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

Leftovers: KDE

diff -u: What's New in Kernel Development

Boot times can become slow on systems with many CPUs, partly because of the time it takes to crank up all the RAM chips. Mel Gorman recently submitted some patches to start up RAM chips in parallel instead of one after the other. One of the main problems with trying to implement such a feature—and one of the main reasons such patches haven't made it into the kernel before—is the need to avoid slowing things down for smaller systems. Read more

I so cannot wait until this Friday when Seed of Chucky is released!

Weber State vs Oregon State Live Stream

IT&C sector – engine of the economy : Kogaion and Argent – operating systems created in Cluj-Napoca

This goes for the Romanian Group for the Development of Gentoo-Derivative Technologies too. Gentoo is an operating system based on Linux or FreeBSD, which can be automatically optimized or personalized for almost any application or need. Last week the Cluj-based team launched in Bucharest and Cluj two PC operating systems that are one hundred per cent Romanian, which could be used by regular users or within public administration, the education system or defence institutions. Read more