First, point your browser to http://www.cups.org
Read the documentation about CUPS, IPP, etc. to be sure this is the
solution for you (it is). Download the latest version of CUPS, and the latest
version of ESP Ghostscript, which contains some modifications to
ghostscript, and is necessary (I don't know if the latest ghostscript from
contains the modifications, so just get
the ESP version).
Once you have the source code (I always recommend source, binaries are
at your own risk), you can either jump into installing CUPS, or back up
your old print system. CUPS can possibly overwrite your old print setup,
so if you worry about breaking things and not being able to go back, back
it up. Now, read the readme, configure && make && make install
for ghostscript, then for CUPS.
You've installed CUPS, now you need to configure it. Go to /etc/cups,
edit cupsd.conf, and set up your server as per your network requirements.
Copious amounts of reading of the documentation is in order here, as
there are numerous options that may need to be configured. The relevant
manual is the System Administrator's section of the documentation (you'll
get to the User's section soon).
If you have more than one computer on your network, and you would like
to print from those through your cups server, you need to install the CUPS
software(at a minimum, the ghostscript stuff isn't necessary), and set up
this new system as a client. This usually consists of editing a file called
/etc/cups/client.conf and inputing the name or IP address of your print
Ok, now you've got your print system up, but no printers are configured.
That's because you need to install some printer drivers. There are many
free printer drivers. http://www.cups.org
has some links to a few good
sources, and http://www.easysw.com
also allows you to download a large
chunk of printer drivers (though, I don't remember if these drivers work
w/o paying for the ESP software -- probably not).
Here are a few links to search for your printer driver:
Once you have your printer driver downloaded, you can start the setup of
your printer. First you'll need to put the printer driver in
/usr/share/cups/model, or just remember where it is if you are up to
configuring your printer via command line.
If you prefer command line, read the documentation on all
the options available for setting up your printer (I won't repeat it here,
since there are several pages worth).
If you prefer a (more limited) GUI, you can start up the CUPS server
(/etc/init.d/cups start) and point your web browser to: http://localhost:631
and you will open up a page allowing you to, among other things, set up the
printers. This probably won't work for most of you because you didn't set
up any authentication for system administration of the printers. Do this
by configuring the Authentication of the cupd.conf, and then by using
lppasswd to add a user and set its password. This should be sufficient, but
you may need to add a user using adduser, try lppasswd first.
Once you have your printer configured, you should be able to just print
using lp or lpr.
There are a lot of things missing from here, and this is really meant to be
the start of a HOW-TO, with input from others. I'm writing this with one
hand while I feed my son, so it's a lot shorter and more terse than it
necessarily should be. Start the questions, and I'll try to answer them. . .
I'm sure I missed something, so if this isn't useful, post a clarification,
correction, or whatever. It may be good to also move this post to a new
thread, but I'm not in the mood to do that right now. . . =-}
If you don't like either of the above configuration tools, there are a
multitude of others available. kups, qtcups, etc. Do a google search.