Printing in Debian
Printing in Debian (Firefox and Opera, too) Print E-mail
Written by machiner   
Wednesday, 25 May 2005 04:42

[EDIT: This article is pretty old news. It's not bad info, but it's so much easier now. Nothing in it is necessary in Debian Lenny except for installing hpijs, hplip and cups; that is, if you have an HP printer.]

I don't know what kind of printer you have. Mine is a popular HP OfficeJet 7110. Like you, I want to print. (see this print server tutorial to share your printer LAN wide.) In Windows you pop the CD-ROM that came with your printer into your "cup-holder" and it fires up for you asking to be installed. It's terribly easy and only slightly less easy to set up your printer in Linux.

You must know right off that not all printers have drivers for Linux. Lexmark is notoriously difficult to set up, well, some models. HP's work fine. I hear tell Epsons are easy enough to set up, etc., etc., etc. Like I said, I have an HP OfficeJet and it's a piece of cake.

Fire up Synaptic and do a search for cupsys. If it's not already installed, install it cupsys and its dependencies. If you've been following along you already have cupsys and cupsys-client installed. It went in when you installed your desktop(s) via base-config.

If you want to be able to print from the traditional Linux tools and utilities, say Emacs, then you will also want to install cupsys-bsd. It's a replacement and bridge, if you will, to LPD and the like. It's terrific. Go ahead and install it. Also, if you use Mozilla products (and some other programs) you probably want to install gtklp.

Now lets install the Foomatics. Search for foomatic in Synaptic and mark to install the following:foomatic-db, foomatic-filters-ppds, foomatic-filters, foomatic-db-hpijs, (for HP) also if you have an HP OfficeJet go ahead and install hplip. Hplip replaces hpoj. Let any dependencies be installed.

See, only slightly less easy than using a CD-ROM. After these packages are installed you have the option of setting your printer up via the gnome-cups-manager widget (Applications, Desktop Preferences, System Tools, Printing) or in your browser pointing to Both are using Cups, they're both the same thing. I use my browser because it's always open. Go ahead and set your printer up going through the succeeding prompts using either cups front-end. See, printing in Linux (Debian) is a piece of cake. Play around with your settings - sometimes I print a "confidential" cover page just to mess with my kids, or when we're playing "super-spy". Super-spy ROCKS!

You may have problems printing from Mozilla, Firefox and/or Thunderbird. (Firefox 1.5 prints just fine without modification.) No problem, we anticipated this. Install (or revel in your foresight!) gtklp either from the Debian repositories or grab the tar file and compile it like all the cool kids do. Once it's installed, open Firefox (do the same in Mozilla and T.Bird) and then click "Print" from the file menu. When the dialog box opens, click Properties. Replace this line:


with the following


If you're using KDE add this line instead:

kprinter --stdin

...and how about this - my old favorite Windows browser - Opera - has once again secured a position among my favorite apps. I won't go into why I like Opera so much here, but if you want to use it and if you want to print with it you should probably do the following: Click File, Print. Choose the tab on the right Printer Program and fill in the following spaces with the following commands: for Printer Program type in gtklp and for the Parameter type in -stdin. That's it. Now, print that cool-ass page.

machiner 25 may 05 09:45:27

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 February 2009 15:02