Even though several articles on the internet have maybe frightened you that your printer will probably not work under Linux, you managed it anyway to get your printer recognized by Linux Mint. Actually for a lot of printers it shouldn’t be that difficult as a lot of usable driver are just available in the operating system. So, you can finally print your stuff. But after using your printer for a while you want to know if your ink levels are still on a sufficient level. Of course not all printers are technically capable to give information about ink levels, but for those who can most of the times the Linux driver will not give you any information about it. So how to show ink levels in Linux Mint anyway?
What is the problem
When you want to see information about the ink levels of your printer, it depends first of all on the availability of a display on your device that might show this information. If so, then you have no problem whatsoever and is this article probably not of any interest to you. But if your printer does not have such a display, but has the technical ability to share information about the ink levels via the front end of the driver software, it will often be displayed only under Windows or macOS. If you use the drivers offered in Linux Mint, the chances are that you will see the following message: “Marker levels are not reported for this printer”. So what can we do about that?
How to show ink levels in Linux Mint
Keep in mind that the following procedure is no guarantee that it will work for every printer. In the first place not all printers are technically capable of communicating about ink levels. Secondly this can to my knowledge only be done for USB connected printers. And thirdly, this procedure uses Libinklevel which is a special library for checking the ink level of a printer connected to Linux, which currently only supports printers of HP, Epson and Canon.
We need a little bit of the command line and we need to use the Synaptic Package Manager of Linux Mint.
1) Open your Application Menu and search for Synaptic.
2) Select Synaptic Package Manager.
3) Give your password.
Synaptic Package Manager will open now.
4) Click on search and type “ink”. Click on search again.
5) Select both Ink and Libinklevel (can be Libinklevel5 or higher, which depends on the moment you perform this procedure).
6) Click on Apply and Apply again in the summary screen.
7) Open your Linux Mint Application menu and search for terminal.
8) Start the terminal.
9) Type “cd /usr/bin/” and give enter.
10) Type “ink -p usb”.
10) Give enter.
Now the ink levels will be shown for your printer.
I know this isn’t a convenient way but at least the ink levels of your printer will be shown to you.