When you install Red Hat Linux, it does not automatically detect printers. Therefore, all administrators need to know some of the arcane details of printer configuration.
Two major print systems are available for Red Hat Linux. The Common Unix Print System (CUPS) is now the default print service. The Line Print Daemon (LPD) was the default through Red Hat 8.0; Red Hat includes software that accommodates LPD commands and applications in the CUPS system.
CUPS, which is based on the Internet Print Protocol (IPP) version 1.1, allows administrators to organize networked printers in groups. The CUPS technical term for a group of printers is a class . CUPS includes a web-based configuration interface. It also works well with single local printers.
You can also organize large numbers of printers through the web interface. But to comprehend the implications for your network, you should also understand the contents of the associated configuration files. While the language in the /etc/cups configuration files may seemancient, it is quite similar to the language associated with the Apache web server configuration file in Chapter 30 .
In contrast, LPD was adapted from the BSD operating system, and works well with single printers on small networks. Red Hat has deprecated LPD, which means that it will remove LPD from a future release of Red Hat Linux.
The BSD operating system is also known as the Berkeley Standard Distribution. Like Linux, it too is a clone of Unix.
With CUPS, you do not have to give up any applications that are built for LPD. If you re more familiar with LPD, you can still use CUPS. It includes an xinetd service that lets you use standard LPD commands such as lpr and lpq . Once you ve selected your preferred print server, you should install and activate the appropriate packages. If you choose CUPS as your print daemon, you can also activate the cups-lpd daemon for applications that need LPD-style commands.