Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Linux printing: much done and more to do

Filed under
Linux

In the last seven years, printing on Linux has undergone a metamorphosis. Barely adequate printing support, provided on a program by program basis, has been transmuted by a half dozen projects into a wealth of options comparable to those available on Windows or the Mac OS. Where printer manufacturers once ignored Linux, a growing number support it and the rest are watching closely. Standardization and support for multiple distributions remain major problems, but community and corporate interests have recently started working together to address these last remaining problems.

Around the turn of the millennium, printing on Linux was haphazard and basic. Depending on the distribution, It was controlled via the lpr or LPRng systems, which are not controls for printers so much as for print spoolers -- the queues for jobs sent to printers.

The printtool utility simplified setting up printers with these commands, but, aside from resolution, offered almost no access to printer or print job controls. Just as in the days of DOS, no standard interface existed, and each program provided its own tools for interacting with printers, such as spadmin in StarOffice.

Moreover, only the PostScript printing language was supported by Ghostscript, the software that controls printing, which meant that most printers that used the more common Printer Command Language (PCL) would not work with Linux. Nor, in the absence of manufacturer support, was there much prospect of getting more printer support, although brave efforts to reverse-engineer were underway.

Slowly, the situation began to change. Till Kamppeter and Grant Taylor founded LinuxPrinting.org, a database and community forum, and developed Foomatic, a database system for integrating printer drivers and spools. The Gutenprint project (formerly GIMP-Print), especially for the inkjet photo-printers that have become popular with digital camera users.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

NVIDIA Linux Performance-Per-Dollar: What The RX 480 Will Have To Compete Against

There's a lot of benchmarking going on this weekend at Phoronix in preparation for next week's Radeon RX 480 Linux review. Here are some fresh results on the NVIDIA side showing the current performance-per-dollar data for the NVIDIA Maxwell and Pascal graphics cards for seeing what the RX 480 "Polaris 10" card will be competing against under Linux. Read more

RaspAnd Project Brings Android 6.0 Marshmallow to Raspberry Pi 3, Now with GAAPS

Android-x86 and GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton has informed Softpedia today, June 25, 2016, about the immediate availability of a new build of his RaspAnd distribution for Raspberry Pi single-board computers. RaspAnd Build 160625 is the first to move the Android-x86-based distro to the latest Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow mobile operating system created by Google. And in the good tradition of the RaspAnd project, both Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and Raspberry Pi 2 Model B are supported. Read more

BSD Leftovers

  • FreeBSD 11.0 Alpha 5 Released, Schedule So Far Going On Track
    The fifth alpha release of the huge FreeBSD 11.0 operating system update is now available for testing. FreeBSD 11.0 is bringing updated KMS drivers, Linux binary compatibility layer improvements, UEFI improvements, Bhyve virtualization improvements, and a wide range of other enhancements outlined via the in-progress release notes.
  • DragonFly's HAMMER2 File-System Sees Some Improvements
    The HAMMER2 file-system is going on four years in development by the DragonFlyBSD crew, namely by its founder Matthew Dillon. It's still maturing and taking longer than anticipated, but this is yet another open-source file-system.

Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" to Ship with GCC 6 by Default, Binutils 2.27

Debian developer Matthias Klose has announced that the new GCC 6 compiler, which will be made the default GCC compiler for the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" operating system, is now available in the Debian Testing repos. Debian users who are currently using Debian Testing can make GCC 6 the default compiler by installing the gcc/g++ packages from experimental. If installing it, they are also urged to help fix reported built failures in Debian Testing and Debian Unstable. Read more