USB printer

Chuck Robey chuckr at
Mon Mar 17 18:49:42 UTC 2008

Hash: SHA1

Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

>>> 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.

There's where you state it hasn't any cli usages

>> 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.

And here you forget what you said, and claim the cups is just stupid to use
under CLI (no backoff from your FUD above, though).  Our own printer system
DOES NOTHING whatever for remote administration, nor organization of
drovers, nor ability to print different type sources, nor the added
security options.

> 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.

With little trouble, you can (and I did) integrate all the foomatic stuff
under MacOS, without recompiling.

> In the FreeBSD world the usual command-line junkies do the Right
> Thing and go buy a Postscript printer.

And that also is FUD.  A long time, I think about 20 years back, before I
knew better, I did exactly that.  It turns out that postscript printers run
about 10 times more slowly than using ghostscript on your system and only
sending the native image to the printer, so using cups is both far, far
more cheap (postscript printers being uniformly more expensive) and far,
far faster (postscript printers mostly being too slow for words, all
excepting the very high end ones).

  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.

Again wrong.  Usually, until lately, my printer of choice has been a HP
OfficeJet printer, which uses PCL5 for it's language,  You can only use IPP
if cups happens to be on both machines involved, but there are excellent,
mature things designed for FreeBSD, like apsfilter, which do all the
translation from the original format to postscript then back to whatever is
native, and handle all the spooling and multi-format printing.  The only
negative, really, in cups is that it asks you to use the lpr in
/usr/local/bin instead of /usr/bin. and that (under FreeBSD) it's
installation is execrebly documented and mis/under installed.  It and it
alone allows a nice REMOTE gui interface to administer with, but you sort
of forgot that.  The Foomatic project, a con of CUPS (one that clearly asks
you to install CUPS), with it's GREAT documentation of drivers and
production of ppd files, is by far the best unix effort to organize printer
drivers, that's flatly true.

Even the fine GUI admin isn't forced to be GUI, because they allow you to
use their CLI options also.  None of your arguments hold water.

The only thing wrong with CUPS is that under FreeBSD it's
mis/under-installed, and the rest of your points (I think I've competently
shown) are incorrect).  I don't recognize what bias seems to be fueling
your dislike of it, but I think it's undeniably true that you exhibit one.

> Ted

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