[sf-lug] network laser printer

Alex Kleider a_kleider at yahoo.com
Fri May 21 15:51:25 PDT 2010

a_kleider at yahoo.com

--- On Fri, 5/21/10, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> From: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
> Subject: Re: [sf-lug] network laser printer
> To: sf-lug at linuxmafia.com
> Date: Friday, May 21, 2010, 12:38 PM
> Quoting Alex Kleider (a_kleider at yahoo.com):
> > Following the protocol recommended (and actually
> carried out) by Rick,
> > I decided upon an HP Laserjet 4100N offered on Craigs
> List for $50.
> > 
> > It was sold to me by a nice Russian guy called Paul,
> who swaps out
> > hardware for large companies and he has a ware house
> full of printers
> > (lots more of these as well.) His contact info is
> 650-996-5829,
> > vitalxs at gmail.com.
> His place is in Mountain View just off 101 at the
> > hwy85/Shoreline exit.
> > 
> > The printer is now up and running 'serving' my
> network. 
> > 
> > {One small thing that I learned: for the network
> (tcp/ip)
> > configuration options to appear on the EIO
> configuration menu, the
> > printer has to be already connected to the network
> during power up.
> > The options didn't show up after my first power up
> because I hadn't
> > plugged in my ethernet cable until afterwards. A power
> cycle solved
> > the problem.
> > 
> > I have been assuming that a print server must have a
> fixed IP but now
> > I'm not so sure. This one has a DHCP client (which I
> disabled) but I'm
> > now beginning to think that CUPS can 'find' it's
> printer by means
> > other than knowing its IP address (part of the IPP
> protocol
> > probably.)}
> I'm going to give you the general, complex overview, and
> then narrow
> down to specifics, so hold on, OK?
> The General Picture:
> Whether a fixed IP address is _necessary_ for a print
> server or for any
> other sort of network functionality depends on how you
> intend to get
> to the service in question.
> First of all, IP-based networking isn't the only type
> people use in the
> first place.  As it happens, HP printers equipped with
> a JetDirect
> ethernet interface (as shown by the EIO config menu) will
> happily
> support any or all of the following network stacks -- as
> many of them as
> you choose to enable:
> IPX/SPX - used to be typical of Novell networks
> DLC/LLC aka NetBIOS over NBF - used to be typical of
> Microsoft/IBM networks
> AppleTalk/LocalTalk - used to be typical of Apple networks
> You'll see mention of all of those in the front panel's EIO
> Menu
> display.
> As you may have gathered, IP-based networking has largely
> supplanted
> everything else.  But what is layered on _top_ of IP
> and TCP differs,
> which is what I'll cover next.
> Second, consider the types of printing that work over
> (which is what you almost certainly should use), LPD
> (obsolescent
> printing protocol from the Unix world, being joyfully
> discarded in
> favour of IPP), NetBIOS over TCP/IP aka NBT aka NetBT
> (Microsoft-style
> printing over TCP/IP, part of SMB aka CIFS and thus what
> Samba uses for
> printing).  In all of those cases, however, the
> printer's being
> addressed needs to resolve down to an IP address, so the
> printer's IP
> needs to either remain fixed _or_ whatever's deciding how
> to talk to it
> needs to get advised whenever its IP changes and revise its
> addressing
> accordingly.
> So, for example, imagine that the printer's being addressed
> by hostname, 
> and the hostname is defined at a home gateway appliance
> like a Linksys
> router that is doing _both_ local DNS and DHCP services for
> the LAN.
> It might have those two services integrated so that when
> the dhcpd
> changes the printer from IP to, the local
> nameservice
> for "livingroom-printer" gets repointed to the new IP.
> In that case, it would not be _necessary_ for the printer
> to have a
> fixed IP, because the hostname used to refer to it always
> automagically
> resolves to the correct albeit dynamic IP.
> Third, a lot of casual use of TCP/IP in small networks,
> these days, is
> moving to ZeroConf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZeroConf), a TCP/IP
> management protocol that lets devices autoconfigure their
> own IP
> addresses and let devices discover nearby services without
> the need for
> either DHCP or more-formal DNS.
> You seem to be saying that CUPS 'found' the printer even
> though you
> turned off the printer's DHCP client and didn't configure a
> static IP on
> it.  That implies either that CUPS did ZeroConf
> discovery or perhaps
> that the printer just fell back on a default IP address and
> CUPS probed
> it.  Either way, you might want to be a little more in
> charge.
> For one thing, ZeroConf is handy but not all that
> reliable.

My mistake for not being more clear. I _did_ configure the printer to have a static IP address ( What surprised me is that I never had to tell CUPS what that address is. CUPS seemed to have figured it out by itself, presumably via one of the mechanisms you discuss.

And again, thank you for that discussion.

> Your Specific Situation:
> You have a newly bought (used) HP Laserjet 4100N on your
> network.
> You've recently disabled its DHCP client functionality via
> its front
> panel, and want to configure CUPS on some workstation to
> print to it.
> The simplest way to do this is to configure the 4100N to
> use a fixed
> IP address you select.  Then, configure the 4100N to
> publish either IPP 
> or LPD printing services (and, if you wish, NetBIOS over
> TCP).  Then,
> configure each computer on your LAN to print directly to
> the printer's
> IP address.
> Use an IP address not likely to be grabbed by anything
> else, e.g., not
> in your DHCP server's dynamic range.  (I'll get back
> to that point
> below.)
> The 4100N has an embedded Web server that you can contact
> across the LAN
> to configure its IP address and its printing
> services.  See page 251-254
> of the manual:
> http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/CoreRedirect.jsp?redirectReason=DocIndexPDF&prodSeriesId=83436&targetPage=http%3A%2F%2Fbizsupport2.austin.hp.com%2Fbc%2Fdocs%2Fsupport%2FSupportManual%2Fbpl10335%2Fbpl10335.pdf
> Since I _believe_ HP printers default to being DHCP
> clients, you might 
> want to configure your local DHCP server to hand out the
> desired IP 
> address to it if, say, the printer loses its configuration
> and reverts
> to factory-default settings.  I'm not sure what you're
> using for a DHCP
> server:  In the standard Linux package, ISC's DHCPD,
> you would do this:
> In /etc/dhcpd.conf
> host livingroom-printer {
> hardware ethernet 00:24:ed:73:c2:8e;
> fixed-address;
>         }
> You would have looked at your DHCP server's configuration
> and found
> that, say, it uses IP addresses through
> for its
> dynamic range.  So, cool, anything above 100 should be
> free, so pick
> 253.  And that would then be a reasonable IP to
> configure the printer
> itself to use as a static IP.
> Making the printer use a static IP (instead of DHCP), and
> having it
> publish printing services directly (instead of via a
> workstation's print
> server software) has the advantage of making its printing
> services be
> standalone, not dependent on anything else working
> properly.  Which is 
> A Good Thing.

I'm aware of the DHCP configuration that allows assignation of specific IP addresses based on MAC address and have in fact implemented that for the various laptops that visit my network (so that I can ssh and scp to/from them.) I am using dhcp3, as you suggest.
> _And_, if nothing else, you should go into your
> workstation's CUPS
> configuration and _determine_ how it's talking to the
> printer, just so
> you know.

I will study that a bit more but I'm not sure how one can tell 'how' the host is 'talking' to the printer. 
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