TurboPrint for Linux Saves the Day-- Again
Printing in Linux. Sigh.Printing in Linux, even in this glorious year 2009--almost 2010--of the new millennium, the 21st century, is still fraught with vexations. I have always liked CUPS, the Common Unix Printing System. Once you figure out your way around it, it is powerful and network-friendly, even to allowing remote printing over the Internet. Which I think is better than faxing, at least when you're dealing with trusted senders and recipients. Linux PCs will find networked CUPS printers automatically, and now CUPS support automatic driver downloads for Windows clients. Though networking CUPS printers with Windows still requires a bit of fiddling, thanks to Windows' inability to handle ordinary simple networking sanely.
The CUPS Web interface, which you can find by going to localhost:631 in a Web browser, is still my preferred printing manager. I wish more distributions did what openSUSE does, which is provide a link to this in the system administration menu. It shouldn't be a big secret, and the attempts of Gnome and KDE to reinvent this particular wheel do not improve on it.
But there are still some gaps, especially in color printers and multi-function printers that scan, fax, copy, and print. This is where doing your homework before purchase will save big headaches, and the Linux Foundation's OpenPrinting site is the place to start.