To CUPS or not to CUPS

John Gay jgay at
Tue Jul 1 12:33:48 PDT 2003

>> 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.
True, but then even those using networked printers, the printer is
connected to a local PC somewhere, unless they can afford a network ready

>CUPS is not that hard.

Yes it is (-; I had the experience of building two LFS systems on identical
PC's, using the same printer. I used the same sources, followed the same
steps. The first time, CUPS listed the correct driver for my printer by
it's name, Xerox M750. The second time I spent three weeks trying to get it
to connect to the same printer before I gave up. Obviously I must have
skipped something the second time, but I still can't figure out where.

>  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)?
There are too many of these, but they should be pointed to the currently
available hints first. After they have tried those, if they still have
problems then they should come back to blfs for help.

>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.
Yes there are other how-to's and hints, but they are scattered over the
'net, many of them are dated, and there are holes in the info. As I
suggested, if the few people here who know UNIX printing got together and
put together a generic printing document that covered most of the bases,
and explained what was happening and why, this would help a lot of people.
I, and many here obviously, would prefer to use CUPS for printing. Of
course others would prefer something simpler like lpr or lprng. Some might
even prefer a hand-scripted solution. I'm sure that a single document 'can'
cater to all these needs, as well as explain the pro's and con's of each to
help people decide which solution is right for them. At the moment there
are 5 hints for printing plus the entries in the BLFS book. None of these
actually compare the different printing solutions.

>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.
Because they have a very limited system to work within. Therefore it's
rather trivial to configure a single printing system that works within
their system. UNIX is unique in that there are many different ways to set
up anything, including printing. CUPS is one attempt to simplify this, but
weither it's teh best solution waits to be seen.


      John Gay

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