If you have an application that can't output natively to PDF, you can create yourself a PDF printer.
lpadmin -p PDFcreator -v pdf:/home/chris/PDFfiles -E -P /path/to/distiller.ppd
You can use any "raw" ppd you want really - I used the Raw/Raw (en) option in the installer, and it worked fine. You can download a color postscript ppd file from the cups-pdf site.
Create the printer with the URI of pdf:/where/you/want/the/output.
There is also a cups-pdf virtual backend which can be used to print to pdf from cups. Your distribution should distribute this - for example, Debian (Sarge or Sid) users can "apt-get install cups-pdf".
See the SambaPrinting page for more information
CUPS can do broadcasts over a network to both advertise the availability of local printers as well as to find and "proxy" for remote printers. On a LAN this is probably what you want, but if you are on the MetaNet this may result in other people seeing your printers, and you seeing theirs. This can have unpleasant side-effects: for example, my cups found remote printers that were later firewalled/disconnected or removed. Later that day when starting a GNOME application, it would hang on start-up as the gnome printing backend tried contacting the remote printers which were now un-contactable.
Or set the network/address mask for the BrowseAllow/BrowseDeny variables (for incoming broadcasts) and BrowseAddress (for outgoing broadcasts). Debian Sarge defaults to browsing on, accepting incoming information from anywhere and not sending out any information.
I plugged a Epson Color Stylus 760 into the USB port of a Debian Sarge machine, and this is how I made it go:
Hint: If it doesn't go, set 'LogLevel debug' in /etc/cups/cupsd.conf, restart cups, and look at /var/log/cups/error_log.
Congratulations, you now have a printer at ipp://server/printers/printername.
From an Ubuntu Dapper client, click System, Administration, Printing. Double click "New printer", set the type to CUPS printer (IPP), and add the URL above.
Follow your nose again through the rest, and then you should have a working printer.
These are just some observations of what I did to set up a Brother HL 1440 laser printer (using the USB port) on a machine that already had CUPS installed, and had an HP Deskjet installed. This was done on debian woody (or close enough to woody) remotely via an ssh connection. These instructions also worked perfectly for a Brother HL 1430 on a Redhat 9 system running XimianDesktop although I didn't use any of the graphic configuration tools. Hopefully these instructions are generic enough to work with any USB printer supported by cups.
Make sure the kernel has USB Printer support. I created a kernel module (CONFIG_USB_PRINTER) and made sure it installed ok.
mkdir /dev/usb mknod /dev/usb/lp0 c 180 0
although some people use the name "/dev/usb/usblp" instead.
Foomatic is the cups package with all the printer description files (*.PPD) and setup stuff.
# foomatic-configure -O | less
foomatic-configure -s cups -n Brother -c file:/dev/usb/lp0 \ -p Brother-HL-1440 -d hl1250 -o PageSize=A4
(This should all be on one line, without the "\") This says to use the cups printing system, and name the new printer "Brother". The -p and -d options are the printer ID and driver I got from the previous step in the output. Also I used an option to set the default page size to A4.
Note that this can't be done until the printer is connected, as I got a "client-error-not-possible" error until someone at the remote end plugged the new printer into the USB port.
You can also access cups by going to http://localhost:631 and authenticating as any user in the "lpadmin" group (I used root). From here I printed a test page and made this the default printer.
You can also make it the default printer by editing /etc/cups/printers.conf or with the command "lpadmin -d Brother"
4) Edit /etc/printcap for "Legacy" applications. cups does make a printcap file, but in debian the default name is /etc/printcap.cups. Just copy that - it had empty entries for my two installed printers.
Set DefaultEncryption? Never in cupsd.conf.
remove ~/.lpoptions (for all users) as that hard-coded the default printer! I don't know what created that file, as only some users had it.
Check for a PRINTER environment variable and make sure that it's either unset or set correctly.
On my Debian and Ubuntu systems, CUPS causes the lp.ko (and parport-related) modules to be loaded. It turns out that cupsd runs all the programs in the /usr/lib/cups/backend directory, and the 'parallel' program in there explicitly loads the lp module. Remove this symlink if you want to stop this behaviour.
CUPS will recommend and use the hl1250 PPD driver for this printer. Unfortunately, it doesn't handle the page margins quite right. Since no package seems to have a PPD file specifically for this printer, you'll have to work around it. Try one of the following methods:
lpoptions -p <your printer> -o page-left=22 -o page-right=22 -o page-top=22 -o page-bottom=22
If you run "lpoptions" as root, the setting will be valid for all users. I can't tell what unit those distances are in, but this method worked for me. Doing so as root just puts them into the file /etc/cups/lpoptions.
*OpenUI *Margins/Page Margins/Offsets: PickOne *DefaultMargins: Custom *Margins Default/Driver Default: "" *Margins Custom/Custom: "<</.HWMargins[0 0 0 0] /Margins[150 150 >>setpagedevice" *CloseUI: *Margins
(you may need to change the margins to suit).
59a60 < VICE=hl1250%A%Z -sOutputFile=- -" > *JCLBegin: "<1B>%-12345X@PJL JOB<0A>@PJL SET RESOLUTION = 600<0A>" 62c63 > VICE=hl1250%A%Z -r600 -sOutputFile=- -"
(This tells the driver to use 600dpi, since the hl1250 driver apparently doesn't have the margin problems at this resolution).
5.: Proprietary PPD file There should be an appropriate PPD file on the CD-ROM containing the windows driver that came with the printer. This might be better under CUPS than cups's ppd files. Brother have also freed up the licensing on some of their printing drivers, so maybe their ppd files will be included with cups in the future.
lpstat -a -p
lpstat -a -l -p
With the release of sarge, debian are now using automatic cups stuff, rather than the old lpr support.
This means you cannot just use the old papd.conf and hope it works. You'll get such wonderful things as it simply disapearing, and not removing the pid file, without any errors. Lovely thing that.
So, you'll need to do a few things.
Cups broadcasting is great, however, it's not always as great as it would seem. It can (and will in our case) pick up other cups broadcasted printers. You need to disable the reception of these printers in your config otherwise pap can also die.
#Allows browsing from the local network BrowseAllow 192.168.2.0/24 #Disables printer broadcast from backup server BrowseDeny 192.168.6.10/255.255.255.255
Set as well.
This will automatically get the cups printers, and use the ppd that cups uses.
if pap is not running, either restart netatalk in the normal way, just type papd, which starts it, uses the config, and inserts a pid file.
The logs should show something like:
Jul 15 12:13:23 host papd: restart (2.0.2) Jul 15 12:13:23 host papd: CUPS support enabled (1.1) Jul 15 12:13:30 host papd: Authentication disabled: SharpC150 Jul 15 12:13:30 host papd: register SharpC150:LaserWriter@zone1 Jul 15 12:13:36 host papd: Authentication disabled: hplj4-letterhead Jul 15 12:13:36 host papd: register hplj4-letterhead:LaserWriter@zone1 Jul 15 12:13:42 host papd: Authentication disabled: hplj4 Jul 15 12:13:42 host papd: register hplj4:LaserWriter@zone1 Jul 15 12:13:48 host papd: Authentication disabled: hp8100 Jul 15 12:13:48 host papd: register hp8100:LaserWriter@zone1 Jul 15 12:13:54 host papd: Authentication disabled: hp5000 Jul 15 12:13:54 host papd: register hp5000:LaserWriter@zone1
can't register SharpC150@greed:LaserWriter@zone1 Jul 15 11:24:08 host papd: Deleting CUPS temp PPD file for SharpC150_greed (/var/spool/cups/tmp/42d6f4186a35b)
This was because it was a broadcast printer, and cups didn't have a local copy of its ppd. THis is why I recommend disabling cups broadcast receive (send is fine) using BrowseDeny.
It is also possible to setup netatalk to use the cups printers, but add your own settings. I won't go into much detail due to lack of time, however,
hp5000-test2@another zone:\ - This is the printername that will be broadcast :pr=hp5000:\ - This is the cups printer that will be used (opt) :pd=/usr/share/lib/ppd/anotherdriver.PPD: -The ppd you want to use (opt) opt= optional. space constraints.
Debian doesn't seem to have dependencies to drag in the PPDs for all the foomatic drivers, even if you install the filters.
Install also the foomatic-filters-ppds package.
There are many howtos on how to set up printing from windows clients to a printer attached to a linux computer via samba, but theres not much I could find on doing it without samba. Heres how I did it:
<Location /printers> Order Deny,Allow Allow 192.168.1.* </Location>
<Location /printers/hp> Order Deny,Allow Allow 192.168.1.* </Location>
(1) PPD files are wonderful wonderful things. They describe the capabilities of the printer in a text file format, and are genuinely cross-platform usable. For every option setting they contain PostScript code which, embedded in the PostScript file sent to the printer, applies the corresponding setting to the job. They allow (for example) Adobe's postscript driver to be aware of the printer options on any printer that has a PPD file associated with it, even if it isn't a postscript printer. PPD files are available from a variety of places, and of course Mac-OS X wants them too, so manufacturers are releasing them more and more. Further info: