I have a number of older printers that I would like to connect to my modern machine, but have been unable to do so because my computer doesn’t have a parallel interface. After searching the internet for a review of a usb to parallel cable that works reliably with Linux, I pretty much drew a blank. I then decided to look on Amazon and just give one a go. Below is my brief review of the product that I found to work. I hope that it is of some help to others who are looking for a similar cable.

I decided to purchase the USB Parallel Printer Port Cable 25 pin female socket advertised on Amazon by Cablestar. I went for the version with a female 25pin D-SUB on the end, as not all my printers have a standard Centronics interface. My HP LaserJet 1100, for example, has a Mini-Centronics interface. When the package arrived two days later I found that it was a LogiLink USB to Parallel Cable, D-SUB 25pin. The package had the standard drivers for various flavours of Windows, but no drivers for Linux. This came as no surprise, indeed I really would have been surprised if there had been drivers for Linux.

Now it was time to see whether my kernel (2.6.26 on Debian Lenny 5.01) would recognise this cable. I plugged the cable into a free USB port on my computer and plugged my printer’s parallel cable into the other end; straight away a printer port was created at /dev/usb/lp0. All I had to do then was configure CUPS to see this printer, which was easily achieved through the Printing configuration option in the Administration menu of Gnome.

Even now I can’t get over how easy this was, I was expecting at least a few little difficulties, but it really couldn’t have been easier. I therefore recommend this product unreservedly.