Re: tools to compare PPDs?
On 06/28/2012 03:11 AM, Vincent McIntyre wrote:
first let me offer my thanks for your work, I was impressed by the
number of bug squashes in the list archives.
I have been setting up a print server (on Squeeze) and ran into the
problem of trying to decide between 6 different PPD files.
# lpinfo --make-and-model 'HP Color LaserJet 5500' -m
gutenprint.5.2://hp-clj_5500/expert HP Color LaserJet 5500 - CUPS+Gutenprint v5.2.6
Gutenprint supports PCL laser printers only in grayscale, so it is not
recommended to use this printer with Gutenprint.
foomatic:HP-Color_LaserJet_5500-Postscript.ppd HP Color LaserJet 5500 Foomatic/Postscript
This is a generic PostScript PPD. The native PPD from the manufacturer
does not appear in the list. Make sure to install the
printer-driver-postscript-hp package. After that you will get the
manufacturer PPD, and you should use it.
foomatic:HP-Color_LaserJet_5500-pxlcolor.ppd HP Color LaserJet 5500 Foomatic/pxlcolor
This is a PCL-6 driver. Can be used as alternative to PostScript if the
printer has problems in PostScript mode, like interpreter bugs or low
drv:///hpijs.drv/hp-color_laserjet_5500-hpijs-pcl3.ppd HP Color LaserJet 5500 hpijs pcl3, 3.10.6
lsb/usr/hplip/HP/hp-color_laserjet_5500-hpijs-pcl3.ppd HP Color LaserJet 5500 hpijs pcl3, 18.104.22.168
drv:///hpcups.drv/hp-color_laserjet_5500-pcl3.ppd HP Color LaserJet 5500 pcl3, hpcups 3.10.6
These three are actually the same driver, a PCL-5c driver supplied by
HP. On systems with CUPS you can uninstall the printer-driver-hpijs and
the hpijs-ppds packages. They do not give you any extra benefit.
My question is - are there tools available to compare the capabilities
offered by different PPD files, so I can make an informed choice?
Not really tools to compare, but you can use the different modes of the
cupstestppd and lpoptions commands to get information about the PPD files.
I can't find all the PPD files shown above on disk - presumably some are
autogenerated by lpadmin when you ask for them to be used?
Yes, most are auto-generated, as PPDs, even if individually compressed
with gzip take a lot of disk space. Most PPD auto generators in
/usr/lib/cups/driver/ are simply self-extracting archives, others are
generated from /usr/share/cups/drv/*.drv files.
Also, some PPDs are listed by lpinfo as (recommended) - though not
in this case.
The "(recommended)" is simply an entry in the *NickName lines of the PPD
files. For your printer the (recommended) is in the native PostScript
PPD. Install printer-driver-postscript-hp to get this PPD.
How is that bit of metadata incorporated into the printing system?
"lpinfo -m" calls all PPD generators in /usr/lib/cups/driver/ without
command line parameters letting them return a list of PPDs they are
capable to generate, generates a PPD list from all
/usr/share/cups/drv/*.drv and a list from all physically existing PPD
files (/usr/share/ppd)/. Printer setup tools do the same thing.