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Re: Lexmark E312

I thought it may be useful to have the below information archived for
anyone thinking about the Lexmark E312 in the future.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 22:48:43 -0500
From: S.Salman Ahmed <ssahmed@pathcom.com>
To: Alec Smith <alec@shadowstar.net>
Subject: Re: Lexmark E312

>>>>> "Alec" == Alec Smith <alec@shadowstar.net> writes:
    Alec>  I did a quick search of the Debian mailing list and saw that
    Alec> you've got a Lexmark E312 running under Linux. I'm looking
    Alec> towards buying one and would appreciate any comments you may
    Alec> have about how to get it working and how it performs. Also,
    Alec> which version do you have? The E312L or the straight E312? The
    Alec> L model is about $75 cheaper but doesn't do PostScript which
    Alec> is OK by me if it will run on a Potato system.


I saw your message on debian-user and was about to reply when I saw your
direct email. I bought the Lexmark Optra E312 - NOT the Optra E312L. The
E312 does native postscript. It comes w/ 4Mb RAM and speaks true
Postscript and PCL6.

I bought this printer based on the recommendations of
http://www.linuxprinting.org. You can get more info on this model from:


I was able to get this printer kinda working with CUPS. The only problem
I have with CUPS is that when I spool text files from the command line,
they don't get printed out. Spooling postscript files from the command
line or printing via applications that generate postscript output
directly works perfectly however.

Currently I have this printer configured using lprng together with
magicfilter (using the psonly600 filter). With lprng+magicfilter, I can
print any file from either the command line or from any application and
they print perfectly. But to be perfectly honest, I don't use this
printer all that much.

I just noticed that the Debian unstable CUPS packages have not been
updated since they are still at version 1.1.4-3 even though the upstream
CUPS packages are version 1.1.6 (which have probably fixed the bug that
I described above about not being able to print text files from the
command line).

I had sent emails to the Debian CUPS maintainer asking to update the
packages to the newer upstream version, but haven't heard from him!!

BTW, the printer works like a charm in Windows - I have used mine under
Windows NT Workstation 4.0 and Windows 2000.

Bottom line is:

(1) the printer quality is excellent, and you can configure many
different printing options and settings if you experiment with
magicfilter, lprng, apsfilter and the plethora of printing filters and
software that are available on Debian.

(2) this postscript printer is a lot cheaper than a similar offering
from HP (the HP 1100 I think, which when I checked about 3 months ago
was approx. CDN$400 more than the Optra E312), and is excellent for home
use both cost wise and quality wise.

(3) having a postscript printer makes life a lot easier in UNIX-land
(Linux, *BSD, Solaris, etc.) and Windows land as well.

My recommendation is that if you can afford to spend the extra $75, go
for it. It's worth it. Also, Lexmark has been very good about releasing
drivers, albeit closed-source binary only drivers, for Linux.

BTW, under Debian using lprng and magicfilter you can configure this
printer (assuming you have the necessary options configured in your
kernel) in less than a minute!

Both the Lexmark E312L and E312 are fairly recent offerings and you
should have no problem running either one on debian potato or woody or
sid with kernel 2.2 or 2.4. FWIW, I am running sid with kernel 2.4.2.



Salman Ahmed
ssahmed AT pathcom DOT com

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