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Is there an equivalent of the D-Link PS-Link utility for Linux that could mirror a USB port of a GDI/MFP printer over the network for a Linux host?

And can the solution be used with D-Link DPR-1020?

The setup is the following:

+------------+       +-----------------+         +---------+
| HP LJ P1005|--USB--| D-Link DPR-1020 |---LAN---| PC Linux|
+------------+       +-----------------+      +  +---------+
                                              |  +------------+
                                              +--| PC Windows |
                                                 +------------+

HP LJ P1005 is one of those GDI printers that requires the printer driver to do most of the work for it and therefore is a bit "special".

D-Link DPR-1020 is a print server with an Ethernet and an USB port that actually supports printing to challenged (read GDI) printers using a utility called PS-Link. What the utility does is basically mirror a USB port over the network to the print server so that the printer driver and the printer both are happy to talk to each other.

The PC-s are notebooks that come and go, i.e. are not there all the time.

If a solution does not exist then I basically wasted the money buying the print server because the goal was to share a small printer among a couple of users with diverse operating systems in an office. The print server specs say that it supports Linux and LJ P1005, but the Catch 22 appears to be the solution used for GDI printers...

It should be noted that it is possible to print from Linux to LJ P1005 directly over USB. This far sharing involved reconnecting the USB cable to appropriate computer to print. Now one of the desks is separated, so the cable does not work.

Searching the net did not yield anything useful. Please do not suggest solutions involving separate Windows or Linux machines (either virtual or not), my question is whether the printer can be used over the network only involving a Linux machine?

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2  
I've been bitten this way 10 years ago. It's this sort of problem that persuaded me not to buy GDI printers. In my workplace, amongst other printers, I have a 10 year-old bottom of the range HP LaserJet 1200 that is still going strong and is in regular use. It supports PCL5 and Postscript and I have it connected to a JetDirect box (I used to share it to WIn PCs from a Linux server). It has never needed maintenance or repair. The difference in price from a GDI printer must be a small fraction of what I've spent in toner cartridges in that 10 years. I'd sell the P1005 & DPR-1020 –  RedGrittyBrick Sep 19 '12 at 16:28

1 Answer 1

The answer is, as RedGrittyBrick suggested, that you cannot connect to a GDI printer through a DPR-1020 print server from both Linux and Windows with currently available tools. D-Link DPR-1020 has a tool for Windows called PsLink.exe that connects the USB port of the printer over the Ethernet to the computer, but I found no easy and reliable way to do the same in Linux. So, the answer is obvious, if you need (multiple OS) support over the network even to share a small printer on a desk, go with non-GDI printers! Currently the DPR-1020 is connected to a PCL5 printer and works fine from several OSs (i.e. DPR-1020 is a fine print server). And the LJ P1005 works fine in a single computer configuration both from Windows and Linux.

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