Printing in Linux with the HP LaserJet 1020 has been a battle since forever. It used to be easier.
Back in Fedora 19, it really did
just work. Same with older versions of Debian. (Can you tell I've had this printer a long, long time? It was cheap. It is small. It still works.)
But since Fedora 20 (and into Fedora 21, and other Linux distributions, as a trip around the web will confirm), it's been hell to get this printer to work.
That's because HP cheaped out with the LaserJet 1020 and didn't put the necessary firmware on board. You have to load that firmware with every print.
Linux should be able to handle this. Hell, HP's own
HPLIP utility should be able to handle it.
No and no.
The printer shows up as a USB device, but neither CUPS nor HPLIP acknowledges its existence.
Every few months or so, I try again. I re-Google and look for clues. I go back and try things again.
Today I came upon Mark911's How to install printer drivers for HP Laserjet 1020 in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64-bit without needing access to openprinting.org website and without using buggy hplip drivers. (That title is even longer than my titles ...)
It basically says, "Get rid of
HPLIP, don't use the
foo2zjs driver with your distro, and instead go to the source, compile it yourself, add the firmware and go to town.
So I did just that. I went to http://foo2zjs.rkkda.com/. First I used my favorite Fedora package manager,
Yumex, to get rid of
foo2zjs (the latter from RPM Fusion, if I'm correct).
During the process, I also had to get rid of
system-config-printer-udev to get hot-plugging set up.
I downloaded the foo2zjs source from http://foo2zjs.rkkda.com/, followed the instructions for compiling it, getting the HP LaserJet 1020 firmware, configuring hotplugging and restarting the CUPS spooler.
Then I started Fedora's
system-config-printer GUI (which you can start from the menu as
Administration - Print Settings or at the console with
system-config-printer, sent out a test page, which worked (!!!), and the proceeded to print a document out of
gedit, which also worked.
The question now is, will this loveliness survive a reboot?
Later: This configuration does survive a reboot. And a suspend/resume.
SELinux trouble?: If SELinux throws an error when you plug in your USB printer, follow the utility's instructions for allowing an exception for your printer.
If you're wondering why real-life developers (and I suppose primarily web developers) who happen to hang out on Reddit often choose OS X over Linux for their laptop/desktop operating system, read this lengthy Reddit thread, which Jim Lynch brought to my attention.
Especially due to the large number of comments, it provides a very interesting snapshot of why a given developer chooses one platform or another.
Since you can now embed Reddit comments in your HTML, I'll provide a few samples:
There are 500+ more comments over at Reddit, and the thread is well worth reading.
That said, my laptop price point is ~ $500, and that's well below anything Apple offers.
As a longtime user of Fedora's Xfce spin, naturally I'm interested.
The reasons why Xfce 4.11 is not in Fedora Rawhide (because there is no 4.12 release imminent, and 4.11 in "stable" Fedora would be bad, but there is a COPR repo for those who want it)
Rumors that Xfce, the project, is dead (It's not -- fixes and small changes continue to be committed; there's just no timetable for a 4.12 release)
The Xfce spin leaving its 700MB CD size behind and now aiming at 1 GB USB flash drive size in Fedora 22
Xfce continuing to be available for RHEL/CentOS users in EPEL
Ways of making Xfce work better on HIDPI displays (but don't expect miracles until Xfce adopts gtk3)
Read the original post. It's well worth it.
I've been running the Fedora Xfce Spin since F18, and I think it's one of the best-kept secrets in the Xfce-running distro world. It comes well-configured out of the box, looks great, is as cutting-edge as you'd want and really does just work most of the time.
Yep, one of the new features of the GNOME 3.14-running Fedora 21 is a preview of the next-generation, post-X Window Wayland display manager, and you can choose "GNOME with Wayland" in the login/session manager.
I'm running Wayland right now. I've heard the caveat many times: Not all applications will work in Wayland. But so far, every application I've tried (Firefox, Gedit, Transmission, FileZilla, VLC, Files/Nautilus, Liferea, Yumex, Google Chrome, Geany, even apps in Wine) has run in Wayland with no trouble.
I've been running Fedora 21 for a few days now, spending most of my time in the non-Wayland world of Xfce and GNOME with X, and the system is as solid as ever. And by that I mean pretty damn solid.
The only glitch I've had with Wayland has been in suspend/resume, which is pretty touchy anyway with my hardware. (I've probably written 50 posts about it since I got this laptop.) When running Wayland, the laptop will suspend and then resume, but I'm seemingly "detached" from my session and have to log in again. At this point I'm logged in twice. This doesn't happen in X. If this is the only thing I can find wrong with Wayland, I'll still consider it pretty remarkable.
Just from a "look and feel" perspective, GNOME 3.14 is working better and faster than version 3.10 did in Fedora 20. I'm not saying I'm going to throw Xfce over for it, but the environment is more usable than ever. I moved to the Adiwata Dark theme while still in F20, and everything looks that much better in F21.
As I've said since I began running Fedora 18 on this laptop and upgrading via Fedup to each subsequent release, a system as forward-looking as Fedora shouldn't be anywhere near as stable as it is. It's a tribute to the developers for Fedora and the many upstream projects that go into the distribution.
Today marks only nine days since Fedora 21 went stable, and my system is running like a well-maintained watch.
So if you think of yourself as the adventurous type, someone who likes everything to be pretty new all the time but doesn't really want to deal with a lot of breakage and is curious about Wayland in the real world, give Fedora 21 a try.
Later: You know what got fixed in Fedora 21 that was broken in F20? Mounting of Apple iOS 8 devices.
So I haven't upgraded my daily-drive Fedora 20 system to Fedora 21, which was released two short days ago.
From what I can see, the RPM Fusion repositories are ready for F21. Google Chrome might break, but a quick removal and reinstall should fix that.
In F21, there will be many changes in the GNOME desktop environment and applications.
But for my go-to desktop environment, Xfce, it's going to be pretty much the same. (Yes, Xfce is moving glacially slow, and I've heard talk of people turning to the GNOME 2-inspired Mate desktop because it's under heavy development.)
My web browsers (Firefox and Chrome) won't fall behind. I get the latest versions from Fedora and Google, respectively.
I'm dabbling in Ruby, and F20 has version 2.0. F21 has 2.1, but at the level I'm at, it doesn't matter.
And now that all the heat is on F21, it's been relatively quiet, update-wise for F20. It's a bit closer to running Debian Stable. After awhile you get a few security patches here and there, but updates are quiet and quick.
Even an old (but still supported) Fedora release gets more updates than a current Debian Stable, but for the moment, I'm enjoying the ritual of staring Yumex and seeing either only a few or, better yet, no updates waiting to be installed.
Sure I'll move to F21. It could be tomorrow (probably not) or next month (you're getting warm). But what's the hurry?