A few weeks ago I moved my Dell desktop to our coastal home. The Dell desktop has Suse and Ubuntu Linux on it as well as Windows XP.
Of course I have a different network at the coast and different printers. As I recently wrote in "HP AIO Photosmart C6180 and Mac OSX," I have managed to get my new HP AIO printer working with Mac OS X and Windows XP. There were a few glitches during installation, but it really wasn't above what I could handle.
Larry, one of the people who commented on the post, mentioned that he had been rescued by Bonjour for Windows. I downloaded it and installed it on my Windows box. Amazingly it does see the printers.
I did a search for "Bonjour for Linux." It did not take long to figure out that Apple has not released a finished Bonjour product for Linux. Perhaps it will be in the same release as Quicktime for Linux.
The net of all this is that I still can't get my HP AIO to work at all on Linux. I followed some instructions that got me into the terminal as SUDO where I watched lots of stuff happen, but even that did not fix the problem.
I did manage to get my Brother Laser 5250N Printer working on Ubuntu Linux. The exact driver wasn't there, but an older one seems to work.
I could probably live without the HP AIO on Linux, but the ultimate insult was when I plugged in my USB photo memory card reader and Linux could not see anything on it.
Here's my take on Linux. If you want email, web browsing, some office apps, and basic printing, Linux is a good solution for you.
In spite of all the wonderful progress, Linux has a driver problem. They just aren't there. Maybe if you are very technical, you can make it work, but I am a pretty technical guy, and I just don't have time for the hassle.
Windows in spite of what many Mac people say works pretty well. Mac OS X is better, no doubt, but there is some stuff out there which just doesn't work on a Mac.
I love my Macs, and usually with some effort I can get everything to work that hasn't been crippled before it left Apple. Everything that I have tried on Windows in the last two years has worked.
I have yet to be infected with a virus or spyware. My Windows hardware has been more reliable than my Macs.
I would love to not have to use Windows, but it just is not in the cards. Long term I believe running Windows on a Dell is cheaper and easier than running it on a Mac so I am going to be a two platform shop for the foreseeable future.
I would be really happy to be a dyed in the wool Linux user, but I just don't have the skills. Having to screw around with drivers to get my photos imported and to get a simple HP AIO to even print just isn't a productive use of my time. Linux isn't going to make progress on the desktop until people like me are singing from the roof tops about how great Linux is.
Right now I'm looking forward to seeing what MS and Apple have up their sleeves. As far as I can tell Linux hasn't made much progress towards the desktop in the last year unless all you want is a very basic computer or one that comes with a Linux support person. I don't think Apple & Microsoft have been resting on their laurels.
In spite of all this, I cannot understand why Apple has not released Bonjour for Linux as a finished product. Why they are afraid of helping Linux is beyond me.