Linux vs. BSD, What's the Difference?
Subject:   What about printers?
Date:   2007-09-25 12:15:48
From:   bdheeman
The author is smart enough to hide, many a crappy things -- support for printers and, or drivers.

PC-BSD is based on FreeBSD and has nothing to contribute back to FreeBSD, do these people have anything in their Handbook and, or documentation on setting up a USB printer, whether via CUPS or native lpd?

No, I don't think :(

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Showing messages 1 through 2 of 2.

  • What about printers?
    2007-10-16 16:22:41  sailorfej [View]

    I have to disagree on this point, I support both FreeBSD and Ubuntu desktops for one of my current clients, and printer support under FreeBSD using CUPs is definitely superior to printer support under Ubuntu which also uses CUPs.

    The best example of this is for newer HP printers including USB, FreeBSD has a newer version of HPLIP in the ports collection than is available in Ubuntu, and if you want to support newer printers in Ubuntu, you have manually download and install newer versions of HPLIP directly from HP's website, and outside of apt. And because of the requirements of the manual install process, using apt to upgrade cups/linux system breaks the manually installed HPLIP, makes it very difficult to fix.

    so in general I have to say that I would rather support printer on FreeBSD/PC-BSD desktops anyday than on Ubuntu.

    My only major beef with BSD desktops is the lack of Adobe Flash support, but that is an issue for another thread.
  • Dru Lavigne photo What about printers?
    2007-09-25 12:38:47  Dru Lavigne | O'Reilly Author [View]

    I've written about printer support elsewhere in the series ( While the general impression is that Linux printing differs from BSD printing, there's not really that much difference. Both use ghostscript for most of the drivers, foomatic, and typically cups for configuration and administration. The information found at (e.g. is my printer model supported?) applies exactly the same to Linux and *BSD. There are some drivers which don't come with ghostscript; a search through the printers section of will show that FreeBSD doesn't lack in that department either.

    As for contributions and documentation, the FreeBSD and PC-BSD projects work closely together and PC-BSD gives back many patches and enhancements to the FreeBSD project. In addition to the PC-BSD documentation, the PC-BSD refers to the FreeBSD handbook and there is a whole chapter on printing in the FreeBSD handbook....