Printing with Linux on zSeries Using CUPS and Samba

An IBM Redpaper publication


This Redpaper discusses print serving on Linux using the Common UNIX Printing System (CUPS) and Samba. Print serving is much more complex than file serving. With file serving, the “back end” is a Linux file system. All the specifics of hardware, such as the disk, the DASD, the controller, and so on are abstracted away by the Linux kernel and operating system. With printing, this is not possible because the back end is hardware that is much more varied; printers have many more options and characteristics such as paper trays, duplex printing, cover pages, and so on.
CUPS an open source Linux print server that supports LPD and the newer Internet Printing Protocol (IPP). CUPS seems to be the new, de facto standard print server on Linux, moving ahead of the older lpr and the new LPRng.
Samba is also an open source package that lets Linux look like a Windows file and print server. It enables Windows desktops to access CUPS-defined printers, using a familiar desktop printing interface. This paper is based on work done on Linux on zSeries (the mainframe), but contains little information that is specific to zSeries. Therefore, it should be useful for Linux running on any hardware platform.
Two Linux distributions are addressed: SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 (SLES-8) with Service Pack 3 (SP3), and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (RHEL-3). Customizing and running CUPS and Samba are also addressed.

Table of contents

Introduction and overview
Overall approach
Install Linux with CUPS and Samba
Configure and start CUPS
Create and test CUPS printers
Create and test a CUPS class
Configure and start Samba
Set up printer drivers and automatic download
Set up a PDF drop box


Publish Date
06 May 2004

Last Update
14 June 2004

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