USB printer

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at
Mon Mar 17 07:59:17 UTC 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-freebsd-questions at
> [mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at]On Behalf Of Chuck Robey
> Sent: Sunday, March 16, 2008 12:15 PM
> To: Ted Mittelstaedt
> Cc: Predrag Punosevac; FreeBSD-Questions at; Gligor Lucian
> Subject: Re: USB printer
> Hash: SHA1
> Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
> > 
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: owner-freebsd-questions at
> >> [mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at]On Behalf Of Chuck Robey
> >> Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2008 9:24 AM
> >> To: Predrag Punosevac
> >> Cc: FreeBSD-Questions at; Gligor Lucian
> >> Subject: Re: USB printer
> >>
> >>
> >> Cups on FreeBSD is still woefully underdocumented, relying 
> 100% on others
> >> sites, when the cups installation has been changed (somewhat) to 
> >> agree with
> >> hier(7).  I agree that needed to be done, and would have been 
> complaining
> >> if it hadn't,  but then there should have been some small 
> notes detailing
> >> how to install a local driver.  
> > 
> > The problem here is that CUPS is really mostly useful if your
> > using Gnome for your desktop, because there's a lot of GUI
> > configuration software that is written for that desktop that
> > makes CUPS configuration a snap.  (and installing foomatic
> > drivers and the like)
> > 
> > If your not a right-clicker or an i-book flipper than it's
> > understandable you would wonder why there's so much attention
> > paid to CUPS for FreeBSD since it does nothing for the usual
> > command line junkie.
> Sorry, I hate to differ, but even on my Mac OSX with dual PPC 
> processors, I
> use lpr all the time, and I use "ssh (hostname) lpr <filetoprint" from
> FreeBSD to my mac, it works just fine, and the Mac is running Cups.  It
> does too do stuff for command line people, it's just that no one 
> installing
> cups on FreeBSD has done anything to get that definitely established part
> of Cups working right.

However, that "definitely established part" of CUPS duplicates
lpr/lpd functionality, so it's a big waste of time to bother with
installing it under FreeBSD and ripping out the existing lpr/lpd
if all your going to do is use the same /etc/printcap config file
and same filters that you would use under lpr/lpd.

The real usefulness of CUPS is under a GUI, particularly married
with a GUI configuration interface.  For example you didn't
install your printers under MacOS X by hand-editing the CUPS
configuration files under MacOS X, you used the GUI configurator
in System Properties, which interfaces with CUPS.  That's why
Apple had to license CUPS after all, because they modified it
under MacOS X to allow the Aqua GUI to interface to it, and they
didn't want to release the mods they made to it into the wild.

In fact, if you compile ghostscript and compile the foomatic
software under MacOS X, you can download, compile and using
the Aqua GUI configurator interface to CUPS, install
a gigantic number of printer drivers under MacOS X.

In the FreeBSD world the usual command-line junkies do the Right
Thing and go buy a Postscript printer.  If you have one, all
of the need for these rediculous "winprinter" filters goes
away and then the only thing that CUPS really adds is the
ability to speak IPP - and I've yet to come across a hardware
printer server that spoke IPP that -didn't- speak LPD also.


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