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apt and hplip

Hello list.

I'm new to Debian and am currently busy trying to set up
a print-server based on Debian, cups, hplip and pykota
(and maybe samba).

I hope to hear the word of the experts and some direction.

Here we have about 8 HP network printers that will be managed
and shared by the debian print-server.

The clients are:
- Windows 2000 and XP
- Linux redhat
- Machintosh OSX
- Solaris 8 and 9
- FreeBSD 5.3

I'd like to know your experience and implementations..

- Has anyone found a good solution to share the printers
  to the windows clients without using samba?
- What is your experience with cups?
- any cavits/hints?
- what is the best way to share printers that can do
  both sides printing on cups? Two separate queues?
- and for printers that fish from multiple tray different
  sized paper (say A3 and A4)?

Some info about my debian environment:
pcm3080:~# uname -a
Linux pcm3080 2.4.27-2-386 #1 Mon May 16 16:47:51 JST 2005 i686 GNU/Linux

pcm3080:~# cat /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/70debconf
// Pre-configure all packages with debconf before they are installed.
// If you don't like it, comment it out.
DPkg::Pre-Install-Pkgs {"/usr/sbin/dpkg-preconfigure --apt || true";};

pcm3080:~# cat /etc/apt/sources.list
#deb file:///cdrom/ sarge main
deb ftp://mirror.switch.ch/mirror/debian/ stable main contrib
deb-src ftp://mirror.switch.ch/mirror/debian/ stable main contrib
deb http://security.debian.org/ stable/updates main contrib

One thing I'm getting fond of with Debian is the package
management system, apt.. but I have doubt I'm missing
something.. And here come my next questions:

- How comes that the latest version of hplip that I can
  get via apt is 0.9.2 (released 18 Apr 2005) while on
  is available version 0.9.7? See output below:

pcm3080:~# dpkg -l hplip
| Status=Not/Installed/Config-files/Unpacked/Failed-config/Half-installed
|/ Err?=(none)/Hold/Reinst-required/X=both-problems (Status,Err: uppercase=bad)
||/ Name           Version        Description
ii hplip 0.9.2-2 HP Linux Printing and Imaging System (hplip)

- How comes that pykota is not known to apt?

pcm3080:~# apt-cache search pykota

I regularly run apt-get update and apt-get upgrade..

Any and all help/hints will be greatly appreciated!

Best regards.


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