HP LaserJet 2100tn setup with Linux

This page outlines the configuration steps to set up a HP LaserJet 2100tn with Linux. Ideally, this printer is perfectly suited for Linux. It has a network interface and a PostScript language emulation. Unfortunately, this printer is discontinued and on the HP page it gets more and more difficult to get information.

Connect to the printer

The first step is to connect to the printer and to configure it. First, find out the IP address of the printer. You can run the self test to figure out the basic configuration. Press the Job Cancel button and the Go button at the same time. This will print two pages with the network configuration on the second page.

Most likely the printer is configured for DHCP. The easiest way is to temporarily install a DHCP daemon (I used udhcpd). Once the printer has an IP address assigned, you can either connect with a browser over HTTP or through telnet. I have tried the browser variant first, and have dismissed it after a brief frustrating test. The web pages require Java to be installed and are, well, sub-optimal. I couldn't permanently set a single option using that interface.

Fortunately the telnet option is simple and straightforward. Just go to a console and telnet to the assigned IP address, for example:

thomas@grummel:~$ telnet
Connected to
Escape character is '^]'.

HP JetDirect

Please type "?" for HELP, or "/" for current settings

When you get that prompt, you're in. Use the command '?' and '/' to get help and to show the current settings. The command 'exit' leaves without saving the changes and 'quit' saves the changes and quits.

Setting a static IP address

If you want to set up a static IP Address, you need to change two parameters:

Probably you can change both parameters in the same session; I first disabled DHCP and then found myself locked out, not knowing the default IP address. If this happens to you, save paper (remember the self test?) and try the standard address first. My current configuration looks like this; you might have different preferences.

Please type "?" for HELP, or "/" for current settings
> /

   ===JetDirect Telnet Configuration===
        Firmware Rev.   : G.08.04
        MAC Address     : 00:30:c1:ae:10:85
        Config By       : USER SPECIFIED

        IP Address      :
        Subnet Mask     :
        Default Gateway :
        Syslog Server   : Not Specified
        Idle Timeout    : 90 Seconds
        Set Cmnty Name  : Not Specified
        Host Name       : LASERJET2100TN

        DHCP Config     : Disabled
        Passwd          : Disabled
        IPX/SPX         : Disabled
        DLC/LLC         : Disabled
        Ethertalk       : Disabled
        Banner page     : Disabled

Configuring CUPS

There is not much to say about CUPS. Install the cups packet and configure the printer pointing your web browser to http://localhost:631. You have the choice between the following drivers:

I haven't tried the hplip drivers. From the remaining options the one that works best for me was (surprisingly) the Generic PostScript driver. Just make sure you set a reasonable DPI setting in the "Set Printer Options" menu in CUPS.