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Old 10-29-2002, 12:09 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Coram, NY
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 4

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SuSE Linux Printer Configuration and Default Page Layout


Once, when I used SuSE 5.3, one of the best features was printing. It had a logical, and tasteful default page layout having had one page per sheet, proper font size, and a frame that allowed to punch holes on the left margin of the page. This exemplary attention to details, however, did not endure in time: printing became one of the worst features of Release 7.3.

The printer configuration starts with outo-detection: a prompt recognition of my printer, HP LaserJet 5MP which is a postscript as well as PCL printer. But the postscript configuration is rather disappointing: to print out the rather plain test page takes more than TEN minutes. Printing other files is not as bad, but still way too slow. But what has happened to the default page layout?! The frame and margin on the left have gone, but on the top of the page I got an unrequested entry of "Printed by Printing daemon from linux{root@linux.local}". Well, I have no idea how to eliminate this crap, and reestablish the margin and frame as it was on Release 5.3, but I am quite unhappy with the present defaults. Trying to reconfigure, the printer has resulted in a complete loss of the functioning of the printer. Only a reinstallation of the system has fully restored its functioning.

Using a2ps is reasonably fast. But, again, I have problem with the page layout. Using A4 page seting for the American market... Well, I could reset that. But, when I have tried the single page form, the upcoming font seams to be too big, and the frame is ugly. The unrequested entry of "Printed by root", and the alternating side location of page number, and date for even and odd page numbers at the bottom of the page as well as the lack of left margin make it look rather unprofessional. Which files, which entries to edit are not dealt within the manuals, and even if you guess the files, the man-pages without illustrating examples are too obscure and cryptic. I wish someone had written a front-end for the default page layout. Once one knows the location of the variables, it is not a big deal; yet, no one has come up with it. Am I alone who has this sort of problems?!

I would appreciate if someone with more experience, and understanding could point to the specific places and specific actions to regain the desired level of control over the default page layout.

Thanks corvus_albus.
Old 01-30-2003, 11:27 AM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Distribution: Mandrake 9
Posts: 2

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Cool printer solutions

I have had various disturbances with printers in the past.
The self-installing distros such as Mandrake have given me the least trouble when it comes to printers. Let me tell you, it took me several days to get a BASELINE functionality with some distros while Mandrake provided FULL-UP functionality including printing out of the box. Read that as up and running as soon as the CD loaded the software on the system. (30-50 minutes). One friend told me that Redhat and the likes of it, even in it's current incantation is no easy feat for the beginner (and in quite a few cases perhaps not even for the intermediate..however, that is just one opinion and it is unconfirmed.)

Printing is a bit sticky when it comes to
a( left margins
b( postscript printing
c( useable documentation.

However, the solutions to these three problems (after installing Mandrake) (or after doing a lot of config work and reading) (3-30hours on other distros) comes to this.

a( I found that aligning the paper in the printer counter-intuitively with the left-margin aligned against the left-rail-guide works. It took me a long time before I figured this one out.

b( enscript <filename> works very well. if its not already there, it can be downloaded off the net. (ref: Linux Cookbook)

c( documentation on Mandrake is easy to access.
man <command>
info <command>
apropos <topic-name> | more
all provide a wealth of information
Also on mandrake there are cofiguration dialogues that allow for printer configuration.
(I would use Mandrake just for t reliability and convenience of the documentation alone).

IN SHORT, buy a distro that supports you rather than one that you have to struggle with. After doing that, configuring the Gnome desktop and downloading the excellent Mozilla browser and email package, I now find that using Linux is a joy to behold!

Best wishes,

Last edited by tangbeili; 01-30-2003 at 11:33 AM.


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