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Printing PDF from AIX 7

I am trying to print PDF files from an AIX 7 server.

I have added a NT shared printer which is on Windows 2003, I have connected the AIX 7 print queue to the windows 2003 shared HP printer fine, but it only prints gibberish...

I can do PDF2PS and print, but this is a manual process, I need an automated process which will print the PDF's fine from AIX 7. Preferably using the NT shared printer.

When I print directly from the 2003 server, its prints fine. Only when the print is initiated from AIX 7 it prints gibberish. I do see the print job go through the windows spool service.

Any advice on how I can get this to work?

I have read some vague information about creation of a 'conversion queue' so windows will do the post processing.. I am unsure how to set this up or if it will work at all... Any info about this may help.
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alexr54
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alexr54
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hdhondtCommented:
Which PDF reader are you using to open the PDFs? I don't use AIX, but from what I can see Acrobat Reader does not work under current versions of AIX.

Or are you just sending the PDFs direct to the print queue? That will not work.

A quick Google search implies the way to go is with PDF2PS. You should be able to automate it by using a script that does the conversion and then sends it to the printer. If the printer has a network i/f you can lpr it straight to it.
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alexr54Author Commented:
An application makes the PDF and sends directly to the print queue.

No other options? A experienced AIX user out there?? :)
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carlmdCommented:
Is the printer on the network or attached to a specific pc?

How did you create the AIX print queue?
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alexr54Author Commented:
It's a HP network printer shared from a windows 2003 server.

The print queue was created the standard smit way and the prit queue does work to the shared printer just not for PDF files. I don't have the specifics in front of me at the moment.
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hdhondtCommented:
In general, printers do not understand PDF files. Although there are printers that do, most of them still need the PDF sent in a particular way. An example is the Xerox Phaser 5550, which I believe will accept and print PDFs, as long as it has a hard disk and the "productivity kit". See:

www.office.xerox.com/latest/55AEG-01.PDF

Some HP printers support it, too. If you can tell me which printer you are using, I can check to see if it supports it, and what's needed to make it work.
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alexr54Author Commented:
The printer is a HP 9000N
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arnoldCommented:
AIX experts still need to add,
An option to look at is http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redbooks/pdfs/sg246018.pdf
You likely need to define a filter for PDF to ps conversion.
I.e. not to send the PDF as a raw data stream that the printer can not process.
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hdhondtCommented:
I've had a look through the LJ9000 documentation and it does not mention PDF printing. The only reference to PDFs in the User Guide is under Digital Sending (sending scanned images as PDF from the 9000MFP).

That seems to make it clear that the LJ9000 will not print PDFs without first converting them to PS or PCL.
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woolmilkporcCommented:
You can easily set up a print queue on AIX which instead of enqueueing the print job directly would first start a homemade script of your choice.
This script could perform the pdf2ps conversion and finally send the results to the desired queue. Flags of e.g. "enq" are passed to the script along with the filename to be printed.

Define a print queue on AIX of type "other" ("smitty mkpq") specifying the name of the queue (e.g. "pdfprt"), the device (e.g. "pdf2ps") and the name of your script (e.g. "/usr/local/bin/pdfprt").

A minimal "pdfprt" script could look like the following example. Please note that we pass the name of the target (Windows) queue by somewhat misusing the "-Z" flag of the "enq" command.

#!/bin/ksh
pdf2ps $3 | enq -P$2
exit 0

Print your PDF to an already configured remote printer "win_prt" like this:

enq -Z win_prt -P pdfprt /path/to/myfile.pdf

The above can be tailored in many ways, e.g. by passing a lot more "enq" flags, depending on how you use to start your print jobs.
"lpr" instead of "enq" (on the commandline as well as in the script) should do the trick as well.
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alexr54Author Commented:
Thanks  woolmilkporc.

This looks like it could be my solution. So basically i can add the PDFtoPS in the print queue. It will automatically convert to PS in the queue...as you describe.

I will try it now and hopefully establish the queue properly, if i can.
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woolmilkporcCommented:
This is the appropriate smit menu. Only the first three values are required (see what I filled in, according to my above example names).
* Name of QUEUE to add                               [pdfprt]
* Name of QUEUE DEVICE to add                        [pdf2ps]
* BACKEND PROGRAM pathname                           [/usr/local/bin/pdfprt]
  ACTIVATE the queue?                                 yes                                                               +
  Should this become the DEFAULT queue?               no                                                                +
  Queuing DISCIPLINE                                  first come first serve                                            +
  ACCOUNTING FILE pathname                           []                                                                  /
  HOSTNAME of remote server                          []
  Name of QUEUE on remote server                     []
  Pathname of the SHORT FORM FILTER for queue        []                                                                 +/
   status output
  Pathname of the LONG FORM FILTER for queue         []                                                                 +/
   status output
  BACKEND OUTPUT FILE pathname                       []                                                                  /
  ACCESS MODE of backend output file                  write only                                                        +
  Print HEADER pages?                                 never                                                             +
  Print TRAILER pages?                                never                                                             +
  ALIGN page if printer has been idle?                yes                                                               +
  Number of FORM FEEDS when printer goes idle        [0]                                                                 #

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