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

Samsung to release first Tizen Smartphone in Egypt by early 2016

Interesting news. Egypt is said to be looking at releasing their first Tizen-powered smartphones in the Egyptian markets at the beginning of 2016. That Information is according to Samsung’s IT and Mobile Product Manager, Raafat Khalil said Tuesday. Could this hail the release of the Samsung Z1 or the upcoming Samsung Z3? Read more

GNOME Tracker 1.4 Gets Its First Point Release with Dozens of Improvements and Fixes

Martyn Russell, the developer of the Tracker semantic data storage software for desktop and mobile devices used by default on the GNOME desktop environment, announced the release of the first maintenance version for Tracker 1.4. Read more

blackPanther OS 14.1 (Walking Dead) Unleashed Worldwide, Download Now - Video

The development team behind a very old GNU/Linux operating system, blackPanther OS, had the great pleasure of announcing the immediate availability for download of version 14.1 of their 13-year old distribution, dubbed Walking Dead. Read more

Benchmarking Debian GNU/Hurd 2015 vs. GNU/Linux

After a reminder this week from a Phoronix Premium member about some fresh Debian GNU/Hurd benchmarks, here are some fresh results comparing this version of Debian with the Hurd kernel instead of the Linux kernel. The results for this comparison are done against Debian GNU/Linux Wheezy. For those unfamiliar, Debian GNU/Hurd is the GNU user-land but running atop Hurd -- similar to Debian GNU/kFreeBSD being powered by the FreeBSD kernel. On the topic of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, I'll probably run a fresh kFreeBSD vs. Linux comparison again soon. Read more