PPD files vs printer drivers also LPD vs LPRng vs CUPS

Predrag Punosevac punosevac at math.arizona.edu
Sat Nov 10 15:39:58 PST 2007

I am trying to understand little bit better Unix printing. I am terribly 
confused about
the real meaning of PPD files and printer drivers.

According to this 

PPD files are post script description files that act as a drivers for 
post script printers. This seems clear to me but I have never had a post
script printer in my life.

According to same page CUPS-PPD are used by CUPS to do post-script 
printing on non-postscript printers by directing files through
CUPS-filter. Could somebody explain this things better to me. Every time 
I used CUPS the PPD files where enough to enable me printing.
Did I really use some other drivers beside these PPD files or did CUPS 
communicate with my printers with some generic driver and just
uses PPD files to do filtering.

In LPD it seems to me that this is more clear as when I run ./SETUP 
apsfilter I am really question to select the driver from the Ghostscript 
collection. I have never used LPD without the apsfilter.

What is the simplest way to send ps file to the printer that doesn't 
speak ps? If I could do that everything else is peace of cake. I read 
very carefully printing form the handbook but I want to learn more.

Could anybody explain me if there are some strong reasons for choosing 
LPD over CUPS or LPRng system (seems just GUI added on the top of LPD)
It would logical to me that LPD is safer (CUPS port has some security 
warnings) and maybe more reliable. In any case it is included in the 
base system and I prefer to use something included in the base system

Thanks to ALL

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