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Major Printing HOWTO and Support Database updates

Feb 17, 2000, 19:15 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Grant Taylor)

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[ Linux Today reader Grant Taylor writes: ]

"I've recently made significant updates to the Printing HOWTO and its associated printer support database. These include:

  • Complete coverage of PDQ, a printing system for Unix-like systems which is a big improvement over traditional spooling systems like LPD. PDQ allows for flexible user control over printing and printer-specific options like duplexing, paper trays, quality modes, etc.
  • Information on printing photographs, centered around today's common color inkjets.
  • A new "proofread" flag in the database; all printers in the compatibility list are marked when I proofread new information. This gives users an appropriate level of confidence in the information.
  • A new utility called "PDQ-O-Matic", which automagically converts the information in the database into a PDQ driver specification for the printer. This greatly simpifies configuration, even for traditionally "difficult" printers like Lexmarks or the PPA Deskjets.
  • Work on an equivalent utility for the cups_filter package of free CUPS driver specifications is underway; to see the initial effort view the CUPS-O-Matic link. These will soon be included in the cups_filter package as backup descriptions for printers with no hand-tooled PPD file.
Note that most Linux distributions (and sometimes even the Linux Documentation Project site) currently contain a slightly older version of this HOWTO; be sure to obtain the latest from the URL below - you want version 4.5 or later.

About the Printing HOWTO

The Printing HOWTO is the best starting point for any investigation into Linux printing. It covers all aspects of printing, including local and remote printing, printing to and from different operating systems, and coverage and examples for common software like LPD, PDQ, and Ghostscript.

The Printing HOWTO's web-based support database has complete Linux information on over 400 printers. The information is distribution agnostic and encapsulates the experiences of roughly 7000 (!) contributors. A very brief summary of the database appears in the HOWTO itself, but for the full information and recent updates consult the website.

The HOWTO, the database, and a few other printing resources are located at"