Don’t know why I bother with the Arch “DOS” Linux and its wannabes ‘Archies’ groupies … they are such a pain to work with. One ‘Archie’ user has posted about bouncing around from at least 3 different ‘Archies’ already this year, I believe they are/were Namib ‘n Archman ‘n EndeavourOS, trying to find one that works right. Good luck with finding a printer that works with any of the ‘Archies’! Anyway, Manjaro Linux seems to be a popular ‘Archie’ and/or Linux Distro, so I use it often in my testing.

In my recent Ubuntu ‘Focal Fossa’ 20.04 LTS post, and its Part 2, I was reminded of how difficult it can be to get a printer to work with Linux; thusly, humble me has been doing some more research and testing on the “Printers & Linux” topic…so to speak. When looking for a printer, one of the first things I want to know is how much it costs, then the cost of printing a page in monochrome (black) and then the cost of printing a page in color. $30 dollar printers don’t often reveal the costs per page, and I try to avoid those because they generally run out of ink quickly in both their black and color cartridges – cartridges that each generally cost more than the printer did. If I can’t find the costs per page, then will look for how many pages a replacement cartridge can print to…again, the $30 printers don’t usually list that info. My Pantum P2500W came with a 700 page cartridge, and the replacement cartridge has a 1,600 page capacity. I bought two printers years ago at about $25 each…hadn’t needed a color printer for years, so the monochrome was fine, and since I don’t print out that much it took years to use up that 700 page cartridge. Just recently ran out of ink, so set up the second printer to use now, and by the time it runs out of ink a replacement cartridge will probably be too expensive or “out of stock.”

The second thing I generally look for in a printer is what OSes it will work with. Just because a printer lists “Linux” in the OS Spec section doesn’t mean that it will work with all 2000++ Linux Distros. Now, you can go ahead and buy that printer for your ‘Archie’ and then try to return it later after discovering that the printer’s specs didn’t include your ‘ArchieToy OS. Most of the time, when the printer’s specs list “Linux” as one of the OSes it will work with, they really meant Ubuntu Linux or Android. Still, I will probably avoid that printer, and search even further for a listed Linux Distro that I use – not just “Linux.”

OK…finding an economical printer that can print a monochrome page for about 1-cent or a color page for about 5-cents using Linux might not be easy, so maybe try finding one that can print 700-1000 or more pages with a cartridge. If the ‘Page yields’ are saying “up to 190 in black” and “up to 165 in color” I’m not going to buy that printer. OK, enough of that…humble me is getting tired just looking for a printer that works with Linux, so will start my tests with the Pantum that I already have! 😉

Mint 19.03 Cinnamon: based on Ubuntu, and it recognized all hardware, including the P2500W printer. It needed a driver tho, so I used the GZ file, and Mint accepted it with no problems…easily printing out the Test Page. Here are two pics:

Here is the Mint info pic:

Kubuntu 20.04: one of Ubuntu’s Flavors, and I was so impressed with the Live USB testing and the look and the smoothness of the result & whole experience that I will be doing more tests after installing it to a SSD later. Impressive!!! It immediately recognized the Pantum P2500W printer, but wanted a driver.

Driver provided the correct database:

Beautiful results – and promptly printing the Print Test Page successfully:

Only thing I didn’t like about the Kubuntu experience was the wallpaper, so I switched to another one…here is the info pic:

UbuntuCinnamon 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa” just came out (WOW!!! That was quick, huh.), and seemed a lot better than the 19.10 version I tested back in December. It also immediately spotted the Pantum printer, so I added the driver and it was ready to print the Test page:

No problem adding the Pantum P2500W printer:

Here’s the info pic:

Manjaro 20.0 just came out, and requires a password for every change and/or whatever…on a Live USB!?! Anyone know what the password is for a Manjaro ISO Live CD/DVD/USB? Here:

Hate testing these ridiculous ‘Archies!!! OK, with password now-in-hand, we can proceed. Manjaro didn’t even know there was a printer connected to it, but before you could add one the settings page needed to be Unlocked first…on a Live USB!?!

OK, it’s Unlocked and ready to add a printer (rather surprising that Manjaro can spell “printer”) :

Unlocked but still failed to add new printer:

OK … will try to add the Pantum driver:

OK, driver added successfully, let’s see if we can now add a printer:

Well, it now sees 3 printers…1 is the new P2500W driver…OOOPS!? Locked again, and needs the password to Unlock it again…again on a Live USB!?!

“Failed to add new printer” … of course it failed, it’s a ‘Archie’! It also failed twice more with the CUPS printers.

Well, 3 out of 4 Distros passed, and I really liked Kubuntu “Focal Fossa” 20.04 LTS!!!

Rule of Thumb – if you can’t install Ubuntu on it, then you can’t install any Linux Distro on it.