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1. Introduction

The Printing HOWTO should contain everything you need to know to help you set up printing services on your Linux box(en). As life would have it, it's a bit more complicated that in the point-and-click world of Microsoft and Apple, but it's also a bit more flexible and certainly easier to administer for large LANs.

This document is ordered such that most people will only need to read the first half or so. Much of the more obscure and situation-dependant information in here is in the last half, and can be easily located in the Table of Contents, whereas most of the information through section 9 or 10 is probably needed by most people.

Since version 3.x is a complete rewrite, much information from previous editions has been lost. This is by design, as the previous HOWTOs were so large as to be 60 typeset pages, and had the narrative flow of a dead turtle. If you do not find the answer here, you are encouraged to a) scan the previous version at The PHT Home Page and b) drop me a note saying what ought to be here but isn't.

The Printing HOWTO Home Page is a good place to find the latest version; it is also, of course, distributed from SunSite ( and your friendly local LDP mirror.

1.1 History

This is the third generation, which is to say the third complete rewrite, of the Printing HOWTO. The history of the PHT may be chronicled thusly:

  1. I wrote the printing-howto in 1992 in response to too many printing questions in comp.os.linux, and posted it. This predated the HOWTO project by a few months and was thus the first FAQlet called a `howto'. This edition was in plain ascii.
  2. After joining the HOWTO project, the Printing-HOWTO was merged with an Lpd FAQ by Brian McCauley <>; we continued to co-author the PHT for two years or so. At some point we incorporated the work of Karl Auer <>. This generation of the PHT was in TeXinfo, and available in PS, HTML, Ascii, and Info.
  3. After letting the PHT rot and decay for over a year, and an unsuccessful attempt at getting someone else to maintain it, this rewrite happened. This generation of the PHT is in Linuxdoc-SGML.

1.2 Copyright

This document is Copyright (c) 1997 by Grant Taylor. Please copy and distribute it widely, but do not modify the text or omit my name.

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