AmigaOne - Linux - Printing
Printing from Linux is as easy as pie. Just plug your postscript printer into the parallel port, go to any program, load the file you
want to print, select 'Print' and your output should miraculously appear on your printer.
But if don't have a postscript printer, don't worry - it will still print just as easily, but you will also get all the postscripts commands printed for free, and somewhere in there amongst them will be your output. Some programs give you the option to print using other than postscript, but what you actually get is a hexadecimal dump, that goes on for page after page after page, and killing the printer doesn't help. When you turn it on again, it wants to carry on where it left off, even after a re-boot. There's got to be a better way, and there is. It comes in the shape of 'CUPS'.
CUPS provides a portable printing layer for UNIX®-based operating systems. It has been developed by Easy Software Products to promote a standard printing solution for all UNIX vendors and users. CUPS provides the System V and Berkeley command-line interfaces. At first glance it appears to be a bulky and complicated as warship going into battle, but while it appears to have everything you will ever need, it is not really as bad as it first appears.
CUPS uses the Internet Printing Protocol ("IPP") as the basis for managing print jobs and queues. The Line Printer Daemon ("LPD") Server Message Block ("SMB"), and AppSocket (a.k.a. JetDirect) protocols are also supported with reduced functionality. CUPS adds network printer browsing and PostScript Printer Description ("PPD") based printing options to support real-world printing under UNIX.
CUPS includes an image file RIP that supports printing of image files to non-PostScript printers. A customized version of GNU Ghostscript 7.05 for CUPS called ESP Ghostscript is available separately to support printing of PostScript files within the CUPS driver framework. Sample drivers for Dymo, EPSON, HP, and OKIDATA printers are included that use these filters, and hundreds of others are downloadable from the Internet.
1. The first step towards using CUPS is to install it on your system. For this we are assuming that you either have the CDs catalogued on your computer or you are using the Internet and the appropriate path has been catalogued. From a root Shell, run:
apt-get install cupsys-client
apt-get install gs-esp
4. There are several ways of configuring CUPS, but the simplest is to use any web browser and enter a URL of 'http://localhost:631/admin'. You will then be asked for a username and password as shown below:
Enter a user name ('root' is probably a good choice) and password and click on OK, and this should open the CUPS Admin screen as shown below:
Click on the 'Add Printer' button and this should open the Add New Printer screen as shown below:
Enter the printer name which must begin with alphabetic and contain no blanks or hyphens (-), followed by a location for the printer and a description, as shown above. When you click on continue a Security Warning message may appear:
This is simply a warning from Mozilla that may appear whenever data is being input. If already turned off it will not appear. If it does, simply click on 'Continue' and the next screen will appear as shown below:
Here you must select the device that the printer is connected to. If you have simply connected your printer to the parallel port, then you should select the 'Parallel Port #1' as shown above. If your printer is connected differently, then its up to you to figure what value to select. When you click on 'Continue' you may see the Security Warning again or go straight to the Model/Driver screen as shown below:
The values shown above are the defaults, but if you have added your own driver(s), they should appear here as well. Select the driver that matches your printer and click on 'Continue', which will take you to the second Model/Driver screen:
The values shown above are the defaults, but if you have added your own driver(s), they should appear here as well. Select the model that matches your printer and click on 'Continue', which will hopefully add the printer and display a confirmation message to that effect. Click on the printer name to display the details for the printer. Clicking on the 'Print Test Page' button will prove whether your setup has been successful. If an error occurs, you can use the 'Modify Printer' button to revise the setup details entered above.
When you need to print, the programs should automatically display the CUPS printers in the print requester. If it doesn't, you may find that typing the printer name into the requester has the desired affect, but this may not always be successful.
Disclaimer: Amiga Auckland have prepared the above information for the use of its members based on our experiences and as such is subject to revision at any time. Amiga Auckland cannot guarantee any of the information and cannot be held accountable for any issues that may result from using it.