A Guide To Linux Printing - page 2
Linux applications can have a variety of different levels of printing support. The most basic is support to text. Many text based applications including Pine can only print plain ASCII text. Almost any printer available can print ASCII text however plain text is boring and unattractive. To get around this problem most X-Windows based applications can also print graphics. The most common type of printer supported in the Linux world is Postscript. Postscript was developed by Adobe in the 1980's as a portable printer language. Unfortunately only expensive high end printers tend to support Postscript. Postscript's portability is still achieved in the Linux world using an emulator program named Ghostscript. Ghostscript converts Postscript files to the printer specific formats of most popular(and many unpopular) printers on the market. More about Ghostscript will be discussed in the Filters section. Lastly, some applications available for Linux have built in support for many different types of printers. These applications can usually either print in Postscript(emulated by Ghostscript) or in your printer's native format.