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Sharing a GDI printer as Postscript

Link to this post 01 Mar 12

I have a Lexmark E210 printer - one of the "Windows only" printers, but a fairly OK printer as such, although it is now a "Windows no-longer" printer, since Windows 7 has no driver. Linux does, of course, and it work fine under Linux, but my wife feels she must use Windows 7, so what can a man do?

This is what: I have an old laptop that I have installed Debian on (no desktop), I have set the printer up in CUPS and shared it via Samba, and it is visible from Windows - the problem is that it is visible as a Lexmark E210 and Windows comes back, saying "What is that? I don't know anything".

However, I feel that it should be possible to set it up in CUPS so that it will accept Postscript input (through Ghostscript) - then I can tell Windows that this is a generic Postscript printer and everything will be fine; but how do I do that?

Link to this post 03 Mar 12

Good question! If you have a Windows XP installation disc, then try installing XP in a virtual machine on your wife's Win7 system that can print to the shared printer. Given that she will probably object to "jumping through hoops" to do that, your other option is to get a more suitable network printer... :-)

Just remember, a printer is just a few $100's - a wife is priceless!

Link to this post 05 Mar 12

Well, I might buy a new printer, but this is A Challenge! Besides, it is a really nice printer, and knowing Linux, I feel strongly that this ought to be possible.

The problem we have is that W7 has no driver for this particular printer - even though I can share it from Linux, Windows still sees it as a Lexmark E210. The printer works fine from Linux, so if I could put a layer between that could translate Postscript to whatever the printdriver in Linux expects, it should be OK.

Link to this post 05 Mar 12

So, if Win7 sees it as an E210, and that is what it is, then what is the problem? It sounds from your last post that Win7 has support built into the system. In any case, on XP at least, you could configure a printer as a "Generic PostScript" device, at least as far as I remember. Since Win7 has "dumbed down" a lot of that sort of thing (anything requiring user intelligence), it is possible/likely that Win7 doesn't directly support a PS printer per se. Don't know until I investigate that when I get to work.

Link to this post 05 Mar 12

No, W7 does NOT have support for this printer, which is why I try to find another solution. I have tried to force W7 to treat the printer I have configured on the Linux system as a Postscript printer, but it still doesn't work. There is no longer any "Generic Postscript", but one should be able to use, eg an HP Postscript printer driver to produce the right sort of output.

Do you know, would the Ghostscript filter expect the input to be Postscript for a printer like this (I use a filter called 'GDI' or something)?

Link to this post 11 Apr 12

I finally found the solution.

It was quite bizarre - everything seemed to work as a charm: I connected the printer via UPS, found it immediately in CUPS, printed a test page, which was perfect. I then created a new printer in W7 - the system found it quickly, I installed a Postscript printer (Generic - Windows Colour Thingy), and printed a test page; the printer indicated an error.

After much searching and looking in debug logs for Samba and CUPS, I finally discovered that if I commented out the raw filter setting in CUPS, it worked - I don't remember the exact file and I am not home, but it was in /etc/cups and something with "octet-stream" and "raw".

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