Newbie lpd printing

Gary Schenk gwschenk at
Wed Apr 23 18:55:01 PDT 2003

On Wednesday 23 April 2003 03:00 pm, Mike Meyer wrote:
> In <200304222140.12401.gwschenk at>, Gary Schenk 
<gwschenk at> typed:
> > On Friday 11 April 2003 09:21 am, Mike Meyer wrote:
> > > I suspect your script is broken for printing postscript files. The
> > > hpif script in the handbook doesn't handle those at all, so I assume
> > > you added that code.
> >
> > No, I did not add anything. This is the script from the handbook. I
> > thought that it was to print postscript to a non-postscript printer.
> > It is essentisally the same script as in FreeBSD Unleashed.
> Where did you find that script? It's pretty badly flawed, and if it's
> in the handbook, that should be fixed.

I got it from the handbook, and a similar script is in 'FreeBSD Unleashed'. 
cd /

> > The more I read about printing the more confused I get. I'd like to
> > print form a word processor, but don't seem to be able to in FreeBSD.
> > I tried installing apsfilter, but it is broken. I have no clue as to
> > how to fix it. Perhaps installing Star Office would help, and use its
> > printer interface? Or is the best solution to buy a postscript
> > printer?
> Buying a postscript printer is certainly a good idea - it takes the
> load of processing postscript off your CPU, and puts it on the
> printer. That should save comm bits as well, as lots of things on Unix
> generate postscript by default, so you don't wind up shipping bitmaps
> to the printer. Something like magicfilter or apsfilter is still
> useful, as they work by turning various other formats - images, text
> formats, etc - into postscript, then rendering that on your box or on
> the printer.
> > As for magicfilter, I'm still working on it. I ran make install in
> > /usr/ports/print/magicfilter. However locate magicfilter shows
> > nothing, except for the above directory. There is nothing in the
> > /usr/local/bin directory indicating anything was installed. A google
> > search sent me to
> >
> > , which is for Debian Linux. It talks about running magicfilterconfig.
> > I assume there is nothing like this in FreeBSD?
> I don't know what's in the Debian docs are talking about. In
> particular, there's a rewrite of magicfilter from the ground up that
> bills itself as magicfilter 2.0 that they may be talking about. That's
> irrelevant to the magicfilter port.  The magicfilter should install
> /usr/bin/magicfilter. It also installs printer filter scripts in
> /usr/local/libexec/magicfilter/.

I have no /usr/bin/magicfilter, but there are filter scripts in 
/usr/local/libexec/magicfilter. Strange that "locate magicfilter" did not 
show that. And I did run periodic and weekly.

> > Should I be content  to print only text? I talked to a friend who has
> > been running OpenBSD for three years. he only prints text. Is this
> > common with BSD? I do need to print more than plain text.
> No, it's not common with BSD - or Unix - systems. Most programs on
> Unix - like, for example, wp programs - generate Postscript
> output. If you have a postscript printer, you can probably just output
> directly to the printer. Magicfilter provides a "postscript" filter
> that appends a control-Z to the output to signal the end of the job,
> which some printers/printer configurations require. If you don't have
> a postscript printer, you need to arrange for the postscript to be
> sent to ghostscript, then the output of that to be sent to the
> printer. Magicfilter and apsfilter both can do that for you.
> I've got one postscript printer and one deskjet, and use magicfilter
> for both. I can print from Mozilla, my word processor, the gimp, and
> similar tools directly to either printer, and it work just
> works. Those tools all generate postscript. I can also print various
> document types from the command line - including images - and those
> will print properly as well.
> 	<mike

Interesting. It sounds like you have it working superbly. I'll research 
magicfilter some more. I need to see what is going on with 
/usr/bin/magicfilter being missing, I suppose.

Thanks for replying. I appreciate everyone's help, and hope to be able to 
return the same someday.


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