To CUPS or not to CUPS

James Robertson jameswrobertson at
Tue Jul 1 10:24:48 PDT 2003

Jeroen Coumans wrote:
> Craig Colton said the following on 30-6-2003 3:44:
>> As a sidenote - please don't address the problems of cups as in :
>> " The problem with most CUPS problems is that they are not CUPS
>>  problems. Often, something is wrong "below" instead, and having a
>>  fancy browser interface keeps people from looking below."
>> Until you have conquered your fear and and attempted to use it.
> Actually, that's not a sidenote but the main issue with most problems on 
> this list with cups & printing. It's why I think it's justified to start 
> with Declan's hint and then proceed to cups hints. The name of the hint 
> should probably be "Printing from scratch" to properly reflect it's 
> contents; it also reveals why this hint is no threat to Cups but rather 
> a (for LFS'ers) mandatory learning chapter _before_ Cups.
> The learning steps for printing (the LFS way) are this:
> 1. install the drivers (kernel)
>     -> check if it works (echo > /dev/lp0)
> 2. install the convertors (a2ps, ghostscript, etc)
>     -> check if it works ({gs -options | a2ps -options} > /dev/lp0)
> 3. install the daemon (cups, LPRNG, dumb lpr script)
>     -> check if it works (lp -options)
> You can't expect someone to jump to step 3 without first having done 
> step 1 and step 2. _That's_ why it's justified to refer to Declan's hint 
> when people are having Cups problems - because most people expect Cups 
> to be the first step.

One small problem.  Not everyone has a locally attached printer.  Step 1 
and 2 would never get a network printing process going.  Step 3 would 
and so can CUPS.

CUPS is not that hard.  You just have to read first and then do.  How 
many times have we all seen where a person did not read anything first, 
ran into trouble and then posted to the support lists (both lfs and blfs)?

John Gay mentions in another sub-thread that what we need is a true all 
in one printing hint or document.  Run it the "lfs" way teaching the 
issues.  There are also howto's and other docs available from other 
quite smart folks on the net that we can tie to.  The essential 
pre-reading hint does a good job of this.

UNIX printing is not as easy as Windoze and the Mac.  M$ and Apple have 
the upper hand here.  CUPS is a first attempt at making it easier and 
when working can be very nice.

James Robertson | jameswrobertson at earthlink dot net
Reg. Linux User: #160424
Reg. LFS User:   #6981

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