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Old 09-03-2011, 02:32 PM
 
Default Is it possible to use broken display laptop for print server?

I am only minimally familiar with Linux, or networking.

I have four laptops (various ages and OS's) and one old desktop in my
house. My only printer is attached to a seldom-used Windows desktop (big
and slow and noisy) on the third floor. When anyone wants to print, which
is rare (once every two weeks?) we have to go upstairs, boot the desktop,
go back to the laptop and send to the shared printer, go back upstairs to
power down the desktop, then return to wherever we first were.

For some time now I have been wondering how I might cheaply put a
low-energy-use low-noise print server in the basement that runs 24/7 and
takes up little space. Going to the basement to retrieve the occasional
print would be less problem, especially if the print server was already
ready.

Then recently the display on one of my old Dell C610 laptops died. One
minute or so after booting the display would just completely white-out. I
decided to use the hard drive and memory for some other project and was
going to throw out the old Dell. But then I vaguely remembered past
readings on the Internet from people who say they run servers without
monitors or even keyboards...

Hmm. Is it possible to boot a minimal Linux OS from a cdrom on this broken
display Dell (with 256M ram) that would enable me to use it as a print
server? I would use a wired Ethernet connection to the hub in the
basement.

Hmm. I'm thinking- would I first need to boot with an attached external
monitor to configure the Bios to use the external monitor? (chicken or
egg?)

Since the display doesn't work, can I completely detach it? Or will the
Bios/OS complain?

Can I somehow boot from a rescue cdrom or Live-CD of some kind that would
allow me to connect and configure its OS via the network? Or, how can I
build my own bootable cdrom that would allow this? (The Bios will not
allow booting from USB.) I'd have to install the printer driver, which is
not native to Linux builds (Brother HL2040).

Which native Linux software would I need to run to accomplish this sort of
thing- Samba? What else?

Seems like this would be a fun project and I would learn a lot, if I can
find a tutorial, website, or detailed hints...

Thanks,
Keith Ostertag




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Old 09-03-2011, 04:58 PM
shawn wilson
 
Default Is it possible to use broken display laptop for print server?

If you're looking for something to do, go for it. If you want a print server that just works, go on eBay and get an old jetdirect server (or go off brand - belkin comes to mind) for <$20.


For your project, you'll need to figure out how to or get a installer that sends everything out the serial port (assuming you can't plug an external monitor up). Then, there's a printer and samba howto at tldp. I don't know your network setup but assuming a sane setup, you should be able to see everything and print just fine.


On Sep 3, 2011 10:48 AM, <keitho@strucktower.com> wrote:> I am only minimally familiar with Linux, or networking.
>

> I have four laptops (various ages and OS's) and one old desktop in my
> house. My only printer is attached to a seldom-used Windows desktop (big
> and slow and noisy) on the third floor. When anyone wants to print, which

> is rare (once every two weeks?) we have to go upstairs, boot the desktop,
> go back to the laptop and send to the shared printer, go back upstairs to
> power down the desktop, then return to wherever we first were.

>
> For some time now I have been wondering how I might cheaply put a
> low-energy-use low-noise print server in the basement that runs 24/7 and
> takes up little space. Going to the basement to retrieve the occasional

> print would be less problem, especially if the print server was already
> ready.
>
> Then recently the display on one of my old Dell C610 laptops died. One
> minute or so after booting the display would just completely white-out. I

> decided to use the hard drive and memory for some other project and was
> going to throw out the old Dell. But then I vaguely remembered past
> readings on the Internet from people who say they run servers without

> monitors or even keyboards...
>
> Hmm. Is it possible to boot a minimal Linux OS from a cdrom on this broken
> display Dell (with 256M ram) that would enable me to use it as a print
> server? I would use a wired Ethernet connection to the hub in the

> basement.
>
> Hmm. I'm thinking- would I first need to boot with an attached external
> monitor to configure the Bios to use the external monitor? (chicken or
> egg?)
>
> Since the display doesn't work, can I completely detach it? Or will the

> Bios/OS complain?
>
> Can I somehow boot from a rescue cdrom or Live-CD of some kind that would
> allow me to connect and configure its OS via the network? Or, how can I
> build my own bootable cdrom that would allow this? (The Bios will not

> allow booting from USB.) I'd have to install the printer driver, which is
> not native to Linux builds (Brother HL2040).
>
> Which native Linux software would I need to run to accomplish this sort of

> thing- Samba? What else?
>
> Seems like this would be a fun project and I would learn a lot, if I can
> find a tutorial, website, or detailed hints...
>
> Thanks,
> Keith Ostertag

>
>
>
>
> --
> To UNSUBSCRIBE, email to debian-user-REQUEST@lists.debian.org
> with a subject of "unsubscribe". Trouble? Contact listmaster@lists.debian.org

> Archive: http://lists.debian.org/d2cbf324c7fa1c5379136cc8a5520ba5.squirrel@webmail. strucktower.com
>
 
Old 09-03-2011, 05:09 PM
Jude DaShiell
 
Default Is it possible to use broken display laptop for print server?

No need to have everything go out the serial port at all so long as the
sound card is working. try this script then burn the iso to a dvd or cd
then put that in your laptop and boot it and wait. Debian will start
talking to you.

Cut here.

#!/usr/local/bin/bash
# file: getdebian.sh - get accessible version of debian
wget -b http://people.debian.org/~sthibault/espeakup/espeakup-squeeze-i386.iso

Cut here.

I am using this distribution now since I can't see the screen. Jude
<jdashiel@shellworld.net> "I love the Pope, I love seeing him in his
Pope-Mobile, his three feet of bullet proof plexi-glass. That's faith in
action folks! You know he's got God on his side."
~ Bill Hicks


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Old 09-03-2011, 09:11 PM
Brian
 
Default Is it possible to use broken display laptop for print server?

On Sat 03 Sep 2011 at 07:32:03 -0700, keitho@strucktower.com wrote:

> Hmm. I'm thinking- would I first need to boot with an attached external
> monitor to configure the Bios to use the external monitor? (chicken or
> egg?)

To configure the bios you have to have a display on the external
monitor. If you have a display you should be able to see the Debian
installer come up.

More to the point: have you tried it?


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Old 09-04-2011, 12:50 AM
 
Default Is it possible to use broken display laptop for print server?

Thanks to all who responded to my query.

Jude suggested I try an espeakeup enabled squeeze iso... very
interesting... I would never have thought of that. Something to try in the
future.

shawn said:
"If you're looking for something to do, go for it. If you want a print
server that just works, go on eBay and get an old jetdirect server (or go
off brand - belkin comes to mind) for <$20."

Another thing I wouldn't have thought of, since I have never had
experience with them. Might be my fall-back position...

Brian said:
"To configure the bios you have to have a display on the external
monitor. If you have a display you should be able to see the Debian
installer come up.

More to the point: have you tried it?"

Well, I was procrastinating ;-)
So, I tried it tonight and yes, simply connecting an external monitor
works. I just disconnected the original display and plugged in the
external monitor (without the need to change any bios settings).

So I am going to have to learn how to create a bootable cd pre-configured
to log this harddrive-less low-memory old laptop onto my home LAN and
perform as a print server. Lots to learn for this Linux newbie!

Any tips appreciated- how to configure it to automatically log in to the
network, which software to use for print server and how to start it on
bootup, how to create the cd, etc.

Thanks,
Keith Ostertag



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Old 09-04-2011, 07:55 AM
Scott Ferguson
 
Default Is it possible to use broken display laptop for print server?

On 04/09/11 07:11, Brian wrote:

On Sat 03 Sep 2011 at 07:32:03 -0700, keitho@strucktower.com wrote:


Hmm. I'm thinking- would I first need to boot with an attached external
monitor to configure the Bios to use the external monitor? (chicken or
egg?)


To configure the bios you have to have a display on the external
monitor. If you have a display you should be able to see the Debian
installer come up.

More to the point: have you tried it?




I don't know how common the default setting is - but I had an old
Gateway laptop with a dead screen that I used as a firewall. Similar
situation - in order to enable an external monitor and booting from a
non-hdd device I needed to access the BIOS. Dumping the CMOS enabled the
external monitor so I could see the BIOS setting screens.


Cheers

--
"I don't know how you deal with these winters - I don't get it. I was
here last winter, one of the days I was here it was 3 below zero, no
wind chill. A little nippy.
It's kind of fun though in that weather, going outdoors and watching
smokers pass out 'cause they don't know when they're done exhaling."

— Bill Hicks


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Old 09-04-2011, 09:08 AM
Brian
 
Default Is it possible to use broken display laptop for print server?

On Sat 03 Sep 2011 at 17:50:28 -0700, keitho@strucktower.com wrote:

> shawn said:
> "If you're looking for something to do, go for it. If you want a print
> server that just works, go on eBay and get an old jetdirect server (or go
> off brand - belkin comes to mind) for <$20."

This is your low-energy, noiseless solution. It may also take less time
to set up and lead to less frustration than your laptop route.

> Any tips appreciated- how to configure it to automatically log in to the
> network, which software to use for print server and how to start it on
> bootup, how to create the cd, etc.

Download a netinst iso, burn to CD and boot from it. Insert a USB stick
and, after the base install stage and configuring the package manager,
put GRUB on the MBR of the stick.

Download the Plop Boot Manager zip file from www.plop.at. It contains an
iso file. Burn the iso to a CD. Boot from it and then from the USB
stick. Install CUPS, Samba, a printer driver (www.openprinting.org) and
anything else you may need. Configure to your liking.


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Old 09-04-2011, 10:03 AM
Camaleón
 
Default Is it possible to use broken display laptop for print server?

On Sat, 03 Sep 2011 07:32:03 -0700, keitho wrote:

(...)

> Hmm. Is it possible to boot a minimal Linux OS from a cdrom on this
> broken display Dell (with 256M ram) that would enable me to use it as a
> print server? I would use a wired Ethernet connection to the hub in the
> basement.

(...)

Yes, just attatch an external monitor to simplify the installation
process and once done you can control your box via ssh.

Consider using a light DE/WM or none at all because 256 MiB of RAM is
very low for big desktops like GNOME or KDE.

You can also use your laptop as a secondary backup server or for
monitoring purposes.

Greetings,

--
Camaleón


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