Reporting printer ink levels?

John Hupp lubuntu at
Thu Jul 24 19:24:45 UTC 2014

Thanks, Andre.  So it would seem then that HP HPLIP does not support 
this function as widely as I surmised from other feedback.

Printers with embedded web servers -- that's a good additional thought.  
Both the EWS and control panel provisions require no additional software.

On 7/24/2014 12:50 PM, Andre Rodovalho wrote:
> I have no luck on ink levels with HP printers, nor Epson... I only 
> install HPLIP or Epson driver, nothing more.
> In office I have several printers. I prefer those with embedded web 
> server that shows us lots of things, including wifi and network 
> configuration and ink levels.
> I have a HP Pro 8000, HP Pro 8100, a Brother DCP-7065DN, all those are 
> much more expensive printers, but you buy them only once. I also have 
> a Epson L355, but this specific model you can see ink levels from 
> outside!!
> At home, I own a cheap Samsung ML-2165W, it has embedded web server. 
> It does the job...
> 2014-07-24 11:37 GMT-03:00 John Hupp <lubuntu at 
> <mailto:lubuntu at>>:
>     Thanks, Eric, for the well-developed documentation for this case.
>     For the Epson C120 that I was working with, I didn't need to
>     download a PPD from Epson -- nor did they have a DEB file
>     available to download for it -- but I'm glad to know that they
>     provide this support for some models.
>     Though I mentioned the Epson in my original post and I still have
>     that, I really am interested in knowing about the availability of
>     solutions across all the major manufacturers.  My currently
>     daily-use printer is an HP Laserjet P2015d, but I own several
>     brands here, and I have supported all brands.
>     So far what we've rounded up regarding ink level reporting:
>     - HP inkjets have general support via HPLIP
>     - Epson has no support, unless some models report this via
>     hardware on a control panel (as Aere reports RE an HP)
>     - A general workaround concept: Install Windows in a partition or
>     virtual machine and use the Windows printer software for an
>     occasional level checkup
>     - (No word yet on printing heavyweights Brother and Canon, or others)
>     On 7/23/2014 9:21 PM, Eric Bradshaw wrote:
>>     John Hupp,
>>     I agree with Israel that the ink level reporting from HP is, in
>>     my experience, consistently provided with their drivers. I also
>>     find HP printers to be built better than Epson's; better quality
>>     hardware that typically lasts longer. But, despite all that, I've
>>     only set up HP printers for others.
>>     For printing in my own home, I, like you, choose Epson. The two
>>     biggest drawbacks I've found are, as you said, the lack of ink
>>     level reporting and the sometimes painful-to-configure scanning
>>     and faxing (when I've actually had to fax). I've learned to live
>>     with all that because the Epson all-in-one printers I buy are
>>     typically under $100, the color is absolutely brilliant,
>>     networking (including wifi) is a breeze and they work and work
>>     and work - right up I until they don't. Typically about 2 years.
>>     Unfortunately I've never solved the ink level reporting issue.
>>     I've just made sure I have ink in reserve for when my latest
>>     Epson literally stops printing because a particular color is out.
>>     If you get the ink level reporting issue solved, please share the
>>     steps. Otherwise, I'm okay. It's a minor annoyance. I hope you'll
>>     be okay with it too if you don't get the issue solved.
>>     The drivers for Epson for Linux are available for every one I've
>>     owned so far. The following is a link to a page on our website
>>     that uses an Epson WorkForce 645 in an example for downloading
>>     PPD files (that reminds me, this page might need updating, but
>>     you'll get the idea);
>>     Eric
>>     --
>>     Thank You,
>>     God Bless You,
>>     Computers4Christians
>>     On 07/23/2014 11:35 AM, John Hupp wrote:
>>     > A while back (under 13.04) I was working with an Epson Stylus
>>     C120 and
>>     > got it installed for printing purposes after getting past
>>     >
>>     > I used CUPS and a Gutenprint driver.
>>     >
>>     > But unlike most Windows inkjet printer installations, I found no
>>     > provision for reporting ink levels.  I found Mtink, but it did
>>     not work.
>>     >
>>     > In the meantime I stumbled onto the
>>     > project, which is a library for reporting ink levels.  And at
>>     > there is
>>     reference to
>>     > packages that use this library.
>>     >
>>     > But on the library's home page there is no news since 2009, and
>>     the
>>     > mailing list archives seem to no longer exist.
>>     >
>>     > Epson offers this link:
>>     > But I
>>     > don't find anything there for Debian or Ubuntu.
>>     >
>>     > Perhaps another manufacturer has their own package that includes
>>     > provision for this function.
>>     >
>>     > Is anyone successfully reporting ink levels (one way or
>>     another) for
>>     > any major brand of printer?
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