problem I had when looking at them was that they didn’t seem very good for when I want multiple smallish images printed on one paper, and I don’t want glossy photo paper but matte vintage style as I want to print Victorian- 1950s images.

All I could see from these sites is options for multiples of glossy photos and leaflets with little option to print images at particular sizes.

I really wish the print shop up the road to me had not closed down as he had awesome printers with a range of matte card like papers and a computer that could size my images to what I wanted.

I’ve got a scanner already but it’s an old one. Works fine though.

Ah, yes - your requirements are rather special.

Multiple images on one page; did your photo-shop do that for you from separate images that you supplied, or did you have some software on your PC to create a compound image file?
As for specifying the size: you can reduce them yourself to a specific pixel x pixel size or a simple percentage using imagemagick. I use it all the time to reduce most of my photos to save memory space. Worth looking at.
In the meantime I’ll have a think about other on-line services.


The local print shop did that for me yes. Sadly he shut down 2 years ago. But I found that Rymans does printing and been there since, for single images on one page. Thanks for the link to imagemagick. I’ll look at that sometime.

Hello Melissa.

What size paper do you want your images printed on? Do you need as big as A3? And what finish do you prefer?

I assume you are using LinuxMint.

If you are able to print the images yourselves, then you could try PhotoPrint:

I have used that occasionally if I wanted multiple images on one page.
You can also export the image to TIFF or JPEG and send that to your printing company.

Thanks. I’m on Peppermint 9.