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Old 10-12-2004, 03:39 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Distribution: SuSE
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Linux printer driver model?

Could someone please summarize what the Linux printer driver concept/model is?

In a photography discussion forum I recently asked whether I could attach my Epson 2200 printer to my SuSE Linux PC, and someone responded that the Gimp 2200 driver was pretty good.

Does that mean that in Linux drivers are application-specific, i.e., that Gimp has its own printer drivers??

What is the correct method for installing a printer driver and making Linux applications that need to print aware of it? This may be a little too technical for a newbie forum, but in Linux how do applications that need to print text and graphics know how to format their data for an arbitrary printer, since Linux doesn't really have a layer equivalent to the Windows GDI? Do they go through some other kind of a device independent virtual printer interface?
Old 10-12-2004, 05:37 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2003
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Linux has basically two different printing systems (there are more to be honest, but these are the most popular):
"lpd generic" and "cups". lpd generic is slowly getting obsolete.
Cups "common unix printing system" is probably the most used and included in many distributions ( I don't know in Suse, but I'd find rather unusual Suse don't support it).
You can easily check if cups is installed on your system by the command (as root)
which cupsd
if installed you get an output like
I've no experience with Suse, but I know it has a very good setup system with a nice graphical frontend called "Yast" (something like "new hardware" on windows).
The alternative method to install a printer with cups is you open a web browser like Mozilla or Netscape and enter in the address bar
You'll be taken to a simple menu driven interface, follow instructions and you'll get your printer working.
Anyway the linux printing systems are not "program specific" (only a very short number of exceptions)
Old 10-12-2004, 05:59 PM   #3
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thanks a lot this helps me also
Old 10-12-2004, 06:20 PM   #4
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Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Fort Lauderdale FL.
Distribution: Gentoo
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See if this helps;
That is for debian but I think it is all the same with kde,just make sure you are in administrator mode.

Last edited by comprookie2000; 10-12-2004 at 06:24 PM.
Old 10-13-2004, 05:40 AM   #5
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Belgium
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In my understanding as a newbie, the equivalent of the GDI layer in windows is played by postscript in linux.
All programs output postscript data, and it's up to the printer driver to 'translate' that to a language the printer can understand. For some printers this is easy, for others it requires a combination of filters. However, I also don't understand yet who or what is sending the data through the filters and finally to the printer port.


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