Netgear PS121v2 Print Server Linux Foo

  • peter 

It is always fun to re-activate some old hardware. We had this HP laser printer sitting there with a Netgear PS121 (v2!) and it was just begging me to use it. So I thought, that is a quick and easy set up. Well it would’ve been if it didn’t have some nice surprises for me.

We had some other machines using that printer and it was an easy thing to get the configuration details from Windows. They all printed to a raw queue on port 9100. That sounds great. So I quickly set up the printer in a similar way using the PCL3 driver for the good old HP. The printer received data and started printing the test page. And it did a good job in starting it, but it printed only half the page. Afterwards the printer seemed dead. When I took a look at the print server I could see that it was switched off. Which is odd, because the print server does not have a power switch.

Anywhoo, I tried it again after restarting the print server. And I got the same result: Half a page printed and a switched off print server. A little bit digging on the internet revealed that I am not alone with that problem and that nobody knows how to fix it.

So I went with plan B and checked what ports are open so that I can try other options. Here is what nmap gave me:

Host is up (0.0078s latency).
Not shown: 993 closed ports
PORT     STATE SERVICE
21/tcp   open  ftp
23/tcp   open  telnet
80/tcp   open  http
139/tcp  open  netbios-ssn
515/tcp  open  printer
631/tcp  open  ipp
9100/tcp open  jetdirect

Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 0.17 seconds

That looked promising and seeing ports 631 and 515 made me happy. But I knew out of experience that IPP will be most likely a pain in the behind to set up. So I went with LPD, but I needed the queue. So lets get into the web interface and read the queue information.

If I would’ve remembered the password for the print server web interface this would’ve been an easy task. Brute force password guessing gave me, after a lot of swearing, finally access to the server’s interface.

In the Server Status page you can find the queue name in the field Default Name in the form of PS******. Now comes the part that is important to know. You have to add a _P1, the port number, at the end in order to get the full queue name. This is of course not mentioned anywhere in the user manual and without it, it won’t print.

So your URI for the print server will look something like this:

lpd://host.domain.or.ip/PS******_P1

Happy printing and don’t forget this applies only to v2 of the print server. The older v1 is supposedly a different piece of hardware with most likely different problems.