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Old 01-07-2008, 12:47 PM   #1
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Question Linux printing

Hello to All,

I have posted here before and was very well taken care of. My specific problem was solved very nicely. I am a new guy to Linux, but not to desktop computers running Windows. I am greatly enjoying learining the Linux distribution that I have chosen and I would gladly migrate permanently if not for a couple of items, one of which I am asking about here. I mean absolutely no offense to anyone, but could someone direct me to a straightforward explanation of how Linux prints from an application like OpenWriter or Scribus to the printer. There is LP, LPD, LPR, LPRng, HPIJS, HPIJS+CUPS, CUPS, GIMPprint, Gutenprint, etc. and GUI's like XPP and Kprinter. There is Ghostscript and PPD files. There are settings in the application that may or may not make it to the printer unless you also change it in the printer setup seperately. Test pages work, but only some applications. Printer setups for resolution and quality work only sporadically.

I have a HP6840 on my home network which I like really well and works very well in Windows, but only partly works in Linux. I just need a good working knowledge of how a print system works in Linux in order work from one end of the problem to the other for each application. I have searched this forum and others, but have not found a cohesive document. I would appreciate any help. Thanks for your time.

All the Best,
Old 01-07-2008, 12:53 PM   #2
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Well, I've used Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and a few others, and with my HP printer, all I can say is that it just does work. I'm not sure how, although I'm pretty sure that the Gnome printing manager is doing the hard stuff for me. What distro are you using? Are you on Gnome, KDE or something else? Printing under linux has always been mysterious to me too, but since it just worked, I didn't bother too much.
Old 01-07-2008, 01:58 PM   #3
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I'd start with getting some background on CUPS - that is the basis for nearly all Linux printing these days.
Old 01-08-2008, 08:05 AM   #4
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Thumbs up Thanks!

Hi pentode and PatrickNew,

I did some narrowing down of problems and went to the suggested site and from there I found some basic information. I appreciate your input. In a nutshell, non-postscript printers (which are in the majority) in an operating system where most applications output is either postscript natively or converted into postscript requires some gyrations and filtering to get the required printed output.

The case for me now is that all but one application is printing properly. The only one that is still squirelly is Scribus 1.3.4. I have researched this and I have found that I am not alone with this version of Scribus and printing problems. I will keep trudging forward through the fog.

All the Best,

P.S. -- I think I misspelled squirelly.
Old 01-08-2008, 11:55 AM   #5
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The most reliable way of printing that I have found is to export to postscript or pdf and then print. This has always worked just fine. Also, you shouldn't think that postscript is not used by most printers anymore, it still is or eps.
Old 01-08-2008, 01:46 PM   #6
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Hi H_TeXMeX_H,

Thanks for the note. All I am saying is that in a Windows evironment, postscript is rarely encountered, even in the EPS format, at least on the personal desktop. There is a very good implementation of GSView and Ghostscript for postscript translation that works very well for Windows, but I rarely have to use it. UNIX/Linux on the other hand, I believe, started with postcript to which it is still very closely tied. You are also right about expoting to postscript or PDF, but it would be nice not to have to do that extra step. Linux has so many other good features that I can live with a little inconvenience in the printing department. Thanks again.

All the Best,

P.S. -- Is "postscript" supposed to be capitalized when referring to it?


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