USB printer

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at
Wed Mar 19 04:22:34 UTC 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-freebsd-questions at
> [mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at]On Behalf Of Chuck Robey
> Sent: Monday, March 17, 2008 10:44 AM
> To: Ted Mittelstaedt
> Cc: Predrag Punosevac; FreeBSD-Questions at; Gligor Lucian
> Subject: Re: USB printer
> 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

No, you misread that.  It does nothing other than what you already get
with the base OS.  That is, -lpr/lpd, +cups = no advantage, ie: nothing.

> >> 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

It IS stupid to use under CLI if all your going to be doing is
using the same /etc/printcap config file and same filters that
you would use under lpr/lpd.

Are you a specialist now in ripping out sound bites and ignoring
the rest of the paragraph?

 (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.

Eh?  ssh into the print server and you can administer all you want.

Organization of drivers?  What drivers?  Why do you need drivers?
Oh I forgot, your too busy dropping $800 in superfast hardware
to image pages for your $99 printer you got free with a coupon, and
prints about 25 pages before the ink cartridge is empty.

> >
> > 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

absolutely wrong.

Only if you have a really cheap, old Postscript interpreter such as like
the HP III with the add-in Postscript card, stacked against a 3Ghz PC
tied to a winprinter with USB2 will you see this.  Otherwise, you take
the more common elderly 500Mhz CPU Win98 system that's been retired to
a FreeBSD system and tie it to your winprinter and try imaging anything
complex on it, and the PC will take far longer to image it than going
Postscript to a decent printer like an HP5 (which are cheap as dirt
on the used market)

And this is just image printing - text is a whole different ballgame,
it's far faster going Postscript to the printer if your printing
multiple pages because your uploading the fonts and then following
with just a text stream, your not imaging page after page.

All of this of course sidesteps the discussion of what your
considering is a high-end Postscript printer and what your
printing with it and how much your printing.

>, so using cups is both far, far
> more cheap

CUPS <> Ghostscript.  gs and all the foomatic stuff runs just fine
with LPR/LPD, no CUPS needed.

> (postscript printers being uniformly more expensive)

Any decent workgroup laserjet will cost far less per-page than
an inkjet, even going color, these days.  Your talking false economy
here - sure you may buy a color inkjet for $99 vs a color laser
for $400 but print 500 pages on both and your inkjet will be
an order of magnitude more expensive by the time you finish
paying for ink cartridges.

winprinters only make financial sense if your barely printing
anything at all - such as in a home - in which case all this
extra security layer you mentioned earlier in CUPS is pointless
in a home or small office environment.

> 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.

Oh, and you really use this OfficeJet in an environment where remote
administration is needed?  Uh huh.  OfficeJets are small home office
printers - are you in an office where people are too fat to waddle
the 20 steps over to the printer?

>  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.

Foomatic <> CUPS.  And it does not ask you to install CUPS.
Foomatic is here:

and let me quote:

"...Foomatic is a database-driven system for integrating free software
printer drivers with common spoolers under Unix. It supports CUPS, LPRng,
LPD, GNUlpr, Solaris LP, PPR, PDQ, CPS, and direct printing..."

I don't see any CUPS demand here.

Your just confused, is the problem.  Just because whoever created the
FreeBSD port of the foomatic stuff thought it would be a good idea to
include CUPS as a dependency you are -assuming- that CUPS and
Foomatic are the same thing.

> 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.

Well let's see what that might be, shall we?

1) Replaces simple programs already installed in the base OS with
a more complicated spooler.

2) Replaces BSD-licenced code that is free with GPL-encumbered code that
is not free

3) Claims IPP is the be-all and end-all when the majority of installed
base in business was using the Hewlett Packard "Standard TCP/IP + SNMP
Interface" that is provided by their JetDirect hardware print servers

4) Has a bunch of supporters running around in the community like
yourself who tell newbies that need the Foomatic stuff that they
have to install CUPS to get Foomatic.

Chuck, you just go to face the facts.   Seriously.  You have a
problem - I know you can shake it.  It's an addiction that with
our help you can overcome.  I'm talking about Windows envy.
I know you secretly only think a FreeBSD system is
usable when loaded down with a big heavy GUI, you probably don't
have a computer in your place slower than a 1Ghz system with half a
gig of ram and minimum 100GB drive, and if there's 2 ways of doing
something - command line and KDE/Gnome available, you will wait the
extra 2 minutes for the X desktop to load so you can do a 6 second
operation.  Face it Chuck - you never let go of your secret Windows
envy.  The quicker you admit it the quicker we can get you on the
road to recovery.  Come to us, leave the land of the mouse click
and come to the land of the green screen and glass tube terminal
and get in touch with the real computers that run the world.  We're
here for you, buddy. ;-)


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