February 20, 2019

Finding China, Crystal, and Tableware With Linux - page 3

A Humble Start

  • October 3, 2006
  • By Rob Reilly

In spite of all the earlier testing, Meredith was pretty nervous shortly after going live on Linux. A problem showed up in printing.

Replacements does a lot of heavy printing jobs, during the course of filling orders and producing reports. It turned out that Cups (the default printing system for modern Linux distributions) rendered a Post Script file for every single print job. This took up to five times longer to print that with the old lp/lpr printing setup on Solaris.

Fears were quickly calmed by Singer, who wrote an interface for Cups that intercepted the job and added the necessary escape sequences, for a particular printer. The reports don't need a lot of Post Script preprocessing, for this business anyway. Changing fonts, pitch, etc. were done much more easily and faster, directly on the printer.

The team ran into another problem with directories having very high file counts. The command line argument list in scripts that worked just fine under Solaris was was too long for Linux, and many scripts generated "arg list too long" errors. This glitch was solved in the Linux/Veritas environment by adding more directories to the application file structure, each of which held fewer files.

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