Distribution FAQ

General Questions

In which forum should I ask distribution-specific questions?

Forum: Linux

What printers work?


How do I print to the parallel port?

Debian has no parallel port support by default.
Two solutions:

1) Simple: run modconf as root, look for either "parallel printer support"or
parallel port support or similar, and build this module into the kernel.
(Which kernel do you have?)

2) Simply recompile with parallel port support.

Debian 3.0

How do I print with the HP 3325?

The version of HPIJS is 1.0.4-1. You need to upgrade
to version HIPJS-1.3.1.

apt-get install hpijs

Why does N-up and2-Up printing give me a blank page?

This can be cause if duplex printing is specified in both the input
file and the PPD.


Why is the Epson Stylus C82 not listed in Mandrake's PrinterDrake?

Choose the Epson Stylus C80 as your printer model.

Why can I print from every application except

Run printerdrake.

If you want to print to remote printers, double-click them and choose the
option to add them to

If you only want to print on local
printers, printerdrake sets this up automatically when you run
it. Now simply exit printerdrake.

To print with, choose printer entries without

Mandrake 9.1

How do I configure the margins for my Epson C82?

Probably the margin error only happens with plain text. Start
xpp or
kprinter and click Options or Properties, the Text tab, and then
adjust the margins and save the options. Then the text should start
where you want to have it to start.

Why does upgrading to Mandrake 9.1 break CUPS?

Mandrake 9.1 uses Foomatic 3.0, there cupsomatic is replaced by
foomatic-rip. Please remove all your print queues with printerdrake,
then close and restart printerdrake and new queues for the local
printers will be generated automatically. You can edit them (for example
renaming) by double-clicking on the queue entries. Add queues for your
network printers with the Add printer button.


Why do I get error: failed dependencies: /usr/sbin/alternatives installing CUPS?

In recent RedHat versions, chkconfig has included
alternatives. You should update chkconfig to
chkconfig-1.3.5-3 in AS2.1 updates.

How do I get /usr/sbin/alternatives?

Upgrade two packages from RedHat 7.3:

RedHat 7.1

Why can't I print 1200x600 with RedHat 7.1 with my Brother HL-1440?

Here are the steps to get 600x600 printing working. This
has been tested with CUPS-1.1.6-1, redhat-7.1.

1) Generated a PPD file from 'PPD-O-Matic' with 'hl1250 driver' and
save it to /usr/share/cups/model.

2) Installed the cupsomatic Perl script to /usr/lib/cups/filter

3) chmod 755 /usr/lib/cups/filter

3) Install foomatic-gswrapper to /usr/bin/

3) chmod 755 /usr/bin/foomatic-gswrapper

4) Install mpage-2.5.1-5 if needed.

5) Setup the printer via CUPS's web interface http://localhost:631

7) Install ghostscript-6.51.

8) Use ghostview-3.5.8 to open a pdf or ps file and use lpr from
ghostview's print menu.

10) If you are using 600x600, change to 1200x600 from CUPS's web interface,
and then every thing work fine.

RedHat 7.3

How do I compile foomatic?

The version of printconfig-gui accesses Foomatic
functions which are not available in the current version of
Foomatic. You should either use a program other than
printconfig-gui or
update only the database.

Where can I find additional information?

You can
look here
for additional help.

RedHat 8.0

How do I copy printer information between machines?

Use printconf-tui --Xexport > config.xml to export the configuration
from a machine whose configuration you want to copy. Then you can use
printconf-tui --Ximport < config.xml to recreate that configuration
on another machine.

How do I enter long paths for the HPOJ?

RedHat 8.0's printconf utilities do not allow entering a
device filename longer than 20 characters, which makes it impossible
to enter the necessary /var/run/ptal-printd/mlc_... filename.
Clay Claiborne suggested a workaround,
Sylvain Lavoie suggested another workaround.

Another solution is to use the Printer System Switcher tool to switch from LPRng to CUPS.

Why does the hpoj build fail with RedHat 8.0?

To build hpoj-0.90, you can perform one of the following workarounds:

1. Run ./configure --without snmp This disables full-feature
JetDirect support, but locally-connected (parallel-port and USB)
device support is not affected.

2. Edit lib/ptal/ and add -DUCD_COMPATIBLE
(without the quote marks) to the CFLAGS line. Then run

./configure --with-snmp=/usr/include/ucd-snmp

RedHat 9.0

Why do I get lpr: Unable to create temporary file?

You need to create an evironmental variable called TMPDIR
which points to a directory you have write permisions to. /tmp is
probably the best choice.

export TMPDIR=/tmp


setenv TMPDIR /tmp

How do I set up an HP Office Jet?

The following devices are using an obsolete configuration file format. Use "/etc/rc.d/init.d/hpoj setup" to delete and re-probe them:

This is a bug in RedHat 9.0 version of perl. One workaroudn is to
set the environment variable LANG=C

export LANG=C

or change it in /etc/sysconfig/i18n.

Slackware 8.1

Why do I get Unknown device: hl1250 or similar errors?

This error message means that your GhostScript does not have
the driver hl1250 compiled in.

You should try using ESP GhostScript from


Where is the $PRINTER variable defined?

SuSE installs the default profile at /etc/SuSEconfig

SuSE 8.0

What is the default print spooler?

lprng, CUPS is available through YAST.

What should the HPOJ path look like?

For lpd, you'll need something like

SuSE 8.1

How do I print with lpr?

There are no known installation issues with SuSE 8.1 and foomatic.

You have done something wrong.  :)