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The device: HP 2101nw

This little device is marketed as a wireless print server for HP printers with USB connection.

HP 2101nw wireless G USB print server

It has two USB connections on the back: one standard USB port to plug in the printer and one micro USB port to connect the device with a PC for configuration. For Windows and MacOS there are utility programs by HP to configure and use the printer. However, for Linux there is no support from HP, and the Windows setup utility also does not work under Windows 7.

The device is not a real print server, i.e. it does not provide the standard IPP printing or raw printing on port 9100, but is rather a USB port forwarder, which simply forwards the USB commands via TCP (ports 34447, 34448 and 34450) to the printer. On Windows, the driver creates a virtual USB port. For this reason, it does not work out of the box on Linux, but needs a dedicated driver (which is not available yet).



Configuring the HP 2101nw on Linux

To configure the device on Linux, I wrote a Perl script, which displays the settings and allows to change the wireless connection settings of the print server. This is also what the Windows driver installation does (which does no longer work on Windows 7). This script might also work to configure the print server on Windows 7, but I have not tested it.

Requirements: Perl and the perl libusb interface (on ubuntu that's the ''libdevice-usb-perl'' package).

Download: hp2101nw_setup.pl

Running the script

Simply call it as perl hp2101nw_setup.pl. It will guide you through the whole process:

reinhold@einstein:~$ perl hp2101nw_setup.pl
hp2101nw_setup.pl - version 0.01
Linux configuration utility for the HP 2101nw wireless G USB print server.

(C) 2011 Reinhold Kainhofer 
License: GPL v2 or later

Detected devices:
        004 / ID 03f0:cd02 (Sercomm Corporation: Wireless Printer Adapter)

Current configuration of the device:
        Device name:   photosmart
        SSID:          kainhofer
        Channel:       0
        Security:      WPA-PSK
        Encryption:    TKIP
        Passphrase:    xxxxxxxxxx
        IPv4 method:   DHCP
        IP address:
        Link state:    STATE:Associated - BSS ID = 30:39:F2:52:AD:76;SSID:kainhofer;CHANNEL:3;

What do you want to do?
        1) Setup a wireless connection through a wifi router or access point ('infrastructure')
        2) Setup a direct wireless connection with the printer ('ad-hoc')
        3) Change the name of the device
        4) Save the device configuration to a file
        5) Restore the device configuration from a file
        6) Exit
Your choice (default: 6): 

To setup a wireless connection with a wireless access point, enter 1 and press return. It will then scan the network for available access points. You can select one of the detected access points or enter the name (ssid) of a hidden network. You will also be asked about the security settings of the wireless network (defaults are auto-detected if possible) and the address assignment (DHCP).

Your choice (default: 6): 1
Scanning for access points: ......

Detected wireless networks:
        SSID                     Signal   Security     Type             channel 
     1) baadshaah                0        WPA/WPA2-PSK Infrastructure   1       
     2) Fischer                  10       WPA/WPA2-PSK Infrastructure   1       
     3) kainhofer                60       WPA-PSK      Infrastructure   3       
     4) missinglink              10       WPA/WPA2-PSK Infrastructure   11      
     5) NETGEAR_Guest1           10       WPA/WPA2-PSK Infrastructure   6       
     6) SpeedTouch1              10       WPA/WPA2-PSK Infrastructure   11      
     7) Trafostation             10       WPA/WPA2-PSK Infrastructure   6       

Please enter the number or the SSID of the desired wireless network.
Enter '0', 'hidden' or 'h' to connect to a hidden network.
Desired wireless network: 3
        1) None
        2) WEP
        3) WPA-PSK
        4) WPA2-PSK
        5) WPA/WPA2-PSK
Your choice (default: 3): 
Using WPA-PSK security
Type of encryption:
        1) TKIP
        2) AES
Your choice (default: 1): 
Please enter the WPA passphrase for network 'kainhofer': xxxxxxxxxx
IP-address assignment:
        1) DHCP
        2) Manual
Your choice (default: 1): 

After that, the device configuration is finished, it will be reset and should automatically connect to the wireless network.

Sending new configuation to the device. Please wait..........
Resetting the device, please wait....................
Device was reset. Please press Return.

Detected devices:
        006 / ID 03f0:cd02 (Sercomm Corporation: Wireless Printer Adapter)

New configuration of the device:
        Device name:   photosmart
        SSID:          kainhofer
        Channel:       3
        Security:      WPA-PSK
        Encryption:    TKIP
        Passphrase:    xxxxxxxxxx
        IPv4 method:   DHCP
        IP address:
        Link state:    STATE:Associated - BSS ID = 30:39:F2:52:AD:76;SSID:kainhofer;CHANNEL:3;TXRATE:54;

Using the HP 2101nw on Linux

As a print server for CUPS



As a scanner server for SANE


The communication protocol



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