[opensource] Some Linux/CUPS Printing Tips

James Dinan dinan at cse.ohio-state.edu
Tue May 15 13:51:12 EDT 2007

Hi All,

The other day I ended up printing something from a flash applet (yeck!)
and flash doesn't give you a print dialog so there is no way to select
"print to file."  So, I did a little digging and found that there is a
pdfwriter printer available with CUPS.

Here's how you set it up in Ubuntu:

1.) Install the cups-pdf package.
2.) Click System->Administration->Printers then add new printer.
3.) It should show you "PDF Printer" in the detected list.  Select it.
4.) For the driver choose:
     Manufacturer: generic
     Model: postscript color
     Driver: standard
5.) Done!

Now whenever you print something to this printer you will get a pdf in
the PDF directory off of your home directory.  If you set it as the
default, flash will print there (since it always just spews into the
default printer).

Another printing tip: Try using "gtklp" as a substitute printing program
instead of lpr (kprinter is pretty good too if you are of the kde
persuasion).  This will give you access to lots of features like n-up,
double-sided printing, etc.  From gtklp you can also select your
cups-pdf printer to send the output to a file rather than paper.

For example: To use gtklp in acrobat reader you can select the "custom"
printer in the print dialog and type in "gtklp" as the print command.

Feel free to add your own printing tips too!  :)


James Dinan <dinan at cse.ohio-state.edu>

Dept Computer Science and Engineering
      The Ohio State University

More information about the Opensource mailing list