My office has an HP 4250 on the network, with 80 MB of memory. I'm running Mint 17, and I'm having a very hard time printing PDF files.

To save paper, I usually like to print duplex, with the pages shrunk so that 4 pages of the PDF are on each sheet of paper (2 per side). But about half the time the printer refuses the job, saying that it doesn't have enough memory. This is true even if I only print 4 pages at once--meaning that each page of the PDF ends up being over 20 MB? Is this correct? Is there a way that I can measure how much RAM is needed per page? Is it even worth it to update hlips to the most recent version?

The document I just tried this with is a 4-page text document with one small image, and the file is only about 1 MB. It's hard to believe that this blows up to over 80 MB somewhere between my computer and the printer.

What can I do to make the document/pages use less memory, so that the printer can print them?

  • I imagine you can convert the page into a format that the printer can print directly - bitmap? That might give you a better idea of what is going on. Sorry, I don't know how to do that off hand. – Faheem Mitha Apr 18 '15 at 3:30
  • This appears to be a question about getting printing working on Linux Mint 17, which definitely sounds on-topic to me... HPLIP is even an open-source printer driver. – derobert Apr 18 '15 at 4:36
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    I'm ultimately asking if the Linux HP drivers are more memory intensive than those written for other systems. Is there some way around this? Are there proprietary drivers that are better than hplip? I think it's very Unix/Linux-centric. – Adam Smith Apr 18 '15 at 5:22
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    There are tools to put multi pages per page e.g. pdfnup from pdfjam. You can make a filter to do this, and reduce the quality (so that it fits), before sending to printer. One it is working you can automate it. Most of printing is done with filters, little is done in the drivers. – ctrl-alt-delor Apr 18 '15 at 12:11
  • @FaheemMitha Converting to a bitmap is likely to use more memory than letting the printer do the composition. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Apr 18 '15 at 21:09

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