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I have a client who is running RHEL 6 on multiple servers. Policy forbids upgrade. Policy also forbids connecting it to the Internet. It's accessible for LAN users only.

All output is generated in text-only files that are printed to Printronix line printers. Setting those up was straightforward as being network printers, they are directly connected to the LAN and support LPD.

(From memory:)

lpadmin -E -h 192.168.1.10 -m anywhere -p Printer1
lp -d Printer1 textfile.txt

Now, he wants to print to an HP P1102 connected to his PC.

On his PC (running Windows 10), I enabled LPD support, shared the printer and added it to the server:

lpadmin -E -h 192.168.1.20\HP1102 -m anywhere -p HP1102
lp -d HP1102 textfile.txt

If I open the printer window on the PC, I see that a job comes in from the server, but then disappears from the queue, nothing is printed, the printer doesn't warm up.

Next thing I tried is supplying a PPD when creating the printer via lpadmin. However, I can't find a PPD file for it.

I downloaded hplib but attempting to install via rpm gives a number of dependency errors. This lack of connectivity is problematic.

Does anyone have a PPD for this model? Or for any compatible model? As I said, all output is text only; no graphics, no fonts, no colors.

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Line printers will normally accept text mode input as-is, as they print individual letters directly. But laser printers need to turn everything into a bitmap image for the laser to transfer it onto the paper.

Low-end laser printers (like LaserJet P1102) may not have the hardware/firmware facilities to turn text into an image of a page of text, and instead will rely on the host PC to do it instead. (This is known as "host-based printing" or "Winprinter".)

The resulting bitmap may even be in a proprietary format, which can be produced by the vendor drivers only (unless successfully reverse-engineered). Apparently Windows LPD server is not capable of that: probably the Windows printer driver for this printer expects only whatever format(s) current Windows versions use internally.

The openprinting.org printer database identifies the Linux support level for this printer as Paperweight, indicating that there was no open-source printing solution for this printer model at the time the entry was created. However, HP's specifications page for this model indicates that Linux support from HP does seem to exist.

So hplib with its dependencies might be the only way to support this printer in Linux. Just having a PPD file is not enough: the CUPS PPD file will specify the necessary tools to convert a bitmap image or a PS/PDF print job to the format required by the printer, but you'll also need the actual tools... which I guess would be provided by hplib and its dependencies.


Get yourself a DVD media for RHEL 6.x (6.10 if allowed by client's policy, or appropriate version if not), or just an ISO image of one. You will easily be able to mount it and use it as a local package repository for yum, see this public RHEL support document for instructions.

In a nutshell:

Once you've mounted the DVD or ISO image to some filesystem location, you'll need a .repo file to indicate its availability as a repository for yum. The necessary contents of such a .repo file will be:

[InstallMedia]
name=DVD for Red Hat Enterprise Linux
mediaid=<NNNNNNNNNN.NNNNNN>
metadata_expire=-1
gpgcheck=1
cost=500
enabled=1
baseurl=file://<full pathname of the mount point>
gpgkey=file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-redhat-release

Replace <NNNNNNNNNN.NNNNNN> with a media ID you can find in a .discinfo file at the root of the DVD/image, and <full pathname of the mount point> with the full pathname of the mount point of the DVD/image. Then place the resulting file as /etc/yum.repos.d/<name of your choice>.repo.

On some RHEL versions, there will be a prepared bare-bones media.repo file at the root directory of the DVD/image to simplify this process. You'll need to add the last 3 lines to it.

Finally run yum clean all, and now you can use yum as if you had a connection to a RHEL repository. You may have to use the --noplugins option with yum to avoid delays associated with attempts to contact RedHat network servers.

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  • Yes, I know about text-only printing. I started working with computers before laser printers were invented (shudder). Agreed. I suspected that was the case. Shall try installing hplib. Thanks. Nov 13 '19 at 13:54

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