Desktop printing, a request for your experiences
john at jnielsen.net
Mon Nov 26 07:54:27 PST 2007
Quoting Dominic Marks <dom at goodforbusiness.co.uk>:
> Can anyone give me their experiences of desktop printing
> (OpenOffice/KDE/Gnome/Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird, etc) recently?
> I haven't tried for a while but it was a pain to setup and maintain the last
> time I looked at it.
> If you are using this for "real-work" and you are getting good results please
> let me know what you are using (software and hardware ideally).
> The environment I would like to put this into is a family house, very small
> setup with 2 PCs and 2 printers. Currently both are Windows PCs but
> one is experiencing all of the classic issues with a multi-year Windows
> installation and since they are used exclusively for E-Mail and word
> processing I am interested in migrating one PC over to FreeBSD.
> .. If the solution was a Linux distro (box package, or otherwise) I would
> also be interested.
> ... I am not a subscriber so please keep me CC'ed in the discussion.
At home I have one headless FreeBSD server, one FreeBSD desktop, one
Windows desktop, and one or more laptops running either OS at various
times. I also have an old cheap (non-PS) laser printer and a new-ish
multifunction photo printer. The laser printer is connected to the
FreeBSD server, which runs CUPS and Samba, among other things. The
inkjet is connected to the Windows Desktop.
Printing from FreeBSD (all stations also use CUPS) to the laser printer
always works fine. Printing from Windows to the laster printer (talking
to Samba with a CUPS backend) works fine most of the time. Occasionally
graphics-intensive jobs will come out screwy, and Acrobat Reader
doesn't always behave well for some reason (even though I'm using the
Adobe Windows PS driver..).
Printing from Windows to the inkjet always works well, and the vendor
driver obviously supports all of the printer's features. Printing from
FreeBSD to the inkjet (using an SMB backend to CUPS on the FreeBSD
server) works well for standard documents and resolutions. If I need to
print high-res or borderless photos I do it from Windows. (I also use
the Windows station for scanning.)
Much of the above could be different for different people using
different printers. In my case attaching the dumb laser printer to a
FreeBSD server makes it more usable, whereas attaching the inkjet
printer to the FreeBSD server made it less so (vs Windows). The
gutenprint drivers are catching up to the vendor ones but for this
printer they aren't there yet.
On the whole I'm quite happy with my CUPS server on FreeBSD, especially
when printing from other CUPS-capable workstations (i.e. anything BUT
Windows). Printers show up automatically and work the same from all
stations with no need to distribute drivers, etc.
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