Future Purism Printer

Do you guys intend to manufacture a printer? All the inkjet printers are so locked down these days that it is next to impossible to refill the cartridges or try to use a third party cartridge.
It would be nice to have a printer that is for PUREOS and that allows me to refill the ink cartridge,


This would be kind of ironic, given that free software might not look like it does today if it wasn’t for Richard Stallmans darn printer at MIT.
Would be a great idea to actually have at least one free and open source printer.


This is why I gave up inkjet printers and switched to laser printer. Toner last a very long time and much cheaper. I use Brother brand laser printer cuz that company has drivers for Linux or work with Linux. I agree Purism should think about including printers to their products.


Ink cartridges are sold for like 50 times the production price. It would be nice to have a printer with normal prices cartridges. Though of course, the printer may have to be much more expensive than normal printers because right now the business model is to profit from the cartridges, not from the selling of the printer itself.

But people here generally have no qualms with paying a premium price, as is evidenced by the fact that many buy the Librem 5. Just like the Librem 5 is going to liberate me from spying I would love to have a Purism printer liberate me from the ink cartridge scam.


My first impulse was to dismiss it as unrealistic.
Also it’s not a really pressing issue to me as I switched to laser-only and LAN-only.

Then I realized teaming up with Lulzbot and some cartridge refill/replacement company could make the missing pieces achievable.

The RMS reference certainly has something to it :grinning:
But actually, then I realized printers have serious privacy problems most people are not aware of.

Still I think we’ll see a tablet, a NAS / router and a RISC-V device before a printer.


I have monochrome laser printer so it cannot print color. Best to stick with monochrome printer for now if you want privacy. Noir style.


Just to mention: There is need for other FOSS devices, too. I would like to see a FOSS Smartwatch. Smartwatches can be very useful if used right, but there is a flipside of the coin, being the surveilence potential even higher then that of smartphones. Thats a topic a have in mind for long and maybe someday I write something somewhere about it. Maybe when Purism has more free capacities than now. So thats all for now.

P.S. I would like to see a FOSS printer, too.


i use a 2018 HP monochrome (only) A4 (max) laser printer (no scanner integrated unfortunately) it works out-of-the-box in non RYF gnu/linux distros. not sure about libre-only distros yet but i’ll report back when i get my L5 :stuck_out_tongue:

i had an older Samsung laser printer but that one didn’t work for me in Ubuntu (out-of-the-box) so i donated it to my M$ using neighbors. the toner on that one was half-full and already received desktop notifications about replacing :slight_smile: talk about a scam not to mention the mandatory “malware” driver install.

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Without knowing the exact model it’s hard to say, but if it is a network printer it likely works with PureOS out of the box; as I have multiple customers where my laptop, running PureOS, automatically discovers and prints to their older and newer HP network printers without issue. Now this may not give you “full” functionality, but I get duplexing (from printers that support it) I’ve not tried automatic stapling as I don’t use that, but the basic page sizes, landscape vs portrait, and other standard features have just worked.

I don’t know how well USB would/wouldn’t work as I haven’t done that for a long time now.

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Would love a FOSS printer as it’s the one thing that doesn’t really have even the vaguest sense of an existing workaround (watches have the (discontinued) Pebble), Roku-likes have Linux+Kodi (which isn’t quite at Roku-like levels of convenience, yet), Alexa-likes have Mycroft.

I suspect though if rumors are true, Purism will likely revisit the librem 10/11 (tablet) next year though. Hopefully the next thing would be a printer and watch (to get notifications pushed from a librem device).

Why not simple use a printer which can print PDFs from an USB Stick.
The printer would not need any kind of data connection at all.

Just Print to PDF. Save to the stick. Put the stick into the printer. And let it print.

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Out of those the NAS / router is absolutely low hanging fruit. There are complete solutions already for both within the FOSS domain. It would simply be a matter of putting it together in a compelling product that made the software accessible to the layman / woman.


This does highlight one challenge with this for a company the size of Purism: A printer is not “sell and forget”, as it were. They would need a global distribution channel for cartridges for ongoing distribution - and that could be expensive for overseas buyers if cartridges are always ordered from overseas.

A printer is not a high priority for me because my attitude to printing is “just say no” - avoid printing where I can. Printers and I don’t get along very well.

There is a lot wrong with current (inkjet) printers - when the printer costs less to purchase than the first cartridge replacement, generating a mass of electronic and plastic waste - and the secret spying dots mentioned above.


Not necessarily. They could use an existing cartridge type for which 3rd party replacement parts exist. A few of those should exist.


Yes I thought about that.

I also wondered whether it is possible to build a printer that will accept more than one make of cartridge, so I can install whatever cartridge I can get hold of from the set of supported cartridges. That would be a little bit cool. :slight_smile:


Ok. My thoughts are along the lines that there are already third party cartridge and ink makers/distributors. That is the whole idea, to allow third party ink refills. Getting a whole cartridge when all you really need is ink, is to my mind very wasteful.
PURISM would not need to distribute these items world wide, just make some locally, the third parties, I believe will take up the rest.


Yes! They should just sell the printer with cartridges that are refillable! And then the customers would just have to look for ink somewhere.

Selling new cartridges instead of new ink seems to me like being a part of the whole printer & cartridge scam going on.


for me monochrome (whites, blacks and inbetweens) are all i want for home printing. yes the usb printing from stick is a good idea but it implies that one would have a printer capable of doing that. mine is <100$ and doesn’t have that functionality but i know that more expensive models do have that. sadly i’m not willing to invest more for just that.

for me color printing with ink is best left to doing it at a dedicated printing shop or a typography as it requires color calibrations which is a nightmare and really expensive to do properly by yourself (this is why i ONLY do monochrome LASER printing at home). i’m not in the habbit of printing color just to find out afterwards that colors are off and i do aim for color corectness. what i see on my color acurate screen MUST be what i get on paper and that requires a spectrophotometer (you need a good one and have to know what you are doing)

laser toners are just as expensive (if i’m not mistaken) as ink toners but they are even more locked down it seems to me.

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It might be just my personal preference, but I’d skip ink and USB completely.
I’m pretty sure ethernet laser printers have a bigger market potential, as it would mostly target businesses.
Few individuals will see this as a pressing (pun!) issue…

No matter which route they’d choose, this machine would be expensive. I can hardly imagine a similarly successful campaign as for the phone. The printer would certainly be ~$1000.

OTOH, maybe an ink printer is simpler, as the print head is included in the cartridge.
Either way, this would be a pretty big undertaking.

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Because it isn’t just a matter of printing without some printer potentially phoning home if it’s connected to the internet. In addition to a product that wouldn’t be locked and force deprecation, etc. it’s potentially doing away with other fingerprinting like the stenography highlighted above in: