Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (4343 mails)

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Re: [SLE] who can telll me what CUPS is?
  • From: Thibaut Cousin <cousin@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Nov 2002 14:21:09 +0100
  • Message-id: <200211061421.11200.cousin@xxxxxxxx>
Hash: SHA1

Le Mercredi 6 Novembre 2002 12:58, Damon Register a écrit :
> Thanks for your more friendly answer. I agree with you that someone
> here can give a nice simple starting point. I too want to know more
> about CUPS. I have already seen info on it, enough to know that it
> is a printing system but what I don't know is what is the difference
> between CUPS and LPRng and why I should use one or the other. After
> the not-so-friendly reply, I don't know if I would bother to post
> my question.

First, let's say the CUPS server gives access to much, much more
configuration options for your printers. For example, in my lab we have a new
printer. A real monster. But with LPRng, I can print only in simplex
(one-sided) because all I can do is send a postscript file to the printer
through the network (it is called a TCP printer, because it has its own IP
address). With CUPS, I can choose the printer model locally on my printer and
play with the parameters (recto-verso, for example) remotely.
Next, CUPS is much better at using PPD files, if I understood that point
correctly. A PPD is some kind of driver, a "Postscript Printer Description".
If you have the PPD file of a printer, you can make it work with CUPS. The
manufacturer can have that file. It is a text file, so it is the same on
Windows, Linux or MacOS. For example, one of my colleague has a Macintosh.
The printing system on MacOS is also CUPS. So he got the PPD files from our
printers on the Windows server, put them on his Mac and he could print
without having any manufacturer CD with Mac drivers.
On the server side, CUPS is able to manage printer classes. For example, if
you have one printer, instead of having several separate queues for various
qualities, you have one "printer class" (your printer) and to make all your
sub-queues you need only to provide the parameters that differ from the real
I guess a real system administrator could tell you much more than me about
it, but I hope you get the idea.
The only thing that bothers me with CUPS is its tendency to halt print
queues for no reason. Then you need to log in the server and restart them by
Oh, that's another good point with CUPS: you can configure and play with the
server very easily. Type "http://localhost:631"; in your browser, login=root,
and you have a web interface for the CUPS server. You can restart queues,
configure them, etc.

- --
Thibaut Cousin
E-mail : cousin@xxxxxxxx
Web :
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