Redhat Printer Install

Posted on 2005-04-05
Last Modified: 2013-12-03
I am trying to install a local printer with RHES.  Kudzu detects the printer on boot and apparently configures it, and when I launch the
Hardware Browser my HP Deskjet 882C is detected. But when I launch the Redhat Print Manager I have to install the printer again, this time as a printer queue.  Why does the OS require two separate configurations?  And why is the second a queue instead of just a printer?  Although dev/lp0 shows an entry by now, I am prompted by the GUI to configure the printer. The choices are:
Text Only
Raw Print Queue
24-pin 136 Col
24-pin 80 Col
9-pin 136 Col
9-pin 80 Col
Postscript Printer

I researched this and found that PCL, not Postscript, is the standard language for HP printers.  I counted the pins on the printer cable, there are 25.  So none of these selections apply!  I'm puzzled, since I also found that HP Printers, and the 882C that I have, are supposed to be compatible with Linux.  Also, if I recall correctly, I had this printer working with RH9.  What gives?
Question by:klukac
    LVL 37

    Expert Comment

    Not being a Redhat (or Kudzu) guru, I don't know why the print queue was not installed automatically. But that's why the Print Manager wants to install a queue. The queue is the pipe through which the commands from the driver are sent to the printer. The choices you are given are not really important: they just tell the queue manager what would need to be done if you requested certain things from the printer - but this goes back a *long* way, to when people used line printers (you may not even know what they are). These things are now all handled by the driver.

    Anyway, the number of pins mentioned is the number of pins in a dot-matrix printer's (remember them?) printhead. They are totally irrelevant to your printer. I suspect the best setting for your printer is raw - which says to just send the commands without any messing around.

    As for language, PCL is the standard language for HP laser printers. Most of their recent inkjets including, I believe yours, are GDI printers. These have no built-in language and instead rely on Windows' graphics engine (or an equivalent driver for Unix or Mac) to do all the work.
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    If you want to use a GDI printer like that , your best bet is to use CUPS printing ( I think that the default on RH is lprNG).
    Linux works natively with Postscript printers, but PCL and GDI work best with CUPS.

    GDI printers need special drivers for Linux, as hdhondt says.

    If you switch to CUPS, you can configure your printer in a web browser by entering http://localhost:631

    Author Comment

    Thanks hdhondt, with your layout of what the options were (which looks like an incredibly old options list), I was able to "see" the GUI and figure out that there was a generic printer option which if selected leads you to manufacturers and model numbers.  The printer test page was very impressive.

    I didn't print from apps on my linux server, since my immediate objective is to manage print jobs over my lan.  I tried configuring samba for cups printing, as I had earlier (thanks uk, had forgotten about that), and got the same result as before - it doesn't work of course.  My status is that I can view the printer in my browser on port 631, but I'm prompted to use redhat for all config tasks.  I've read most of the (samba) documentation by now, have tried various printer config options in smb.conf, referring also to an earlier reply on this question, but I'm still stuck.  

    The first issue is that for samba printing to work, I need to install the printer on the linux samba server as a raw print queue.  testparm looks fine and I get a good readout on smbclient -L servername, but on the server I'm hung up on the printer install itself.  When I tried to print a test page using the raw-print queue, I got jibberish on the first page, and blank pages after that, until I unplugged the printer.  

    The other issue is that I'm not clear on how the Windows side of samba client printing is supposed to work.  File sharing is never a problem with samba, but printing is so difficult that I've often wondered how it ever works for anyone.  I think that I'm supposed to install the HP as a local printer on the XP client, and then change the spool settings to have it print directly to the remote device.  That didn't work, but then installing the HP as a network printer on my XP didn't work either.
    LVL 37

    Accepted Solution

    On the unix server, all you should need is a queue; there is no driver required on the server. Also, doing a test print from the server, without a driver, may produce unexpected results: unless the test print uses commands your printer understands, you will get gibberish. And some printers (PostScript printers) don't even print straight text.

    From the PC side, every PC will need the driver installed. Installing it as a local printer and changing the port works on Win9x, but not with 2k/XP. If you browse the network using Windows Explorer, you should see the printer. Alternatively, type \\servername\printername at a DOS prompt. The PC will prompt you for the driver disk if the driver is not yet installed.
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    You may have to set up a driver for CUPS for a GDI printer to work.
    Unfortunately, I don`t use RH any more, except on one database server.
    We have moved to Suse9.2 for several workstations and 3 servers, and everything seems to work fine (after I added an admin CUPS user- well hidden in the docs)
     Raw print queues generally transmit ascii data.
    GDI printers are notoriously bad as network printers, even on Windows.

    Samba printing usually works fine with Postscript printers, PCL is less reliable, and GDI often doesn`t work at all.
    this is because of the limitations of the PCL and GDI printers, rather than an issue with Samba or Linux.
    LVL 37

    Expert Comment

    No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned..
    I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
    Accept hdhondt
    Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.


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