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

Games: SteamOS, RimWorld, Yooka-Laylee, FTL: Faster Than Light, Pictopix, Red Strings Club

KDE: Reasons to Get Excited, Plasma Weather, Plasma on ARM and Qt on Mobile

  • Reasons to Get Excited about KDE in 2018
  • Three old Plasma Weather applet TODO items gone for Plasma 5.12
    Just when I thought to have missed yet another Plasma feature freeze deadline with the one for Plasma 5.12 LTS and thus a good(?) excuse to re-decrease priority of some planned work on the Plasma Addons Weather applet (from the kdeplasma-addons repo, not to be mixed up with clearmartin’s one from github/store.kde.org) once more and thus delay things even further to a day that may never come, the Plasma team found they need to shift the deadline by some weeks to be after the KDE Frameworks 5.42.0 release. So excuse gone, no other quickly found… time to do a git pull and open the editor.
  • Plasma on ARM: State of the Union
    For the past year at Blue Systems my colleagues and I have been working on getting Plasma 5 ready for ARMv8 systems such as the Pinebook. If you were at QtCon this year, you might have also seen our awesome team demo’ing these systems at the KDE booth along with Plasma on ARMv7 systems such as the ODROID C1.
  • Sharing Files on Android or iOS from or with your Qt App – Part 2

Today in Techrights

SUSE: GCC and GSoC in OpenSUSE/SLES

  • SLES 12 Toolchain Update Brings new Developer Tools
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Updates Its Developer Toolchain to GCC 7
    SUSE's Andreas Jaeger writes in a blog post about the updated toolchain of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 operating system and the new developer tools it brings. The article notes the fact that with the release of GNU Compiler Collection 7, the GCC team brought numerous improvements for developers, including better diagnostics, DWARF 5 support, as well as support for the C++ 17 standard. GCC 7 also contains improved optimization passes and takes advantage of some of the features of modern processors, and now it is available to all SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 customers with an active subscription.
  • Become a Google Summer of Code Mentor for openSUSE
    The application period for organizations wanting to participate in the Google Summer of Code is now and the openSUSE project is once again looking for mentors who are willing to put forth projects to mentor GSoC students.