I have lived without a printer or scanner for many years, but the number
of things I need to print and scan has grown to the point where going to
the market each time is painful. I am a firm believer in buying printers
with PostScript and network support, but our needs are modest and do not
justify spending enough to get a "real" printer. So I resigned myself to
paying extra in terms of dealing with CUPS.
I found two or three MFPs that suited my budget on
but was unable to find anything about Linux support for those models.
Eventually, I chose the smallest one, the
SCX-3201G, based on some positive reports about the SCX-3200 series.
Fortunately, it was easy to make it work. Thanks to tweedledee's
Samsung Unified Linux Driver
Repository and the odd
post, I installed the PPD file and the SPL filter under Ubuntu
11.04. Printing with CUPS and scanning with SANE both work fine now.
The printer itself works all right. You can tell it's meant for low
volumes. There's no output tray—it just spits paper out from the front,
and there's a non-zero risk that it'll get sucked back into the input
tray below. I would have been happier with a "real" printer, but this
one works well enough that I'm glad to have it anyway.
Update: I'm glad I don't need to print photographs. Libreoffice
and the GIMP print fine, but output is very dark and the quality is a
bit disappointing even at 1200dpi. The fault may lie with the printer,
the driver, or GIMP—or a combination thereof. The GNOME image viewer
causes the printer to spit out several mostly-empty pages with a few
control characters. I assume some CUPS incantation is needed, but I'm
happy to ignore the problem entirely. Text and line-art print fine.
Update: Sometimes, printing a PDF will also print many pages of
garbage. Most of the time, printing it a second time will work fine, but
some files always result in garbage. Unfortunately, I have not found any
way to predict when it might happen. I blame the interaction between
CUPS and Samsung's SPL filter. I have set "LogLevel debug" in
cupsd.conf, and will keep an eye on the logs.
Update 2020: I don't know exactly what changed or when, but CUPS
and/or distribution changes over the past few years have meant that the
printing problems are a thing of the past. Even with our limited use, I
did not expect this printer to survive eight years and several toner
cartridge changes (including third-party ones).