Subject: Re: which printers will work?
To: None <>
From: Andrew Gillham <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 07/23/1997 00:56:32
> So, what does a person do when they 1) want to keep their printers connected with
> ethernet, and 2) want no machines in a server capacity on their network except PCs running
> NetBSD (ie, no SunOS, no NT)? Can the printers take care of themselves and handle jobs
> frmo both Unix and MS-Windows clients? Or perhaps the Unix machines can use Samba's
> smbclient to talk to the printer? (I do that to an HP at home that's plugged into a Win95
> box - works wonderfully).

I don't have a lot of experience with the JetDirects, but I'll comment.
There are two "flavors" of JetDirect software.  The new flavor is basically
a lpd, and any machine that can print via lpd should be able to print.
This is great for those of us that don't have a platform that is supported
by the JetDirect software.  The only real problem I've seen using the lpd
on the printer, is that you don't have one queue you can halt if something
gets fubar.  Ideally all of your various unix should print to one lpd
server (perhaps a NetBSD machine!) that is the *only* machine that actually
talks to the printers lpd.  This allows you to administer the jobs in
one spot, if necessary.  It is also nicer because you can have all the
other machines print via postcript, and the lpd server machine can handle
any conversion to PCL, etc.

The older flavor of JetDirect basically has a single port that accepts
connections, and prints whatever it receives on that connection.  This means
that the average lpd can't talk to it.  HP has print filters that handle
transmitting the printer data to the printer, but as you mentioned these
are only available for certain platforms.  A possible solution is to use
a program such as "tcpf" (look at  I've
had limited success with this, but haven't absolutely needed it yet.. :)
If anyone does get a workable solution for a NetBSD system and an old
style JetDirect (with no other machines involved) please let the list

Andrew Gillham                            | This space left blank                     | inadvertently.
I speak for myself, not for my employer.  | Contact the publisher.