SysAdmin: LPRng [Configuration and Installation]

“In the beginning, UNIX printing was nothing more than a line
printer attached to a serial port. The system was rugged, reliable,
and the points of failure were known. As printers became network
aware, they could be placed near their users without the need for a
nearby print server. Berkeley LPR, long the mainstay of UNIX
printing, struggled to keep pace with printer technology.
Maintaining a large network of printers spread over an entire
campus became increasingly difficult.”

“The UNIX vendors created their own variations on the theme. The
Solstice printing software has undergone major revisions with each
new release of Solaris. Berkeley LPR is continually improved but
still suffers from some of its early flaws.”

“At Rice University, we maintain an academic network that enjoys
heavy use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year round. In response to
the varied needs of class work and faculty printing, we’ve deployed
upwards of 50 different printers across our 40-acre campus. Some
labs have several HP printers that we’d like to operate as a single
gang to distribute the load. Other labs have various types of
printers, each supporting several different kinds of media:
letterhead, legal, drilled, and tabloid papers. Our operations
center has several Tektronix color printers that provide resume,
transparency, glossy-film, and architectural-size color poster
prints. We’ve recently added two new printers for high-volume
drilled, collated, and stapled work. Under our previous printing
system, Berkeley LPR under SunOS 4, maintaining such an
infrastructure was time consuming. Without LPRng, which we
started using two years ago, our older printing system was
unreliable and inflexible to the degree that some of our fancier
equipment would be an unthinkable addition.


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