Printing de-mystified (was Re: To CUPS or not to CUPS)

John Gay johngay at
Fri Jul 11 09:04:55 PDT 2003


Thank you for your 20+ years of experience to help de-mystify a very confusing 

Your explanations go a long way to clear up quite a few mis-conceptions and to 
help explain what the different possible parts of a working printing system 
are. This is very much what I had hoped to get started. I know that I've been 
reading quite a lot of the HOW-TO's, hints and other doc's and your 
explainations have cleared up many confusing things for me.

It seems to me that your preferred system is to use postscript printers where 
ever possible. Unfortunately, many of us have printers that aren't. But you 
have provided some info towards understanding what is needed for those cases 
as well.

In my particular situation, I have two desktop computers each with a printer. 
Even though they are networked, I do not use network printing since I barely 
understand printing as it is.

On my desk, I've got a Samsung ML4500 laser which uses the gdi driver from 
espgs for printing. In my Daughter's room, she has a Xerox M750 which is 
supposed to work with the pcl3 driver. I know that it does work because I did 
have it working at one stage, but the last time I tried to configure it with 
CUPS, I could not get CUPS to find the driver. Of course I need to read the 
hints and other doc's some more since that was how I got it working the first 
time. And I'll need that info when I wipe and re-install my desktop using 

I think that what you have started, along with other input and proper editing 
would be a great intro chapter for the printing section of the BLFS. This is 
just the sort of information people will need to help them decide which 
particular solution is right for them and will help them avoid installing 
wrong or unnecessary packages. This is a great help for the rest of us. 
Hopefully, others with printing experience will add to this information. 
Those of us who are less experienced can help by identifying which parts are 
extremely helpful and which need more clarification.

In conclusion, Steve has offered us some great insight into the printing 
mystery. Declan and Uli have offered a simplified solution that is also of 
great help. I know others have also put up useful info, I just don't remember 
all the names at the moment. A good explaination of foomatic might be of use 
as well. I get the impression that Steve finds this to be poorly implimented, 
but it might be of use to someone. Or an explaination of how to do the same 
thing without it's added burden might be a better solution.

Thanks to everyone who has contibuted useful info on this confusing topic.


	John Gay
"What is scattered to the wind here is just a drop in the bucket."

 -- member of New York City Council

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