The nightmarish problem of installing a printer

Polytropon freebsd at
Sat Sep 18 12:15:28 UTC 2010

On Fri, 17 Sep 2010 15:10:45 -0700, perryh at wrote:
> Polytropon <freebsd at> wrote:
> > I would like to have ONE thing that is used for printing, and that
> > does support ALL printers ...
> Isn't that exactly what CUPS is supposed to be?

Obviously not. Look at the dependencies, the bloat, and the
overall complicatedness of installing a printer. Also, the
documentation situation could be better. When dealing with
CUPS, foomatic and Gutenprint also enter the field, as well
as hp*d stuff that is not included (and needs additional
attention). There needs to be lots of action besides CUPS to
get it working for certain printers.

Try - with CUPS - to install a dotmatrix printer on a parallel
port that is currently NOT connected. Last time I checked, this
was not possible. 

Under one point of view you are right: CUPS has been become
a quite standard assumption for many programs. If you install
them, they will install CUPS (even if you're already running
apsfilter or nothing, just pure system's lpd). I see this when
printing from Gimp: "/usr/local/bin/lpstat: Unable to connect
to server", clearly a CUPS message. This also shows that it
doesn't integrate with system services that well, but its use
seems to be hardcoded into programs.

>From this opinion, you might get the impression that I don't
like CUPS. You are right. But that's no problem as I don't have
to use it. :-)

I would LOVE to accept CUPS as a versatile part of the FreeBSD
infrastructure, if it just wouldn't be that bloated, complicated,
generally accepted as a default (in that case, it would have the
potential of maybe becoming part of the base system), and finally
abandoning the point of view that is has to cater "Windows"-typical
kinds of thinking - ununderstandable, illogical.

Of course I assume that you know that printer manufactureres that
build home consumer crap are not interested in following established
standards and recommendations, so THEY are the primary cause of
trouble with printers. This is not CUPS's or FreeBSD's fault.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list