Quoting Dominic Marks <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>:
Can anyone give me their experiences of desktop printing
(OpenOffice/KDE/Gnome/Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird, etc) recently?
I haven't tried for a while but it was a pain to setup and maintain the last
time I looked at it.

If you are using this for "real-work" and you are getting good results please
let me know what you are using (software and hardware ideally).

The environment I would like to put this into is a family house, very small
setup with 2 PCs and 2 printers. Currently both are Windows PCs but
one is experiencing all of the classic issues with a multi-year Windows
installation and since they are used exclusively for E-Mail and word
processing I am interested in migrating one PC over to FreeBSD.

.. If the solution was a Linux distro (box package, or otherwise) I would
also be interested.
... I am not a subscriber so please keep me CC'ed in the discussion.

At home I have one headless FreeBSD server, one FreeBSD desktop, one Windows desktop, and one or more laptops running either OS at various times. I also have an old cheap (non-PS) laser printer and a new-ish multifunction photo printer. The laser printer is connected to the FreeBSD server, which runs CUPS and Samba, among other things. The inkjet is connected to the Windows Desktop.

Printing from FreeBSD (all stations also use CUPS) to the laser printer always works fine. Printing from Windows to the laster printer (talking to Samba with a CUPS backend) works fine most of the time. Occasionally graphics-intensive jobs will come out screwy, and Acrobat Reader doesn't always behave well for some reason (even though I'm using the Adobe Windows PS driver..).

Printing from Windows to the inkjet always works well, and the vendor driver obviously supports all of the printer's features. Printing from FreeBSD to the inkjet (using an SMB backend to CUPS on the FreeBSD server) works well for standard documents and resolutions. If I need to print high-res or borderless photos I do it from Windows. (I also use the Windows station for scanning.)

Much of the above could be different for different people using different printers. In my case attaching the dumb laser printer to a FreeBSD server makes it more usable, whereas attaching the inkjet printer to the FreeBSD server made it less so (vs Windows). The gutenprint drivers are catching up to the vendor ones but for this printer they aren't there yet.

On the whole I'm quite happy with my CUPS server on FreeBSD, especially when printing from other CUPS-capable workstations (i.e. anything BUT Windows). Printers show up automatically and work the same from all stations with no need to distribute drivers, etc.


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