Subject: Re: Choosing printer for use with NetBSD
To: Tomasz Luchowski , <>
From: Richard Rauch <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/11/2002 21:31:57

NetBSD, per se, doesn't really do much for or against driving printers.

It apperas that KDE (if you use that) may have some direct HP printer
support.  There are some TeX-related programs that convert DVI files to
specific printer formats.  And, of course, many things can be driven as
plain ASCII printers.

However, you will probably end up doing most things (nice document
printing; graphics) via PostScript.  The easiest way to do that is
probably to just get a PostScript printer.  If that's out of your means,
the second best bet is to use GhostScript.  GhostScript supports a good
range of printers, although I gather that the very lowest range of
printers tend to take "too much" intelligence out of the printer and put
it in the computer (and then provide an MS-WINDOWS-only print driver).  It
may be difficult, or even impossible, to drive the printer properly by
applying a simple data filter.  (That's all that one normally does with
GhostScript: It reads PostScript and emits some other data format.)

So, what does this mean for you?

I'd start by looking at printers that you think that you can afford and
see if they are supported by GhostScript.

If buying from a local store, you may be able to do a trial setup with
GhostScript before you buy, and/or just buy it and return it later if it
can't work with GhostScript.

  ``I probably don't know what I'm talking about.''