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Linux Annoyances for Geeks by Michael Jang

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I Can't Remember Which Printer to Use

Administrators of large networks commonly have to work with a substantial number of printers. Busy offices may have several printers in a dedicated location. As an administrator, you could randomly assign one of the printers as a default for different workstations in the area. In this section, I'll present a more robust solution.

Fortunately, most Linux distributions now use CUPS to administer printers. Developed by Easy Software Products, the standard version of CUPS (http://www.cups.org) is open source and works well with the Foomatic printer driver database available from http://www.linuxprinting.org.

Tip

If you want commercial support for CUPS, support and software with additional drivers and administrative tools are available from Easy Software Products at http://www.easysw.com.

When you install CUPS on your system, you get access to a web-browser-based tool that can help you administer the printers on your network. If you're administering multiple printers, CUPS allows you to organize them into groups. When you print to one group, CUPS directs the print job to the first available printer in the group.

Many Linux distributions include their own printer configuration tools that work with CUPS. However, if you want to configure printers in groups, you'll want to use the CUPS command-line tools or web-based interface.

Installing CUPS

Installing the CUPS service and associated printer driver database is a straightforward process. It may already be ...

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