Need help with major printing malfunction

Guido Falsi mad at
Wed Sep 2 08:59:53 UTC 2009

On Wed, Sep 02, 2009 at 12:56:15AM -0700, Ronald F. Guilmette wrote:
> (Note:  My printer is an old HP Laserjet 5MP.  It speaks Postscript
> and... I think... HP PCL 5... or maybe 6.  Note also that I was never
> very fond of all of the complexity of the FreeBSD lpr subsystem...
> it always seemed like total overkill for a one-user system... so
> I hacked up my own little Perl script that I call "printit" that just
> sends whatever it is given to /dev/lp0.  I used that for printing,
> rather than the lpr command.  In the past, Mozilla/Firefox has always
> handed by little script pure Postscript... which worked out nicely
> since my printer groks that... and so I'm kind of assuming that Firefox
> is still converting pages to Postscript whenever I ask it to print
> something, but frankly, I'm not even sure of this anymore.)

I was having similar problems with an HP printer. A network one in my
case. I'm using lpr with a filter. It used to send postscript verbatim
to the printer and filter text through a2ps.

I was having problems with bad fonts and paper sizes(I'm in europe and
we use A4 here, but the printer insisted in using US letter).

All the problems vanished when I finally modified the filter to also
filter all ps through ghostscript and send pcl jobs to the printer.

My guess is that the printer's postscript interpreter is broken(or has
some "features"). Try modifying your script to filter things through
ghostscript and send trhen to the printer in it's own language.

I use the following ghostscript command line(from stdin to stdout...):

/usr/local/bin/gs -dSAFER -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -q -sPAPERSIZE=a4
-sDEVICE=pxlcolor -sOutputFile=- -

> P.S.  Before the ``upgrade'' to 3.5.1, things used to print just fine...
> well...  the text portions did anyway.

I think firefox started using much fancier postscript after 3.0.x

Guido Falsi <mad at>

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