SUMMARY: Connecting an HP LaserJet 4M+

From: Michael R. Zika (
Date: Fri Nov 04 1994 - 05:03:46 CST

  Sorry for the late summary, I wanted to verify that the configuration
we finally went with worked before posting the summary. The original

--------------------->8 Original Question 8<--------------------------
> We're just about to approve the purchase of an HP LaserJet 4M+
> for our local network, but I wanted a reality check from the
> experts before doing so... This will be the first printer we've
> connected to our UNIX boxes, so forgive my ignorance...
> We're running several SunOS 4.1.x boxes, a Solaris 2.x box,
> an HP-UX 9.02, and and SGI (yet to arrive -- assume the most recent
> release). We would like to be able to print across the ethernet from
> all of the UNIX boxes. In addition, we want to be able to print from
> Mac's on both LocalTalk and EtherTalk, and from a PC to be connected
> to the serial/parallel port in the future. In short, the automatic
> emulation switching of the HP is a must for us...
> The questions:
> o Printing from the Mac's (LocalTalk or EtherTalk) is basically
> plug and play, right? Is any additional software needed for
> this connection?
> o I spoke with the local certified HP dealer (who didn't know much
> about connecting to UNIX) and he claimed we needed to purchase the
> JetDirect software so that we could print from the Sun boxes and
> the HP box. Is this the case?
> o Looking through the literature, I didn't see where the JetDirect
> software was available for IRIX. Are we are on our own here,
> or did I just miss something?
> o I'm aware of the public domain pacakage, CAP, which seems to
> replace the functionality of the JetDirect software by translating
> the lp/lpr speak into EtherTalk. Can we run CAP _instead_of_ the
> JetDirect software, or are both required? Does CAP support the
> 4M+ ? Can CAP be compiled on all of the above operating systems?
--------------------->8 Original Question 8<--------------------------


Mac connectivity (LocalTalk/EtherTalk)
  o Plug and play -- the printer came with drivers for the MacIntosh
    that installed straight without a hitch.

HP LaserJet 4M+
  o For reasonable speed on PostScript prnter (the majority of our
    jobs), at least 10Mb is recommended. We're running 10Mb right
    now and have been pleased with the speed.

  o The printer can also be configured to use an lpd daemon local to
    the printer. This option was not as seemless to the users (e.g.
    required different priner names for postscript and ASCII printing),
    so we installed the JetDirect software (see below).

  o Our configuration (10Mb memory, TP ethernet), the printer moves
    much faster than the rated 12 ppm for most jobs -- we're very
    pleased with the performance and output quality.

HP JetDirect Software
  o Our HP dealer tried to sell us the JetDirect software on CD/ROM --
    this isn't necessary. The README's were adequate for installation,
    so there's no reason to pay for the CD. The JetDirect software is
    available at:

    which has links to the HP anonymous ftp site/directory:

  o This software made configuring the printer for our Sun host a
    breeze. It creates the appropriate /etc/printcap entry as well
    as allowing you to configure the printer to boot via bootpd --
    alleviating much trial and error for the sysadmin.

  o The software also comes with filters that will automatically
    detect PostScript, PCL, or ASCII text and print each correctly.
      - It only detects Adobe PostScript (%!PS-Adobe-?.0 on the first
        line). This required some hacking to get a couple of public
        domain packages working correctly (notably xmgr and a2ps).
      - We've been able to transfer files from a PC in PCL and print
        them via lpr without problem -- the filter recognized this
        format on the UNIX side (I was impressed).

  o The JetDirect software is available for HP-UX, Solaris 2.x and
    SunOS 4.x. We installed the software on one of our SunOS 4.1.3
    machines and configured all our other Sun's to spool to that
    remote machine -- works fine.

  o The JetDirect software does _not_ allow for page accounting -- if
    you need this functionality, you'll have to look elsewhere (maybe

SGI connectivity
  o We should be able to spool to the remote Sun as we did with the
    other Sun's on our network. We have not tried this yet (the SGI
    has yet to arrive), hopefully the connection will also be seamless.


  o This could be used as a substitute for the JetDirect software -- we
    didn't look into it since we were pleased with JetDirect.

other ----- o There were some recommendations for other printers -- most of them were well out of our budget, but thanx for the recommendations.

o Some people recommended purchasing a dedicated stand-alone print server to do the emulation switching and handle connectivity. Since we were able to get this functionality without the added hardware expense, we didn't look into this solution.

o There were recommendation for PC-NFS or SAMBA to allow printing for PC clients to printers connected to the Sun. We're looking into these...

o See also: "SUMMARY: HP 4si Printer" by Paul Elliott post on 10/03.

--Michael Zika Nuclear Engineering Texas A&M University (

Many thanx to:

Mark O Reilly Timo Lehto Tom Crummey David Beard Chris Ritson Richard N. Cleary Dan Walsh Roland Conybeare Mark Anderson Eric Wampner Clay Luther Andy Feldt Mark Wallen David Rossman Bob Haxo Harish Malneedi Michael Myers Robert D. Worsham Susan Feng David Burwell Dave Fetrow Steve Lee Lyndon C. Lim Bryan Hall Rocky Gould Glenn Satchell Mike O'Connor Rodney Campbell Olav Lerbrekk Steve Philson Ken Burns Carlo Di Mascio Patrick M. Landry Steve Harris Paul Elliott p.elliott@trl.OZ.AU

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