Thursday, 24 June 2004

Print it

My latest little project for Debian is an automatic printer setup tool, built from lots of the bits and pieces I’ve developed for Foomatic-GUI. Details here on debian-devel. Short instructions:

Add this to /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb ./

Then do (as root):

apt-get update; apt-get install printconf

Success or failure reports would be greatly appreciated.


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How does it figure out which printers are attached to the system?


It probes the USB and parallel ports for IEEE 1284 configuration data. It’s actually not that hard, just calling an ioctl for USB and reading a proc file for the parallel port.


The reason I ask: we’re planning on writing a series of tools that use discover to set various hardware things up. Something that hooks into foomatic is on the list.

So, instead of writing something like that from scratch, I may send you a patch. Is that something you’d be interested in?


Sure; it’s designed to run pretty much stand-alone, but it wouldn’t be too hard to hook into discover—the main thing is to ensure you don’t keep adding queues for the same printer over and over again.

Plus it’d help that discover is part of the default installation, which means a smoother path for “printconf” into the release.

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