I have a need for a decent printer. I also have a need to do some scanning in the near future. Tonight I came across the Samsung SCX-4200 multifunction laser printer. It does printing, scanning, and copying, for a low price of $229 (plus taxes of course). So the next question is "Does it work on Linux?". Yep, says so right on the side of the box under compatibility - it says "Various Linux". Seems a little dubious, but it supports Linux so it says...
Not to be one to trust manufacturers too far in their claims, I tried to see what has been reported for this printer. So off to http://www.openprinting.org I go. Hmm, odd, the database page seems to be borked. A quick Google search for "samsung scx4200 openprinting.org" got me to the report page for the printer. Hmm... looks promising - it has a "Mostly Supported" rating. What the hey, I'll give it a shot - after carefully enquiring about the return policy....
If you want a laser printer, you can use this model just fine. But if you only want a laser printer - save your money and get something cheaper.
Need a scanner? Save your money and get a different model.
I have just spent the past 3 or 4 hours trying to make this thing work properly. There are promising leads out there, but I have not been successful yet. I AM able to get printing working. Just visit the Samsung Driver Page for this model, and follow the instructions right there. Worked the first time for me. BUT, afterwards, neither "sane" or "xsane" will run at all. So this means the scanner is non-functional. I DID do a photocopy - a nice big START button on the front of the unit allows that - so I know the scanner actually works. But the drivers to make it work with Linux are not very stable it seems. My Google searches seems to confirm this.
Apparently the drivers insist on searching the parallel port for a scanner, even though it is a USB device. One fellow has written a couple of patches to the drivers to address this, but these patches are very version specific, and at least one version out of date. So, if I were to decide to continue with this unit (not likely), I would be dependent on a single person to create a PATCH anytime Samsung decided to update their drivers - rather than just using the Samsung drivers.
If I have to jump through all these hoops just to get the damn thing working, I'll have to do them again whenever I reinstall my system, or try to connect another Linux Box to it (like my laptop, or the 3 other Linux PCs in the house). And then I get to look forward to doing it again when the drivers get updated. Nope, I don't think I want to do that. I'll be returning this unit.
(for those who maybe wondering how it works under Windows, sorry, I have no clue. There are no Windows boxes here.)
Here's hoping Samsung embraces Linux in a more thorough manner. But that's strike two for Samsung for me. The last Samsung printer I bought worked fine - until it ran out of toner, and then the usual places I look for toner didn't carry the cartridge for that model. (Samsung 1520 (?) - closest match was a 1710, but I had to cut a small notch to get the cartridge to fit right.) That printer got retired rather quickly. Don't know if I'll buy another Samsung printer now - it'll have to have some glowing reports from the Linux users...
(in case you didn't get the hint from the title, I tried to get the scx4200 working on a Kubuntu Fiesty desktop, just in case anyone is doing research on the model...)