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BSD Today: Using NetBSD (part 3): Setting up printing

Aug 13, 2000, 01:11 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ralph Krause)

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[ Thanks to Jeremy C. Reed for this link. ]

"Printing under NetBSD is a rather complicated affair involving numerous files and programs. Printing is controlled by the line printer spooler daemon (lpd) which is usually started at boot time. (In my first article, I mentioned modifying the /etc/rc.conf file to make this happen.)"

"The lpd program knows what printers are available by reading the /etc/printcap file. The printcap file contains an entry for each printer connected to your system or available on the network. In its most basic form, a printcap entry tells how the printer is accessed, where its jobs are spooled, and which filter to use."

"A filter is a program that modifies data before it gets to the printer. ... If all you print is plain text, you can get by with a basic filter but if you print PostScript, DVI, or other special files, you will need additional filters. To meet this need there are 'magic filters' available that understand many types of files and automatically convert them to a form that can be printed."

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