The nightmarish problem of installing a printer

Jerry freebsd.user at
Sat Sep 18 12:50:35 UTC 2010

On Sat, 18 Sep 2010 14:15:25 +0200
Polytropon <freebsd at> articulated:

> 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.

The same could be said in regards to a lot of other applications.

> 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.

You keep insisting that it is complicated; yet, you fail to
specifically state what it is that you are failing to comprehend. Your
"bloat" comment makes no sense at all. What you consider "bloat"
another user might well consider essential. Should we deny them in order
to satisfy you?

> 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.

What standards? Some arbitrary protocol that you or some other
unofficial entity has determined to be the ONLY ACCEPTABLE protocol. It
could very well be said that FreeBSD, and perhaps others, are failing
to implement the commonly used protocols presently in effect by
printer manufacturers. It is THEIR product. They have an ABSOLUTE right
to create and distribute THEIR product as THEY see fit.

The constant and repetitious rantings that manufacturers are failing to
follow some arbitrary, self proclaimed "standard" is wearing thin.
Perhaps if the FreeBSD team decided to jump on the band wagon as
opposed to trying to reinvent the wheel, the ease of integrating
devices into the system would be simplified and thereby enhance the
OS's standing and acceptance. They again, bitching, complaining and
blaming others is easier, and unfortunately, the common norm in today's
society. "Never do for yourself, what you can blame on others" has
become the new battle call.

Jerry ✌
FreeBSD.user at

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