To CUPS or not to CUPS

Craig Colton meerkats at
Tue Jul 1 19:05:16 PDT 2003

On Tuesday 01 July 2003 01:36 am, you wrote:
> Craig Colton said the following on 1-7-2003 1:28:
> >>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.
> >
> > This is wrong. I have nothing against an echo > blah, blah,blah. But
> > please tell me who wouldn't enable their parallel port in a kernel config
> > if they knew they were going to print?
> *Reality check*: roughly 90% of the users we're helping with their Cups
> ^D^D^D^D^D printer problems. We're not attacking Cups here. We're
> helping newbies (LFS printing newbies) to properly setup their printer.
> To learn it the _LFS way_ at least the first step is mandatory.
> > Ghostscript is _ part_ of a cups install. I.e., espgs should be installed
> > _ after _ cups - not before. And a2ps works without any configuration if
> > installed after a spooler is in place. So your method as described kind
> > of falls apart.
> >
> > In fact, if an eventual cups install is approached in this manner it is
> > doomed. Resulting in more unecessary cups failures. and more posts to the
> > list.
> Okay so step 2 and 3 are not allways meant to be followed consecutively.
> The point is that step 1 should be followed first to properly eliminate
> _non-cups_ errors when dealing with these support requests. And since
> Declan's hint is all about these steps, it's a good hint to check before
> trying Cups.
> > Cups _ can _ be the first step - it was mine, and am I not a particularly
> > adept user. Look, I have no problem at all in educating the user in
> > alternative print systems, and in particular letting them know that there
> > are choices. I do have a problem in pushing them towards one using the
> > FUD about cups that's been thrown about by the purveyors of the print
> > system in question.
> Before you installed cups you checked that your printer was properly
> detected and able to print pages right? That's what I call the first
> step. You could use Cups for that but that wouldn't be very smart.
> Especially when dealing with the support questions here, printing
> problems seem to be caused by people not understanding the Unix printing
> model and failing to realise that there _is_ a first step to it.
> Also, I'm not aware of any FUD being spread about Cups. Do you mind
> digging up some specific URL's in the archives?
> I think the problem you have is the fact that the best hint to
> assure a working printing configuration on Linux is one that is
> anti-Cups. Feel free to write a better hint we can refer people to when
> they're having problems with their printer or with Cups. It may even
> make the FAQ...
> Untill then, the general consensus is that the Printing Minority Report
> (despite it's anti-CUPS'ness, in some casess /because/ ;)) is the best
> solution to getting started with a working printer configuration.
> > Sorry to be so adamant.
> I have no problem to hear other people's opinion, as long as it is
> well-argumented :) I hope something productive comes out of it...
> --
> Groeten/Greetings,
> Jeroen Coumans

I hate that don't you? Someone who gripes about something, but won't suggest 
anything positive (I'm hanging my head in shame).

Your schematic for getting printing up and running on LFS could work - even 
with cups. How about this: 

1. A user decides beforehand if he will be using cups.
2. If so, he installs:
		b.espgs (this version of ghostscript is mandatory for cups but would 
presumably work for PMR)
		c.Gimp-Print, hpijs or other driver packages.

Since Cups runs as a deamon process, until we switch him on with 
/usr/sbin/cupsd, presumably he'll sit there like a good boy while all the 
other printing requirements are checked and tested.

A user might prefer to use cups if:
1. He has networked printers.
2. He has used it in his base distro - and likes it.
3. He would like to see and use his all of his printer's features from a gui.
4. He will be installing a full desktop and would like to integrate printing.
5. He has specific printing needs related to graphics. 

A humble offering from an interested party.


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