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One Year Later - CUPS Admin Still Lacking?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the still-working-on-an-intuitive-gui dept.

GUI 447

DopeyDad asks: "OK, it was close to a year ago (Eric's site says July 2004, but I'd swear the original rant came earlier last year) that Eric Raymond's tirade on the unfriendly status of configuring the CUPS printing system on Linux was published. Well, I've been struggling with setting up a new laptop and getting it to talk to my print server, using Fedora Core 3, and nothing seems to have changed -- the admin items for adding a printer are exactly as Eric described them back then -- unclear, confusing, and no where near as friendly as their Win* equivalents. Definitely not something I'd expect my Aunt Ethel to be able to figure out. What's going on here? Granted, FC3 is ready to be replaced, but I don't see any CUPS updates for it. Is work being done with CUPS to address Eric's original complaints, or has this issue fallen off the radar?" For those who are still frustrated with the CUPS GUI, how would you improve it?

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It depends... (-1, Offtopic)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304408)

Does monitoring breast size at the beach constitute a CUPS admin duty?

Offtopic but ... (1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304446)

I just paid $21.99 for 3 feet of usb wire.

Re:Offtopic but ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304530)

That's what the fuck I'm talkin about!

YEAH!

Answer (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304411)

For those who are still frustrated with the CUPS GUI, how would you improve it?

By using Mac OS X's interface to CUPS. [apple.com]

:P

Re:Answer (4, Insightful)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304550)

Heh. Does this look like a prettier version of MS's printer admin stuff to anyone else?

The thing that's missing is seamless functionality and implementation, as usual. Coding cool stuff and coding pretty, highly portable stuff are two different things, and it's hard to get people to do one for free.

Re:Answer (0)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304587)

No, but I write printer drivers for a living, so I have a different angle.

Re:Answer (1)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304650)

Heh. I write ^&%^$& VBS code so I stare at a little printer window like this all *ing day.

Short Topic Blurb asked for dumb-wussy-user input, so I gave it to you.

Re:Answer (4, Interesting)

bhsx (458600) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304571)

If OS X uses CUPS, can I safely assume that every OS X-compatible printer is supported by CUPS? If so, why doesn't someone just clone that interface? I mostly use my Ubuntu box for a game server these days. I haven't been using Linux as a desktop for a while (for the most part, beyond testing new games), so maybe KDE or GNOME have their own shiny interfaces that could be given a facelift to function more like the OS X version?

Re:Answer (3, Informative)

topham (32406) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304667)

No, not every OS X Compatible printer is supported by CUPS.

I can print to by S330 just fine from OS X. I cannot on the other hand print to it over my network. CUPS doesn't support it. (might now, haven't checked recently).

And for some reason Windows won't print to it on my Mac, so I've been swapping the USB cable back and forth. Kinda stupid.

Re:Answer (1)

mshaslam (688800) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304593)

By using Mac OS X's interface to CUPS.

Yea, but what do you do to improve *that*. No offense meant, but the OS X printing interface is kinda sucky. And I write this from my much beloved Ti Powerbook.

Re:Answer (1)

thsths (31372) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304699)

> By using Mac OS X's interface to CUPS.

Yep, that is pretty sweet. Or, if it is not an option, you can use the KDE Printer Admin. Assuming that the access rights are set up, configuring a printer is pretty straight forward. It is certainly a lot better than the web GUI included with CUPS.

A CUPS How-To (0, Offtopic)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304417)

How To Make CUPS "Just Work":
A Guide For Linux Users

  1. Save up $500.
  2. Buy a Mac.
  3. There is no step three! *sniff*
flame off

Re:A CUPS How-To (1, Offtopic)

heauxmeaux (869966) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304453)

errrr...correction:

Step 3: Print all the gay porn .tiffs' you can handle!
Fuckin apple fags. Get a room.

Re:A CUPS How-To (1)

glenrm (640773) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304474)

Does this mean that there should not be a free alternative to improving the situation? The base for Tiger is BSD right and that is free of GPL entaglements right?

Re:A CUPS How-To (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304499)

The mac just has a different front end for administering CUPS. (Since about 10.2 they've used CUPS)

You can still see the webpage if you are on a mac and goto http://localhost:631/

Re:A CUPS How-To (1)

bicho (144895) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304514)

No "proffit!!" step?

Sorry, I will look for another solution, thank you.

Re:A CUPS How-To (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304536)

or buy a cheap older mac off ebay, get XPostFacto going, add USB and save a few hundred dollars!

i just wrote about how OS X makes an awesome print server: http://hohle.net/scrap_post.php?post=105

Quick CUPS Workaround (1)

heauxmeaux (869966) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304418)

Doc can be found here. [microsoft.com]

Right... (-1, Offtopic)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304419)

And a year (and many complaints/jokes) later, Slashdot Admin Still Lacking too...

Nothing to see here. Please move along.

Feh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304421)

Linux == poo :) I use my computer to do work and play games, not compile kernels and other software all day. Oh, and setting up network printing on my 4 Windows machines at home took all of 5 minutes. Two to install + share, then 1 minute each on the 3 other machines.

Hear no...see no...speak no... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304422)

"For those who are still frustrated with the CUPS GUI, how would you improve it?"

Close our eyes, and pretend the problem doesn't exist.

Re:Hear no...see no...speak no... (3, Funny)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304517)

"For those who are still frustrated with the CUPS GUI, how would you improve it?"

Close our eyes, and pretend the problem doesn't exist.


You're a FreeBSD developer, aren't you?

Re:Hear no...see no...speak no... (0, Flamebait)

slashdot_commentator (444053) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304607)


No, I'd say F/OSS advocate.

Re:Hear no...see no...speak no... (1)

Dogun (7502) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304619)

Or Sussman's advisor, as is told in The Jargon File.

use Mandrake (4, Interesting)

nocomment (239368) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304430)

Or Mandriva as it's called now. Their printer admin GUI is peaches. :-) Maybe since it's GPL'd the CUPS team can just grab it from the latest cooker?

Or Ubuntu (4, Informative)

slashdevnull (220766) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304535)

Like everything else in Ubuntu, I had no problem configuring printers in CUPS. This is mainly because the web interface tells you to use gnome-cups-manager, and even tells you where it is in the system's menu structure. Really user friendly.

If I had a dime (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304437)

For everything thing someone bitched about linux, I'd have some dimes.

i agree with the rant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304442)

CUPS is a pain in the ass. no, I don't know how to improve it.

Wow (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304450)

Based on the volume of replies (NOT) it seems that slashdot readers just don't care about this. Sad!

Re:Wow (1)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304496)

Weird comment...you are criticizing the lack of posts 3 minutes after the original article was made available?

Windows no rose garden either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304458)


I remember fighting with Win2K, where there was just no way in hell it would accept an IP address for a network printer. After fighting and fighting, it finally worked! Actually it didn't, because the final attempt was when I stumbled upon another interface for adding a printer that looked and behaved identically to the other one (except that this one worked). And don't get me started on the network neighborhood!

Re:Windows no rose garden either (1)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304653)

The trick is to tell it that it's a local printer and add a new "Standard TCP/IP" port.

Re:Windows no rose garden either (2, Insightful)

BannedfrompostingAC (799263) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304660)

Comparisons to Windows are beyond the point: the fact is, the CUPS interface undeniably sucks, that is the point of this article.

So there.

Reference (4, Informative)

MrNonchalant (767683) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304459)

The article that is referenced is here:
http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cups-horr or.html

Re:Reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304522)

Part 1 [catb.org] and Part II [catb.org] .

Re:Reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304523)


And if you hate copy and pasting, here's a clicky for you:

http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cups-horror.html [catb.org]

If you're a retarded forum junkie who can't distinguish between slashdot and the dumbass forums you spend your pathetic life in, here's your link:

[url=http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cups-horr or .html]http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cups-horro r.html[/url]

*bump* (1)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304604)

Well done sir. Good job.

I'll never understand why all those kiddie forums replace good, old-fashioned Hypertext with some lame-ass propietary [url=lameass] scheme. It only makes the forums harder to use.

Oh, and ditch the 2 inch deep graphical sigs while you're at it. They detract from the content if there is any content.

*bump*

Mand[rake|riva] (1)

Delusional (574271) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304464)

Mand[rake|riva] ships with a very easy-to-use printer admin tool. I know that they're kinda low on the geek cred scale, at least in the states, but their distros are a hell of a lot better for your Aunt Gertrude than FC or Deb will ever be.

In other words, the geek distros are still hard to use, but that doesn't mean all distros are.

Configuring CUPS (4, Informative)

jimpop (27817) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304467)

forgoet the CUPS application tools, user http://localhost:631. The www interface at least works all the time.

Re:Configuring CUPS (1)

steveg (55825) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304527)

Ummm. That isn't the interface they're talking about?

I've never used anything but the web interface. Didn't know there was something else.

Re:Configuring CUPS (1)

nocomment (239368) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304547)

What works more often than that is 'vi /etc/cups.printers.conf' :-p

Re:Configuring CUPS (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304696)

wow tks - never knew that was there in fc3.

Re:Configuring CUPS (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304700)

Speak for yourself; half the time it doesn't work for me, for no good reason. When I can connect, half the time again you can't do things like remove documents from the queue. I've had bad experiences with the web interface. Of course, configuring my printer at all has always been somewhat of a pain (HP PSC-950) because it requires hpoj and a lot of setup.

High level approach: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304470)

SELECT L.driver
FROM linux_partition.linux_drivers L
INNER JOIN windows_partition.windows_drivers W
ON L.driver_id = W.driver_id;

Re:High level approach: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304543)

You utterly fail it. That was not even remotely cool, funny, or intelligent.

It worked for me... (1)

cthrall (19889) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304471)

Running FC3 on my laptop and was able to install a network printer and print to it from Firefox within minutes...I was impressed.

CUPS printer detection (3, Interesting)

corvair2k1 (658439) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304472)

Windows seems to have no problems with detecting a printer... I feel like there has to be a documented call/answer that would make the model/revision known to Windows. Could CUPS be altered to do the same thing in its installer? Could it have an online driver repository for the printer?

Makes me wish I had time to actually work on these things, even if I find out that this can't be done. ;)

IIRC... (3, Insightful)

imroy (755) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304473)

If I remember correctly, the problem ESR was having was with the RedHat GUI. The only "CUPS GUI" is really the web interface on port 631. Every other "real" GUI is made by some other vendor/project e.g RedHat, KDE, Gnome, etc... (OpenOffice?). I have my own complaints about the CUPS web interface, but they're nothing major. I've always just tweaked the cupsd.conf file and added the printer (s)in the web interface. No major biggy there. This all just a storm in a teacup.

Re:IIRC... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304621)

"This all just a storm in a teacup."

This saying is funny! where is it from?

no problem at all (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304475)

Not sure why you are using nonsense such as Fedora, but on Debian I never had problems. The KDE printer selction tool and the online configuration work great. So stop complaining if your distro is crap.

not that I'm flaming your choice.

LACKING!?!? (5, Funny)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304478)

It's still a great big steaming pile. I never thought it would happen, but from time-to-time I catch myself saying; "Maybe I should go back to lpd" <shudder>

One more rant, whoever it was that was unimaginative enough to come up with the foomatic name should be flogged.

It has little to do with CUPS itself. (5, Interesting)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304481)

It has little to do with CUPS itself. It is rather Fedora's system-config-printer-gui fault. Go check out other distributions - namely SuSE or Mandriva (former Mandrake) - each of them handles this by their own tool - YaST (SuSE) and Mandriva Control Center... Go, see how it looks and think again not to generalize stupid stuff like:

Fedora's printer config dialog sucks -> Linux printing status: unfriendly.

Yast - Seconded (2, Interesting)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304541)

Indeed, of all the interfaces to CUPS that I have seen, two stand head and shoulders above the rest. Yast is hands down the best Linux interface. The other interface worthy of note is for an Apple variety.

Re:It has little to do with CUPS itself. (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304557)

Yup. Click "Control Center" in the menu (or "settings:/" in Konqueror), click "Yast2", "Hardware" and "Printers". If you have it on USB, etc., it autodetects. Otherwise, pcik your printer from the list.

Same as setting up any hardware.

--
Evan

Re:It has little to do with CUPS itself. (3, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304580)

Yea Suse worked for me AFTER I tracked down a PPD file for my printer. The problem is it still takes too much fiddling around to make it work. I had to find the windows PPD, on the Xerox website, which was in a windows self extracting zip.

Re:It has little to do with CUPS itself. (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304651)

I recently installed debian sarge on five computers in the lab. I didn't even notice cups installing itself (as it went along with other packeges) and detecting printers. They just worked (tm).

another story about graphics card support...

Re:It has little to do with CUPS itself. (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304719)

to be honest and precise I just recalled myself, that on one of those machines I had to look at http://localhost:631 and click something to get the printer running.

Wonder why? (5, Funny)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304484)

"OK, it was close to a year ago... that Eric Raymond's tirade on the unfriendly status of configuring the CUPS printing system on Linux was published.... and nothing seems to have changed -- the admin items for adding a printer are exactly as Eric described them back then -- unclear, confusing, and no where near as friendly as their Win* equivalents."

Well, so much for ESR tirades motivating the development of user-friendly software. Anyone else have any ideas?

Re:Wonder why? (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304584)

Maybe Eric should actually get to work and code instead - if he had done so a year ago, chances are that by now, there would be a good configuration system for CUPS.

After all, it *is* one of the much-touted advantages of FOSS that you actually can scratch your metaphorical itches instead of having to wait for the vendor to do it.

Re:Wonder why? (1)

dfetter (2035) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304628)

> Maybe Eric should actually get to work and code instead - if he had done so a year ago, chances are that by now,
> there would be a good configuration system for CUPS.

Hoo, boy! You haven't seen the results when ESR attempts to write code, have you?

Re:Wonder why? (4, Insightful)

topham (32406) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304640)

So nobody is allowed to complain that something is lacking? They have to fix it themselves?

Isn't the idea that the community can do what people can't, or won't do for themselves.

Some people don't have time to do what would have to be done.

Re:Wonder why? (1)

KenBot_314 (744719) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304701)

The point the GP is probably trying to make is...

This slashdot article is basically saying "well, i dont' know what happened... Eric Raymond complained almost a year ago and still nothing has changed!". As if by magic the poster expected all FOSS developers to drop what they were doing and create the perfect GUI printer system for Linux.

Sorry but it doesn't happen that way.

Re:Wonder why? (2, Informative)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304590)

Well, so much for ESR tirades motivating the development of user-friendly software. Anyone else have any ideas?

Yeah... try paying the developers. Nothing motivates people to do unpleasant things like money will (see: the porn industry and Fear Factor).

That's why the commercial software development model is superior in terms of responding to the desires of ordinary users.

no common interface (5, Interesting)

jaymzter (452402) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304486)

what bugs me is I configure cups, try to print out of an app which has its own printer settings (like Moz or Acrobat), then everything gets filtered through kprint, at least on my system. So if something doesn't work, where's the problem? Also, if I use the cups admin, it breaks the fedora system config utility's settings, and vice versa. Fate and Linux are playing tricks on me!

Such is the nature of the beast... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304487)

Open source programmers work on what is sexy. CUPS isn't sexy. You want someone to do that kind of work, you have to pay them, which is why oos will never have the same polish as commercial OSs (polish doesn't mean themes and icons guys).

Re:Such is the nature of the beast... (1)

HelloKitty (71619) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304591)

what makes it sexy is when hundres of people bitch about a problem, then some hacker realizes they too can be everyone's hero if they step up...

how about now?

KDE Interface to CUPS configuration... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304501)

KDE's control panel offers a very nice UI for CUPS administration. It's not as simplistic as the Mac OS/X one, but nearly as easy to use (and, in some cases, much more convenient -- it's much more flexible).

Of course, round here, we've been distributing printer CUPS configuration via RPM (URPMI). Most user's don't even need to know there's a way to configure the printers -- they just magically appear.

CUPS on FC4 test 2 (2, Informative)

taquitosgmail.com (876560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304512)

Works like a charm in FC4 Test 2. I just plugged in a hp deskjet 3845, pressed print, and it worked. (not to mention Win* needs the HP print system programs to run this)

Re:CUPS on FC4 test 2 (1)

danheskett (178529) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304625)

Win* actually does not need it, but HP - since they've become such a crappy system - tries to trick you into thinking you need it.

If you dig a bit Windows will install just the driver.

Seriously, if anyone is still using Hp printers of the ink variety, stop.

use Windows. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304515)

windows Printing and network file sharing is superior to any current Operating system.

GUI Schmui (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304526)

I set up a network printer via CUPS just the other night in about 20 minutes completely from scratch. I had never done it before, and had no clue where to begin.

The process went:

1. Google for "CUPS debian" to find some basic info.
2. "apt-get install" standard debian CUPS packages and a nifty one that includes all printer drivers.
3. Open up the the CUPS config file (cupsys.conf I think) and poke around for things I wanted to change.
4. Install my printer and enjoy slick web-based admin pages served right from CUPS. I can even print over the Web now if I want!

And that was Debian Stable for all you Debian detractors out there.

20 MINUTES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304698)

That sort of proves his point, Bub. Installing a printer on Windows takes 1 minute and, that's IF it isn't automatically detected and installed. Hell even configuring one of Novell's atrocious NDPS printers only takes 5 minutes.

CUPS (5, Informative)

loginx (586174) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304532)

The built-in admin web-interface to set up cups is really just there so that an admin with no desktop can configure their print server.

If you are an end-user, it is implied that you should be using desktop tools to accomplish this.

Both Gnome and KDE offer very nifty printer configuration apps that will take care of setting up CUPS for you. Gnome uses gnome-cups-manager (run that from your terminal or create a launcher), while KDE uses kprinter (you can also run it from the terminal and create a shortcut).

It is also worth mentioning that when you hit print on Mozilla Firefox, you can hit "Properties" for the printer in the print dialog and change the "Print Command" line to KPrinter to let it handle the printing in a much less convoluted way.

Opposite experience from ESR (2, Informative)

dominator (61418) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304534)

Using the FC3 printer configuration tool, I checked the "share this printer" box. It asked me to give the printer a name, which I did.

I went downstairs to my GF's Powerbook running OSX 10.3.x and told it that I would like to add a network printer. It found the printer that I had created. I clicked "print a test page" and everything "just worked." I don't see how it could get much easier.

Opposite experience from ESR-Einstein. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304626)

"I don't see how it could get much easier."

Eliminating the "going downstairs"part.

Re:Opposite experience from ESR (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304673)

I went downstairs to my GF's Powerbook
Wow, your mom has a double level basement!

The KISS Principal (4, Insightful)

WombatControl (74685) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304537)

One of the problems with FLOSS is that it tends to be written by hackers (which is also one of its biggest benefits, but I digress)...

Hackers want lots of options. They want to be able to configure FIFO settings for serial printers and flow controls, and all the technical nitty gritty.

Grandma doesn't know what the hell a flow control is. All she wants to do is a print a picture the grandkids sent her.

The biggest barrier to FLOSS usability is often overwhelming the user with too many options. A good GUI presents the most basic options you need to accomplish a task, and hides the rest where Grandma won't find it, but where someone who wants to change some deep, dark setting has the option of doing so.

IMHO, Mac OS X Gets It Right. Their configuration dialogs are quite simple, but you can always get under the hood if you need to. That sort of ease of use is what makes OS X a Unix that Grandma can use.

And if it takes messing about with obscure settings to get things to work, then the back end needs to be refined until the system works.

Complexity is at odds with usability, and in general FLOSS tends to be balanced more towards the former than the latter.

improve it (1)

HelloKitty (71619) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304548)

For those who are still frustrated with the CUPS GUI, how would you improve it?

do some research. see how M$oft and Mac does theirs.

Do that.

Wrong Distro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304549)

Fedora is euh "not the best" integrated distro... If you are not convinced by Apple, maybe SuSE or Mandriva are worth trying...
or upgrade to RedHat EH Workstation... dunoh you have some room to make your decision

HP printers (1)

lilbudda (625254) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304559)

check out http://hpinkjet.sf.net if you have a USB HP printer... but as far as getting a nice GUI for CUPS, not sure.

system-config-printer? (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304560)

There are tools avaliable that makes setting printers up a breeze. None of the ones i use are proprerity so any dist can use them. While i admit that the cups GUI should be better laid out and more userfriendly i think many users dont really see this problem.

The thing that pops into my mind is the question:

Why doesnt those who feel this is a real problem fix it?

DIY?

KDE control centre does a good job (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304561)

I recommend it as a way of setting up printers. The functionality is the same but it looks nicer and seems easier to use for those without cups experience. I don't know if there's a gnome equivalent.

How 'bout the book? (5, Informative)

TVmisGuided (151197) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304567)

Not long ago, there was a Slashdot review [slashdot.org] of a certain book [oreilly.com] , which included a chapter on CUPS that can be downloaded for free [oreilly.com] (can't beat that price!). It seems to demystify the entire process of administering CUPS.

Five cents, please...(that's about all my opinion is worth these days)

Re:How 'bout the book? (1)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304694)

Well but this argument is not over CUPS itself - CUPS is just printing engine - it can have multiple frontends like MOX's one (good), Fedora's one (apparently bad), Mandrivas one, SuSE's one etc. you can even go to /etc/cups/ and use your $EDITOR and it will be fine. CUPS is not about config GUI - it is about few config files than you can edit and config files themselves are quite OK for me.

It is the same like you would say that Apache is not friendly because some distros GUI sucks... It is not the point about Apache but about this one distro tools. I know printing is more desktop oriented but it still applies here - with CUPS you can do a lot of magic (setting queues, browsing protocol, print accounting etc.) - no GUI IMHO will ever implement control of everything that CUPS can do. Either no GUI will ever implement control of everything that Apache can do...

It is not about CUPS - look at Apple guys, they did it well and they are still on CUPS.

PS. But the web interface could be a little prettier than it is now. ;)

Welcome to the club - try CUPS on MacOSX, also (1)

papaia (652949) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304570)

Same issues with CUPS on MacOSX: after having used it, and - when gotten it to work - prayed every time I had a print job, to actually see it through, on all my Linux boxes, I got myself an iBook (my first Mac ever - OSX 10.3.x), to find it installed there, also. Ever since day one, after tweaks of all sorts, I still have instances when only the first page prints, or cups just leaves behind all junk files in its log directory, etc. Oh, well - just my $0.02.

Non-issue (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304572)

If Fedora doesn't make it easy to set up a printer, then it's Fedora's fault. The whole purpose of a distribution is to sort things like this out.

It would be the same if there was a partition-eating bug in the Linux kernel. If Fedora destroys your data, it's Fedora's fault, even if the bug is in the Linux kernel.

In my case, I use KDE, and have had no problems setting up printers. If Fedora doesn't use KDE and doesn't supply suitable tools that do the same thing as KDE's printer manager, then it's a major shortcoming of Fedora. Not "Linux".

gnome-cups-manager is pretty nice, but buggy (1)

rolfpal (28193) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304575)

Ubuntu shipd w gnome-cups-manager which is really easy to use. The only problemn it is a little buggy still. I had trouble with it since my network printer name has a "/" in it.

Please. (2, Insightful)

Dogun (7502) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304588)

My experience with setting up CUPS is the exact opposite. I agree that it has not improved over the past year, but it *IS* remarkably simple to set up a printer with CUPS. I got it on my second try, back a bit over a year ago, and have reconfigured cups maybe 10 times since then, without any trouble.

What's so hard about clicking on "Manage Printers" and then "Add Printer"?

Among my recent linux converts, they described CUPS as being relatively hastle free, and superior to the oft-broken process under Windows.

Re:Please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304671)

"Windows and Mac OS have advocates. Linux has apologists."

DoRD staff speaking- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304609)

status of configuring the CUPS printing system on Linux was...

The CUPS printing system? The Common UNIX Printing System printing system??? *sigh*

Gave up on CUPS (2, Informative)

British (51765) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304620)

I admit, I was stumped with the whole setting up the printer in CUPs. I had a friend who works in Linux daily set it up. We had to set up a few test printers, and then try to navigate to the IP address of it(on 2K for internet printing).

After all was said and done, any printout I made printed about 90% of the page, and then it was garbage city. And as a general rule with messed-up printings, all garbage that prints out a form feed every few lines or so. So it's not one page of garbage characters, it's a stack of them.

Eventually I just gave up, and will be just using a Win98 box with sharing for all print jobs.

What's the problem? (2, Insightful)

stinky wizzleteats (552063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304622)

I've always heard a lot of bad things about CUPS, but have only had occaision to use it over the past year or so. Maybe I've just been lucky, or CUPS is a whole lot easier to mess with on Gentoo, but I've never had any problems with it.

Needs to be as simple as windows printing. (4, Insightful)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304623)

I hate to say it but this is one area windows has it all over Linux. On a windows machine I can setup a printer in under 10 seconds. On my Linux box I still have yet to make it work.

In windows setting up a printer is as easy as \\servername\ printersharename

On the server adding that printer to be available to clients is just a matter of knowing what port, or IP its on (which configures a "port" when you provide the IP during setup). This again is a minor job.

I've tried, several times to get CUPS working and ave found it the stupidest sub system in all of UNIX. There has got to be a better way, but I haven't found it yet, has anyone else?

I have been able to get everything I have ever needed working in Linux in the past simply bu reading the man pages and how-to's but neither seems to have the answers for CUPS.

My printer in my house is on a printer server box. Configuring printing should be trivial. Privide a printer type and an IP and GO.

I guess (1)

suezz (804747) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304639)

I am the only one to not to have problems setting up cups printers in linux.

I don't do anything exotic with the printers but on my desktop at work I am connected to three different hp laserjets through the jetdirect cards and have never had a problem - just had to get the ip address of the printer but that's it.

Where I work they have instructions all over the place on how to set up printers in windows and I have printed out some instructions how to do it in linux and mine are shorter we have mixture of windows and linux client pc's. I laugh when the windows users say the printer is down and I just keep printing to it.

Never looked into why but does anybody know if windows can print directly to the jetdirect card. last time I checked it couldn't but hopefully they changed that in XP.

I remember fooling around with old netware 3.11 and using it as a print server to print to hp printers - nowadays though it great that everything as tcp/ip and we have gotten rid of the old proprietary protocols - now we can just get rid of smb/nmb.

Ubuntu CUPS GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304643)

I used the GUI for CUPS that comes with Ubuntu on my iBook, and I was printing to an HP DeskJet USB printer attached to an AirPort Express (via HP JetDirect) in minutes. I don't recall having any problems setting it up in Yellow Dog either (Fedora-based). Of course LPR never gave me any problems in the past.

Linux promises, Apple delivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304647)

no where near as friendly as their Win* equivalent (0)

cbowland (205263) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304670)

I can't say that the Win equivalent is all that friendly. I don't use windows much, but it took me forever to configure a network printer. Maybe it is obvious to the Windows users, but having to choose the 'Local Printer' radio button to access a printer on the network (one without its own print server) seems a bit brain dead to me. And not at all friendly. As other posts have mentioned, SuSE and OS X are pretty good cups interfaces, but the having the webserver on port 631 is a nice bonus for Solaris boxes.

I'll admit I screen my hardware (1)

dalutong (260603) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304677)

I'll admit I screen my hardware, but I've had very little trouble with CUPS using System-Admin->Printing in GNOME 2.10.1 (ubuntu.) I clicked "new printer," "forward" (aka "next'), and "apply." it detected it and selected the driver. I didn't have to do anything but make sure it was right.

I don't know anything about fedora. I also have had trouble in the past with using my own ppd files. But I think the interface was just fine.

As for general printing problems? There are plenty. Just because your printer works in OO.o doesn't mean it will work in GIMP, for instance. (same with copy/paste, btw.)

Problems everywhere (2, Insightful)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304708)

I've got a friend who's got a USB printer on Win-XP. It seems like every time they unplug the printer and plug it in, it occurs as a different instance -- which means that the printer needs to be installed yet again. I'm gonna be heading over to his place this weekend to help solve the problem.
____

Printers are, generally, a bit of a pain in the ass. There are way too many proprietary drivers and driver styles, and I really don't see the need for it.
Why can't these manufacturers define a standardized, extensible interface format for their printers and end this madness once and for all?

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